“International content is like international food”

As in the case of food, Indians like viewing intl content but they prefer Indian language programmes, says Keertan Adyanthaya of Fox International Channels

e4m by Synjini Nandi
Published: Nov 5, 2012 8:04 PM  | 4 min read
“International content is like international food”

Local productions have recently become highly significant, with broadcasters launching a slew of new shows pertaining to local home grown content in a bid to connect with the target audience.

According to Keertan Adyanthaya, MD, Fox International Channels, it is important to provide localised content in different Indian languages so as to present a better viewing experience.

In conversation with exchange4media, Adyanthaya discusses Fox Traveller’s strong focus on local productions, the launch of their HD channel and the key highlights that would define its one year journey in India.

What is Fox Traveller’s strategy in terms of providing differentiated programming and local home grown content? What is the ratio of local content to acquired content being aired on the channel? 
I have always considered journey to be more fun than the destination as it provides us with a lot of different experiences. We have conceptualised shows such as ‘What’s With Indian Men’, ‘Twist of Taste’, ‘Freaky Traveller’, etc. with an intent to provide something new to our target audience and viewers. Shows such as ‘It Happens Only in India’ deal with the quirky and weird things that are found in India. Hence, we create our programming content in a way that it would be able to present something new to our viewers time and again.

As far as local productions are concerned, it accounts for around 40 per cent of the programming content in India. We have a lot of home grown content and would be introducing the second seasons of a lot of shows. We are also coming up with a new show ‘What’s with Indian Women’, which would be similar to the lines of our show ‘What’s with Indian men’. This is going to be one of the big launches for us.

Fox Traveller recently completed one year. What, according to you, were the important milestones that will define the way forward?
There are certain key things that we did last year. We launched Indian productions and stressed on the importance of distribution since with digitisation, distribution will be a critical factor. We have also introduced localised content in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and a couple of more languages which helps in audience connect.

This year, the channel has created unique and engaging local productions such as ‘What’s With Indian Men’, ‘Twist of Taste’, ‘Life Mein Ek Baar’, etc. that embody the channel philosophy – ‘This journey is fun’. These local productions have helped strengthen Fox Traveller’s position as India’s leading travel and lifestyle channel with a growing genre market share of 44 per cent.

We recently launched high definition channel for Indian viewers which will take the viewing experience to a whole new level. For the coming year, we are looking at a couple of new productions, new ideas and focussing a lot on social media since digital and the social media have a high engagement quotient which helps in keeping audience involved and leads to a two way communication.

What are the different initiatives that you have taken up in the digital space?
We have earmarked around 25 to 30 per cent of our marketing spends for the digital media platform. We constantly update our fan pages on Facebook and engage them as an actual embodiment of a person.

Our marketing campaign consists of a combination of traditional and digital media platform. We undertake a lot of promotional activities on the television platform consisting of news channels. Apart from the on-air media platform, we focus on other media platforms such as print, outdoor, radio and OOH.

What are your views on appointment viewing and marathon telecast of shows in the English GEC space?
Different broadcasters follow different programming strategies. Fox Traveller likes to experiment and hence, we try a lot of different things since we believe that the audience gets bored if some things are repeated.

According to me, international content is like international food. Though Indian viewers like viewing international content, they prefer programming content pertaining to their local Indian languages. We always try to provide different visual experiences to our audiences from across the world, but in a way so that they do not end up feeling alienated.

What is your vision for the brand?
We are, of course, very pleased with the way the channel has grown and evolved to become the number one channel in the genre. I believe this is the time to consolidate our position in the market and the genre and we are trying to experiment in terms of content and programming. We will continue to introduce unique, clutter breaking shows from India and abroad which will showcase adventure, food and travel from a fresh and invigorating perspective.

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