Genres like news & movies gained share, while GEC saw a decline: ZEEL CFO Rohit Gupta

Gupta was addressing analysts during the company's Q1 FY22 earnings conference call

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 17, 2021 6:36 PM  | 3 min read

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), Chief Financial Officer, Rohit Gupta, during the company's Q1 FY22 earnings conference call, said that while the impact of the COVID-19’s second wave was much lesser than the last year, there were challenges from both operational as well as financial points of view. 

He said, “The second wave of COVID-19 had an impact on our business during the quarter like most of the other businesses. Starting with Maharashtra we saw lockdown in all the states we operate in. Our teams across the markets were quick to react to the announcement of the lockdown and showed agility in moving the shooting of the shows to safer locations. This enabled our consumers to continue to enjoy original content with a largely undisrupted programming lineup. We also ensured that all safety measures were followed and the health of our people continued to be our priority during this process.” 

He further added that during the lockdown, content consumption saw an increase with TV impressions going up by 9% and reach by 7%. “Genres like news and movies gained share, while GEC saw a decline. During the quarter we continued India’s number two TV entertainment network. The viewership for the quarter dropped 17% however, we have already seen a sharp recovery in the month of July. This drop-in share is due to the cumulative impact of lockdown disruption, updates in the BARC universe, and the soft performance of some of our channels.” While the performance in the markets like Bangla, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, and movies was strong during the quarter, Gupta shared that Hindi, Tamil, and Marathi GECs have significant scope for improvement.  

Speaking about the ZEE5, Gupta shared that ZEE5 global MAUs and DAUs for the month of June were 8.2 million and 7.1 million respectively. During the quarter, ZEE5 released 11 original shows and movies. He said that the release of Radhe and FRIENDS Reunion on ZEE5 has helped uplift the value proposition and brand recall of the platform with a monthly engagement of 190 minutes during the quarter. “Zee5 is building momentum on all key metrics. The revenue and EBITDA loss of ZEE5 for the quarter was Rs 1.1billion and Rs 2 billion respectively. The increased momentum on subscription revenue was largely offtake by the impact of COVID on the advertising revenue.” 

The plans of ZEE studio continue to be impacted during the quarter, informed Gupta. Meanwhile, Zee Music company continues to be the second most subscribed Indian music channel on YouTube, and the label witnessed 80% growth in YouTube videos on a Y-O-Y basis, said ZEEL CFO.

On the financial performance, Gupta shared that domestic ad revenue grew by 128% Y-O-Y on a low base and subscription revenue saw growth of 2% on a like-to-like basis. Compared to FY20, domestic ad revenue declined by 23% this was due to the combined impact of COVID on the overall advertising spends and some of the non-fiction properties which could not be aired due to lockdown. “We also have to incur an additional spend of Rs 27 crore on the shooting of our shows to different locations. The EBITDA for the quarter was Rs 3.4 billion with a margin of 19.4%. While we are confident that advertising revenue will bounce back as soon as the fear of a subsequent wave subsides, we continue to invest in our businesses. However the slower than anticipated recovery in advertising revenue so far our full-year margin will be lower than earlier guidance.” 

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