Zoom TV, the entertainment channel from Times Television, has completed a year and has already seen more than its share of action. The channel officials are content with the channel’s growth and industry officials offer more on the role that the channel plays in media plans.
Both in terms of programming and the channel’s selling, Zoom has a change in order. Elaborating on the content, Aparnaa Pande, the Programming Head of the channel, said, “There have been quite a few changes – both in programming and the production of the channel, to give it a sleeker look. The space we came in, that of a lifestyle channel, wasn’t tapped on much and there was nothing that could be seen as a comparison or benchmark. Much of what we changed is based on feedbacks and performance.”
When the channel was launched, an attempt on exploring genres like stand up comedy was made in addition to various lifestyle and Bollywood based shows. Pande explained that while comedy did not pan out well on the channel, celebrity lifestyle was explored more.
She added, “Bollywood and Zoom built an association with shows like ‘Filmi Fever’, ‘Not Just Page three’ and so on. We strengthened this further by organising movie premieres and bringing shows like Big Nite.”
Pande further said that shows on television entertainment was another area of focus, for instance, shows like Pop Korn. “It is one of the highest rated shows on the channel and since we actually speak about a television celebrity’s life, than just storylines, it is one of its kinds in the space. The response was encouraging enough to take the show along with ‘Page Three’ to our weekends and it is very well received.”
If numbers were seen for the channel, until February, Zoom has seen a steady increase in its graph for the SEC A 15-34. However, in the period hence, ratings have dropped for the channel in this TG and even for the CS 4+ TG, even though the mass TG has still been stable.
Pande explained, “The upper end TG is not the kind that returns to you everyday. Also, when a channel is launched there is a period of expectations and most of our key programming changes have been made earlier in the year when we introduced our mainstay properties. The ratings have steadied since then. We also commissioned some research to get a grip on the quality of the audience on the channel and it matches with what we are aiming for, which indicates that we are on right track.”
Offering a point of view here, Shashi Sinha, President, Lodestar Media, said, “Zoom is a snacking channel. We used it for the making of the Whirlpool ad film, when Kajol and Ajay Devgan were signed on and it has given some good response. What should be remembered is that this is a niche channel and TRPs aren’t the best way to measure it. The channel is well placed, so chances of the flirting audience to be on the channel is higher, even though in most cases it’s a very fleeting stay.”
Sinha believed that with the coming in of addressability platforms and the change in audience profiles, channels like Zoom would have a stronger role to play going forward. “It is a good mix of masala and lifestyle and provides ample opportunity to do something innovative for a brand,” he pointed out.
The sales function of the channel saw a change when it was taken off Times Response and sold independently. The channel’s sales head, M K Anand, divulged that the change didn’t impact Zoom in any form. “Even when it was under Response, the diktat was to operate separately. We haven’t done any kind of joint deals with other products of the group and taking it off Response only meant a change in the floors,” he insisted.
He explained that for a channel like Zoom, which aimed at getting the upper end clients, the choices were that much limited. “There is a specific set of advertisers numbering 300 to 400 across the country, which make are our catchment area. We already have almost 125 advertisers, and this is comparable to any eight to 10-year old channel in the space,” he added.
According to channel officials, what worked in favour of Zoom were also special initiatives like the Kingfisher Calendar or the Chateau Indage event as well. “There are more such campaigns, activities and pageants we are coming up with that serve specific requirements of the advertisers,” Anand said, adding, “In addition to that, the kind of awards we have won has played role in creating a perception around Zoom and that is working in our favour.”
MindShare Fulcrum’s Investment Director, Amol Dighe took this point forward stating, “Zoom makes sense when a client wants to do an innovation or content association. For lifestyle conscious brands, the channel offers a good platform to get to the relevant TG.”