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FICCI Frames 2008: ‘Make consumers the centre of your decision making’

26-March-2008
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FICCI Frames 2008:  ‘Make consumers the centre of your decision making’

Indian television is going through major changes in content, which is constantly redefining itself. Do we see TV channels falling into niche segments and breaking down into sub-genres in the coming year? What would be future trends for Indian television content? The session on ‘Redefining Television Content: shifting patterns’ sought to answer these questions and much more.

Moderated by LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media, the panelists for the session included Peter Mukerjea, Chairman, INX Group; Paul Gertz, Executive VP, Rainmaker, Canada; Sunil Lulla, Director, Alva Brothers; Anurradha Prasad, Chairperson & MD, BAG Films & Media Ltd; and, Monica Tata, VP, Advertising Sales and Networks, India & South Asia, Turner International.

Opening the discussion, BAG Films’ Prasad said, “Being a content provider, I’m only going by my gut feel. And my gut feel, I felt, would make me a broadcaster. Therefore, I decided to launch a channel and go with the mantra, ‘News is Back’.” She, however, admitted that it was extremely difficult to always go with that ‘mantra’ when everyone looked at TRP ratings.

Talking about how Turner International had revolutionised kids’ programming, Tata said, “Kids were not getting entertainment of their liking. This is where we created Pogo, which turned out to be successful. We understood what our audience needed and put the content accordingly, and within 6-8 months, we doubled our kids’ share.”

Mukerjea noted, “General entertainment should not be a 4-plus audience, but 15-24 plus.” Commenting on 9 XM channel’s success, he said that having grown up watching MTV and Channel [v], they wanted 9 XM to be different. “We did a lot of research before the launch and learnt what the Indian family wanted. We saw 9 XM as being a light entertainment channel and since the essence of Bollywood movies is songs, therefore, we decided to play songs without any interruptions from VJ or anyone else,”

Mukerjea said, adding, “Anything more than two years old is an old song for us. We play only big song hits.”

Sunil Lulla remarked, “Make consumers the centre of your decision making and not the market. The heart of our business is determined by consumers. Execution can always change, but there is need to focus on the big stories, also get views and opinions on the story.”

He further said, “Whatever is important is news, the audience wants entertainment even in news and it can be through graphics or even locations.”

Paul Gertz elaborated on how he had used social networking sites to launch a programme that went off air some five years ago. He said, “We asked five writers to come up with new ideas, they were different and posted it on various social networking sites and asked them to decide which was the best story for ‘Reboot Reborn’.”

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