'Bigg Boss, The Big Picture will help us get a larger wallet share from festive ad spends'

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head of Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, shared the channel's content strategy to grow its market share

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Oct 8, 2021 4:05 PM
Nina Jaipuria

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head of Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, is gung-ho about the festive season since Colors will have not one but two high-impact properties. Bigg Boss Season 15 has launched with 18 TV and digital sponsors, while The Big Picture hosted by Ranveer Singh has already managed six TV and digital sponsors. Between these two big-ticket items, the network is eyeing a larger share of the festive ad spends.

According to Jaipuria, Colors is a strong number 2 channel during the weekdays and a clear winner on the weekend with two big tent pole show per quarter strategy. The Hindi GEC plans to open up new time bands and launch new non-fiction formats to reduce the gap with genre leader Star Plus. exchange4media caught up with Jaipuria to know about the channel's content strategy to grow its market share.

Excerpts:

How has 2021 been for Colors?

Colors as a brand stands for wholesome variety entertainment that we offer our viewers across fiction and non-fiction formats. We have fiction shows across genres like family, romance, social issues, fantasy, and suspense. Staying true to our DNA, we not only offer the best fiction content during the weekday, but we also have a fantastic weekend line-up featuring reality shows across a variety of genres like action, adventure, talent, and voyeurism.

We are a strong no. 2 player in the all-day prime-time and no. 1 during the weekend with a solid 24% market share. 2021 has been good for us from a viewership as well as a business perspective. We have seen a lot of recovery from August. We have kicked off the festive season with our big-ticket plans as there is a big uptake in consumer demand which is giving a major boost to advertising spends.

What makes Bigg Boss such a successful show, and how much inventory have you sold so far?

One of the biggest reasons for its success is the innovations that we do every year. The show and its host Salman Khan also enjoy fandom. This year we have Vishwasuntree, which is a speaking tree, and the jungle theme which will take the entertainment on the show to another level. The fact that Bigg Boss had a digital leg on Voot has also worked well for the show. 

We have already sold 75% of the inventory for Bigg Boss, and it went on-air very recently. We are going to run out of inventory very fast. The jungle theme for this season has generated a lot of curiosity. Year after year, Bigg Boss amazes us with its fandom and the kind of loyal viewership that it gets. Last year, when Bigg Boss 14 was on, it was up against the IPL. The show helped Colors combat IPL. It also gives us the confidence to invest in big-ticket items. This year, we are against two big cricketing properties, IPL and T20 World Cup. We believe that Bigg Boss and The Big Picture will help us to get a larger wallet share from the festive spending.

How has been the response from brands to The Big Picture?

We started very well and already have four brands on board for TV and two on Voot. Byju's is the presenting sponsor on The Big Picture. We have two more weeks to go. With a new format in the weekend and new viewers coming in, we get new viewers to sample our weekday shows as well. We will be promoting and cross-pollinating a lot of our fiction shows with the two big tent poles. We will drive awareness and viewership to the weekday as well. Between these two shows, we have 24 brands associated with us, and during the festive season, there is so much to take from the market. We have created more supply so that we can meet the demand and therefore get a higher wallet share. In this situation where demand is more, the automatic thing that happens is that the rates go up.

Colors has a balanced fiction and non-fiction line-up. How has this helped the channel grow in a competitive market?

We have a variety of fiction and non-fiction content. We have a balanced offering for whoever wants to consume our content. In the pandemic, family viewing has gone up. In that scenario, variety is very important because you have to cater to the tastes of the entire family. When you have variety across genres, you are making sure that the family members are entertained. This balanced content approach has kept us going for a very long time with viewers because it gets different kinds of viewers to the channel across demographics, gender, and geography.

What is the gap between Colors and Star Plus, which is the top channel, and how do you plan to reduce this gap?

We have an all-day prime-time market share of 21%, and Star Plus is at around 26%. On the weekend, we are 24% and our closest competitor is below 20%. The plan is to continue to provide wholesome entertainment across seven days of the week with compelling storylines, new storylines, and enduring characters that we have. We also have a lot of shows in the development stage. We also launched ‘Thapki Pyar Ki’ at 6 pm, so we have opened up a new time band with original content. 'Udaariyaan' has reached a 3 TVR and has become a very popular show. We then have 'Chhoti Sardarni' which continues to have its fan following. 'Anandi' has come back and 'Nima' is looking very promising.

The plan is to strengthen the prime-time with compelling content and continue to bolster our weekend with two big reality shows. We have finished Khatron Ke Khiladi and Dance Deewane. Now comes Bigg Boss and The Big Picture for the big quarter. As the two shows finish, we will then launch two new properties in the following quarter. We have a very robust content pipeline to ensure that we bring viewers to Colors.

By the way, we have the highest reach in the genre with 121 million viewers in a week for the 2+ audience. The second highest is Star Plus at about 115-116 million weekly viewers. With 121 million viewers, we have a very high reach, and we hope to capitalise on that. The beauty of our content is that we bring all kinds of demographics from NCCS, gender, to age. We are in a unique position to build our viewership and get to the top with a balanced offering on the weekday and the weekend.

Will Colors continue to have two non-fiction properties during a quarter?

Absolutely! We started with Dance Deewane and Khatron Ke Khiladi. In the festive quarter, we have Bigg Boss and The Big Picture. We will launch two big shows in the coming quarters as we move forward, and we will have a mix of old and new formats. The old formats bring back loyal audiences and new formats help us to get new audiences who want to check us out and creates a lot of intrigue, awareness, and curiosity. It automatically increases the eyeballs for the channel.

What was the strategy behind acquiring The Big Picture format for India?

Audiovisual has become an integral part of our lives in the pandemic era, and the format of this show is not just knowledge-based, but also on visual memory and technology. All of that egged us to say that this is a format that is for this evolved audience, where visuals have become the new language of consumption and communication. We have adapted it for the Indian market with none other than Ranveer Singh. What he brings to the table is his versatility, energy, and the fact that his fandom cuts across gender, age, and geography. He can accumulate fans across demographics since he has done varied roles in films.

It's a weekend offering, so it will bring families together. In the pandemic, TV has become the primary screen of family entertainment. It's a trump card in a way because many of the fans have not seen him on the big screen for many months. It's an opportunity for his fans to come and check him out. This is going to be a distinctive new-age format that Colors will bring.

Also, there has not been a new format launch in a very long time. We have all been doing new seasons of original formats that existed with innovations. This is a new format that will play out in 26 episodes across 13 weeks. The first season is always where all the excitement, buzz, intrigue, curiosity will happen so Ranveer will do his magic and our weekends will rock even further.

Will you increase the original programming hours?

We have started our originals at 6 pm, and we go all the way till 11 pm. On the weekends, we have started from 8 pm to all the way till 11.30 pm with two big-ticket properties. We have lots of original content on all seven days of the week.

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