Sony Entertainment Television’s ‘Indian Idol’ is not only giving the channel a consistent four-plus to five-plus TVR, it has also managed an impressive audience response in terms of voting for the show. While in the first round (episode November 18), the show managed 4.20 lac votes, the second round (November 24) has given the channel over 11 lac votes.
For an indication, the 4.20 lac figure has come from an audience base of 78 lac viewers for the show. “The lines were clogged for this episode and we realised the need to work on that,” says Tarun Katial, EVP, Programming and Response, SET, “And hence in the consequent episode, we managed this overwhelming figure and this comes from across all markets.”
The channel worked with BSNL for landline calls and every mobile service provider including Reliance, as per the channel’s officials. The backend requirements were put in place by Fremantle Media’s Harvest Media and mobile2win.
To give a specific break up, the show received 5,55,884 phone calls and 5,90,206 SMS votes in three and a half hours. Of this, the channel couldn’t provide details of duplication or a more specific break up of other factors like demography etc. However, if this number is seen against the viewership base of the preceding episode, it indicates almost 14 per cent response.
“I think this is a fabulous conversion number,” says Srikanth Raman, Business Director, OMS, “In any kind of direct marketing or interactive exchange of this nature, a four to eight per cent is what one normally gets. In that sense, this speaks very well of the show.”
Apparently, this has been the highest response that mobile2win too has hitherto managed, as per Rajiv Hiranandani, Country Head, mobile2win, “It is more than the triple we have managed so far. More importantly this is in a window of just three and a half hours. You can imagine the kind of capacity and connectivity we need to put in place and we are geared for a huger response next week.”
Where most are convinced that these are very good numbers for the show, Farokh Balsara, Industry Leader (Media & Entertainment Practices), Ernst & Young believes that it is too early to call it an emotional connect between the audience and the show. Says he, “This is a decent response but the audience viewing and the people voting are two separate sets, not everyone viewing is voting and not everyone who voted is an avid viewer of the show. Hence, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a relationship between the audience and the show. For that, we have to still watch a few more rounds.”
On one hand, while Balsara says for the channel, this response is a very encouraging one, Katial says, “In a very short time, without any real reward for the viewer, this is a huge number and this will only get better.”
Not only the votes but also the viewership number – the channel has expressed time and again that they are hopeful of both the counts getting better with subsequent programming. And why not, it is after all one of the most expensive projects of Sony Entertainment Television.
(Ratings and viewership figure calculated on TAM Media Research’s data for the CS 4+ in the Hindi speaking market)