When launched in 2004, STAR One, the second GEC from the STAR India stable, aimed to cater to the youth, and keeping that TG in mind, it launched with shows such as ‘Remix’ and then later on moved to comedy shows such as ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ and ‘Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai’.
Talking about the channel’s journey, Nikhil Mirchandani, GM, STAR One, stressed that they had never been a traditional GEC and that all the shows had been grounded in the value of innovation. There was a time when there were a lot of comedy shows on the channel and it was branded as a comedy channel, but comedy was just one way to connect with the youth. Talking about the shift to more family-oriented shows, he added, “Somewhere along the way, we felt the need to get into the mainstream GEC and hence, we launched shows such as ‘Viraasat’, but we realised that such shows will not work for us. Every time we did something that was mainstream, we would fail.”
Now, the channel is all set to change that, once again, as it gears to launch a slew of new shows that are going to be “innovative, urban and aspirational”. The channel also retrieved one of its old shows – ‘Maano Ya Na Maano’ – but does not intend to get some of the other older shows back as Mirchandani felt that the earlier content was too “candy floss”.
Currently, the channel’s average GRP is around 50, but in the next six months, Mirchandani expects these numbers to double. He also realises that there have been only two new show launches in the past year and added that all that was set to change with the launch of at least 6-8 shows over the next few months. There is going to be a complete change in the content, with great emphasis being given on the shows’ performance. If a show is not performing well, it will be pulled off air.
The change in content will probably pave the way for a change in the visual identity of the channel. Commenting on this, Mirchandani said, “Once we have changed our shows, we will probably announce a brand campaign. We can expect a visual rebranding, but it will not be without a change in the content. It is in the horizon, but we are not actively thinking of it yet.” He added, “There is a need to infuse freshness, but the freshness needs to come on the back of the change in content.”
Considering that the channel’s core viewers are the youth, Mirchandani pointed out that they were ‘over’ investing in the digital medium. Approximately 10-15 per cent of the total marketing budget is being spent on the digital medium. The channel also plans to have a web premier of some of its shows.
What needs to be seen, however, is whether the viewer will react positively to this change in content. Considering that the channel has been quite inactive in launching new shows, one wonders whether the slew of new shows may be too much too soon for the viewers.
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