ZEE Group has announced the launch of yet another movie channel in the Hindi space. It is learnt that the new channel has already bought the premiere right for upcoming movie Chennai Express.
As per the ratings data sourced from TAM subscribers for Week 29, 2013, the combined GRP of leading movie channels was 539. The top channel in the movie channels space was Set Max with 106 GRPs. This was behind the lead channel in the GEC space, Star Plus, which had garnered 243 GRPs for the same week.
Currently, ZEEL has four Hindi movie channels – Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, Zee Classic and Zee Action. According to industry sources, the new channel will not use the ‘Zee’ branding and will be part of a different bouquet of channels from ZEE.
STAR India has two Hindi movie channels – Star Gold and Movies OK, while Multi Screen Media has Set Max. Disney UTV has UTV Movies and UTV Action. Although UTV Action sources its content from Hollywood, which is dubbed in Hindi, the language used makes it a part of the Hindi movie space. Second rung channels such as Sahara Filmy and B4u Movies are also a part of the genre.
According to media estimates, the Hindi movie channel ad market is nearly Rs 1150 crore and with the addition of the 10th mainline player, the market may see further fragmentation and the emergence of niche within the genre. Industry experts feel that this would surely give way to more innovation in content. Some experts also said that the ad pie for the genre might expand with digitisation in place.
Sources further shared that Multi Screen Media is buying Balaji Motion Pictures schedule for the year and Viacom18 has been trying to buy premiere rights of Ranjhanna.
Why is the genre robust?
Why are more and more channels expanding offering in this genre? “Movies genre is a great place to be in,” said Gaurav Seth, Former Marketing Head of Set Max. “It is a high-reach, low in value medium. Additionally, unlike GECs that are based on appointment viewing, movies are circle phenomena. Coupled with the large library of movies available with channels, it is an excellent genre to utilise your resources, and this makes it a healthy investment destination for channels. This is one very important reason why networks are expanding in this category,” he added.
When Colors premiered Salman-starrer Dabangg in 2010, it garnered a TVR of 9.2. Additionally, premiers of high profile movies such as Son of Sardaar, Jab Tak Hai Jaan also received a huge viewership. Interestingly, Son of Sardaar was premiered on the GEC arm of the STAR Network, Star Plus and helped it regain the number one position in Week 5 of 2013.
Amin Lakhani, Partner, Fulcrum Mindshare said, “The operating cost of the movie channel is not big. They have the freedom of running sourced content. Although, there is a cost involved when one buys the premiere rights of a movie, but if the network is like ZEE, then the cost can be amalgamated. Content is given in the genre, and with digitisation, placement of channel has become easy. People will be able to access more content. The jump in the genre is inevitable and hence, channels are going for it. Additionally, with TRAI 10+2 ad cap, the number of channels to cope up with inventory demand would also increase.”
Satyajit Sen, CEO, Zenith Optimedia said, “Movie genre offers reasonable CPRP to broadcasters. Therefore, the angle of reasonable RoI cannot be ruled out. Secondly, with 10+2 coming ahead, there would have to be a demand-supply balance. Post the premiere of any movie, if the response is good, the channel can repeat the content again, garnering ad revenue on the same content again. Digitisation has made the game even, and the value of the genre is likely to go up.”
Industry experts highlight that India being a Bollywood-crazy nation enjoys movie watching experience at home equally. Experts we spoke to pointed out that in such a scenario the ad pie of the genre may expand as more channels seek premiere rights for big star movies. As Lakhani pointed out, the buying cost gets amalgamated later. This is something that is not frequently possible in the GEC segment.
A Business Head of a leading English movie channel stated, “The miniscule share of English movie genre in the entire rating space itself quantifies the strength of Hindi movies. Bollywood is an obsession here. The genre enjoys viewership in not only HSM markets, but also markets where Hindi is the second or third language. Mileage and longetivity are the prime reasons why channels are expanding their bouquets in this segment.”
As of now, one more channel from ZEE has further substantiated the credibility of the genre. With more fragmented audience, it would be interesting to see whether the ad pie for the genre sees expansion.