To further strengthen its presence in the Marathi television market, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is bringing in Zee Yuva targeted at the youth in the Marathi entertainment space. This will be the third channel from the network in the Marathi entertainment space and fourth in the Marathi regional space. It already operates a GEC (Zee Marathi), movie channel Zee Talkies, and news channel Zee24 Taas. Scheduled to go live on August 22, it aims to show light-hearted, refreshing, positive and contemporary content. Bavesh Janavlekar, Business Head, Zee Yuva and Zee Talkies reveals more on its differentiating factors and programming strategy...
Why is there a need for a youth channel in Marathi space? What’s the tonality?
The television content in three leading GECs like Zee Marathi and Colors is women-centric with storylines based on family (with couple of exceptions). On the other hand, in films, in the last three to four years most of the hits have been driven by youth genre. There is going to be huge gap in terms of content that can get offered to the younger ones. Hence we have this offering.
Zee Yuva is not about a particular age group and not as exclusive of content as Channel V, MTV and Bindass. Yuva is not about age. It’s about a mindset. So our content will be light hearted with storylines revolving around friendship and quirky families. It’s fresh and connects real time.
Apart from the language, how will it be different from other youth channels like MTV and Bindass?
When it comes to MTV, they have content that can be consumed by a particular TG only. I don’t think families can consume it at all whereas our content is wholesome. Here, the protagonist will be a youngster but the content can be watched by the entire family.
What’s the programming strategy?
We have five fiction shows of different genres like college, romance and back to roots. We have a weekend show. Once the channel settles down, we will amplify the content and subsequently bring in reality shows. We will have movie premieres. There will be music in the morning and afternoon bands with interactive shows as well. We will have shows around music in the future. The primetime here will be 7 pm to 9.30 pm.
What’s the reach you are expecting?
Whether it’s Zee Marathi, Zee Talkies or Zee Studio, which is the production and distribution arm, Maharashtra is a key area in terms of the brand Zee TV which we plan to leverage. I see a lot of sharpening happening in the first phase. To that extent distribution and placement is in place. In a year’s time, we want to be among the top three channels in Marathi space.
In an age of social media how are you planning to bring the youth to your channel?
Digital is definitely growing and will gain a lot of traction but in terms of mass consumption, TV drives it. When it comes to geography, Zee Yuva doesn’t necessarily have an urban skew. It should be consumed by the heart of Maharashtra. Wherever the popular Marathi hit Sairat was consumed, Zee Yuva should be consumed there because that’s its potential.
Will your content be available on Ditto TV?
It will be. Digital will be an important component of Zee Yuva content strategy. There will be lot of experiments in the digital space along with Zee Yuva. Television is just the beginning but we will be leveraging digital quite a bit.
How’s the ad inventory placed?
Things are getting worked out. Fortunately, there are a lot of brands who are trying to sell youthfulness to all the people. We hope to get all of them on Zee Yuva.
What are the marketing plans?
Our digital campaigns are being received well. It had a reach of 5 million in a day. It trended on Twitter fetching 28.6 million impressions in a day. Our contest is getting good traction. On Facebook, we have nearly 50,000 likes. ATL campaign will be closer to the launch. We will be rolling out network promotions and non-network promotions followed by print and outdoor campaigns. Spends-wise, it’s television followed by digital and print.
What’s your take on the growing emphasis on the regional television space?
There is a lot of action happening in the regional space. The next leap of digital can only happen through regional. That reinforces regional identity. All this should lead to revenue impact. Ad spends are growing by around 12-15 per cent on an average across mediums. Regional channels should see more than that. Regional channels are getting consolidated.