“English GEC genre has grown 45 pc in shares”

Post digitisation, a lot of genres have seen a change in shares, says Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, Big CBS Channels

e4m by Synjini Nandi
Published: Jan 4, 2013 6:58 PM  | 6 min read
“English GEC genre has grown 45 pc in shares”

With the advent of digitisation and the changing media landscape, there has been a sea change in the television space. With the growth of niche genres and increase in the number of options, fragmentation of the audience seems inevitable. Hence, a new age media planning is required for better consumer connect.

According to Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, Big CBS Channels, digitisation has led to an increase in the time spent on viewing some genres, wherein new people are spending time in viewing channels that they haven’t seen before and which have interesting content.

In conversation with exchange4media, Chakravarthy talks about the significant changes in the shares of different genres and channels, the new age media planning campaign and the advantages of CPT over the niche print post digitisation.

Post digitisation, what are the key highlights that would define the changes in the different genres and channels in 2013?
The number of 100 plus GRP channels has seen a drop, while there has been a reduction in channels originally delivering zero TVRs. Some genres have grown significantly and others have declined. The English GEC genre has grown by 45 per cent in terms of shares. Infotainment, on the other hand, has de-grown by 23 per cent. If you take English music as a genre, it has also de-grown by 17 per cent or 18 per cent. A lot of genres have seen a change in shares. This proves that a lot of audiences are not watching different genres since there has been an increase in the number of options. The time spent on viewing some genres have increased, such as the Big CBS network, which has observed a 25 per cent growth in time spent. So, new people are spending time in viewing channels that they haven’t seen before and which have interesting content. What is happening today is that on an average, the number of channels that people are watching in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata have increased, leading to more fragmentation as well.

It has been predicted that post DAS, clear segmentation of the audience might be observed in the television space. What, according to you, could be done to reach out to the right target audiences?
From the media planner’s point of view, who has to prepare a plan for the client to reach out to more audiences in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, he would have a certain chosen set of channels a month ago. But since the audience views of the market have changed, he has to relook at the number of channels that would be used. So, today one needs more number of channels to reach out to the same number of audiences, because people are watching more channels. Hence, fragmentation would lead to the change in plans in accordance to the kind of genres, since some genres have grown while many have declined. Brands would want to advertise with the respective genres that are observing growth. In Phase II of digitisation, the implications will be much more and that would lead to an overall change in the media plan, which is one of the significant implications of digitisation.

Could you elaborate on the new age media planning campaign that Big CBS plans to undertake in accordance with the changing media landscape post digitisation?
Three of the biggest metros in India, which account for a very large share of the television viewership, have got completely digitised. Now digitisation for the consumers not only implies the entry of set top boxes in the house, but a sea change in the quality and the number of channels that a consumer gets and also the way that the consumer gets the channels in their homes. Also, with digitisation, your channel is placed next to other channels in the genre.

The objective of the campaign is to demonstrate that life has changed permanently now. You need to recognise that what has been spoken months back doesn’t hold true any longer. The focus of the campaign is to demonstrate the big changes that have happened; the thought being change is good. We want to highlight the situation of the market since no one actually has an idea of what is happening. With the advent of the digital set top box, patterns are changed of how people are consuming the television medium and that is what we are set out to capture and communicate through our campaign.

Could you highlight the different media platforms that the network plans to focus on as part of the media planning campaign?
Digital media has become the key component because it reaches most of our consumers. Whenever we plan campaigns for our channels or undertake campaigns targeting advertisers, digital is a strong platform that we always focus on. 40 per cent of the marketing spends is allocated on the online and mobile TV platforms, since in India the consumption of mobile TV and mobile video consumption is very high. If you want to talk to the younger people, it is a very important platform. Apart from the digital platform, specific cinema in specific geographies or cities, coffee shops, cross promotions with cosmopolitan, Elle, etc., are some of the media platforms that we also focus on as part of the media plan. We believe in picking up relevant media platforms which offer relevant touch points. For radio, of course, we have Big FM and also others which have English music. In terms of percentage share, radio comprises 10-15 per cent, cinema and strategic outdoor another 15 per cent and around 20 per cent on print, which comprises editorial and advertising.

What would be the advantages of CPT (cost per thousand) over niche print given the increased reach of the genre?
At the end of the day, an advertiser pays to communicate with the audience. Now if one observes, the circulation of niche magazines is very limited. What you see in channels is that the reach is significantly higher and this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the next phase of digitisation, the growth will be much faster. In case of English entertainment channels, if you don’t understand the content, you won’t watch it. Hence, the content pertains to an audience set which a niche category advertiser would be looking for. That is how the channels will deliver the right audience set that these advertisers are looking for and also deliver larger number of audiences than print. Therefore, effectively cost per thousand is much more efficient on television. The money that one would be spending might be the same, but the reach would be three times that of magazines. Hence, a lot of advertisers who only advertised in these niche magazines would recognise the advantages of television in this scenario.

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