ZEE Network officially announced the launch of its new Hindi movie channel ‘&pictures’. It is slated to go on-air on August 18, 2013.
Primarily targeting the youth, the channel plans to offer a new experience in the genre by bringing viewers closer to their favourite movie stars.
With more players entering the market and competition heating up, advertisers and viewers are bound to get fragmented further. Moreover, with a limited content library, movie channels almost play similar content and the only differentiating factors now available include consumer interface and brand positioning.
“The USP of &pictures is its interactivity. We have launched India’s first crowdsourced ‘never ending movie’ where people can make their own movies and post it on our YouTube channels. We are keen on our product initiatives and that is how we would establish our brand equity,” said Akash Chawla, Head – Marketing, National Channel.
The new movie channel claims to have a rich library of popular films such as Kai Po Che, ABCD, Barfi, English Vinglish, Tanu Weds Manu, Love Aaj Kal, Agent Vinod, Agneepath, Desi Boyz, Kambakt Ishq and Break Ke Baad.
Currently, ZEEL has four Hindi movie channels – Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, Zee Classic and Zee Action. According to industry sources, ‘&pictures’ will not use the ‘ZEE’ branding; it will be part of a different bouquet of channels from ZEE.
Media estimates suggest the Hindi movie channels ad market is nearly Rs 1150 crore, and with the addition of the 10th mainline player, the market may see further fragmentation and emergence of niche within the genre and more innovation in content. Some experts also feel that the ad pie for the genre might expand with digitisation in place.
“We have many kinds of consumers: traditional, millennial, etc. Unless we don’t stick to our core identity, we would lose track. We are delivering a promise of better consumer experience as we have done in the past. It is very difficult to establish an entertainment brand than a retail brand. We are in the business of entertainment and in our case the product matters far more than any other factor. We are trying to ensure a perfect balance of brand positioning, content and consumer experience,” said Bharat Ranga, Chief Content and Creative Officer, ZEE.
Although the channel did not comment on the revenue prospects, it is expected that like other channels, &pictures might also come with inflated ad rates.
Whether the channel is able to establish itself as a distinct brand in the Hindi movie space or not, time will tell; however, another channel from ZEE has only substantiated the robust state of the genre as a whole.