10+2 ad cap will open up non-FCT revenue options: Punit Pandey

The ad cap will open up a separate revenue stream; besides, pushing up yield will compel channels to up the quality of their content, says the EVP, New Media, 9X Media

by Abhinav Trivedi
Published - Sep 5, 2013 7:49 AM Updated: Sep 5, 2013 7:49 AM
10+2 ad cap will open up non-FCT revenue options: Punit Pandey

Digitisation is changing the game for different genres in the television space. Post DAS, audiences have benchmarked channels, said Punit Pandey, Executive Vice President, New Media, 9X Media.

In conversation with exchange4media, Pandey speaks about the growth of the music genre and the new opportunities emerging with the spread of digitisation to newer areas. Excerpts.

How do you see the growth in the music genre?
The music genre category has increased in terms of consumption, GRPs, number of channels and revenues. In a snacking genre like ours, it is a big achievement. Music library across all is the same, but the difference lies in the packaging, timing and the characters that we have to support them. Like we have Bade-Chote, etc., to support our content. This increases the stickiness factor for us. It is the experience that we provide, which is the key. The right curation and packaging leads to the bookmarking of the channel in terms of being a favourite music destination.

The brand recall for the music genre is far less than mainline channels. How do you think this can be improved in terms of engagement?
Mainline channels are usually appointment viewing, therefore, they are prejudiced to have a high brand recall. Within the genre of music, difference lies in experience of music that one gives. A large part of our engagement is on the digital screen, where youth mostly access songs. For example, 9X Tashan Radio is a channel that is available on linear platforms. So, we engage with our core TG on the digital platform. Engagement for our genre can be improved by properly understanding our TG and targeting them accordingly.

Which are your best performing markets and who is your core TG? Do you also compete with semi-music channels such as Zoom and MTV?
Priority markets are the metros. But, since we play Bollywood music, which cuts across demographics, we have audiences in other parts of the country as well. Our audience primarily comes from the top 8-10 markets. My core TG would be in the age group of 15-34 years. They listen to music casually, while simultaneously engaged in other regular activities. There is a certain tempo that we have in our music. We are different from semi-music channels, which are based on appointment viewing. They play music from time to time to gain GRPs, but they can’t be termed as music genre channels, and media planners keep this in mind.

What are the benchmarks that you have achieved in the recent past?
We are the leaders in the Hindi music genre. Our brand portfolio is vibrant. Our first offering in the regional market space is Tashan, which is also one of our brightest products. We became a market leader there despite the presence of two viable players before us. Here, I emphasis on not just the leadership that we have achieved, but also consistent leadership that we have sustained. This keeps us motivated. With limited visibility that we manage to get through 9XO, the kind of deliveries that we get through the channel is motivating.

Has there been an increase in viewership post digitisation?
Digitisation has opened the pipeline for more channels. But from an audience perspective, it has also benchmarked channels so as to which one is better. The audience needs to be clearly demarcated post DAS. From a channel perspective, digitisation has given us fantastic sound and picture quality. Therefore, we have increased our consumer experience.

Has there been an increase in subscription fees and reduction in carriage fees post digitisation?
It is too early to say that, but currently no such thing has happened.

We spoke to some media planners, and according to them, the music genre is among the last ones on the priority because the stickiness is only confined to the music time. What do you have to say to that?
I can show you data that Indians like good advertisement. As far as media planners are concerned, on a principal level I would not dispute what they assume, but it also depends from brand to brand. At the principal level, a GEC is likely to give you more reach since is based on appointment viewing, but there are certain brands such as Red Bull, which would never advertise in a big way on GECs.

In that case what is your view on the 10+2 ad cap?
It is good. It is up to the creative people to increase the quality and quantity of the content to match up the high level of content that will be required post the implementation of the 10+2 ad cap. Besides, this restriction will also open up a separate revenue stream. Pushing up yield requires effort and this will compel us to improve our content quality. 10+2 ad cap will open up non-FCT revenue options. We will try to evolve with content integration with our special characters such as Bade-Chote.

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