"Media convergence has helped content integration for youth"

Rajesh Khanna, GM - Operations, Channel UFX talks about the void in the youth market in South India and the channel’s efforts in catering to this rapidly evolving TG

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 30, 2013 8:19 AM
"Media convergence has helped content integration for youth"

As per TAM data, from the all-India viewership of Channel V, UTV Bindass and MTV, only 3 per cent, 3 per cent and 10 per cent respectively come from the South market (Source: TAM | CS 15-24 yrs | All India, South | Week 36 to 37 ’13).

To cater to this void in the youth market, southern channels are aggressively positioning and re-orienting themselves. Channel UFX is one such example. UFX is a multi-lingual lifestyle channel from South India. Launched in May 2010, the channel caters to the youth market primarily, whose need of entertainment has evolved rapidly over the past decade.  

Marketers have been vocal about the need that national youth channels do not cater well to the local southern youth as most of these channels are in Hindi. Youth in the South have a certain polarisation towards content that has a local flavour or local linguistics.

The five fingers in the channel's logo represent the five languages (English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada) that the channel delivers content in, English being the primary language. The channel thus covers and offers content, which primarily caters to the Southern market.

Speaking exclusively with exchange4meda, Rajesh Khanna, GM – Operations, Channel UFX mentioned, “We are present on all digital and analogue platforms. Media convergence has helped content integration for youth. About one-fourth of their time is spent consuming content. Due to content integration, this consumption has become rather screen-agnostic. While mobile devices are catching on like wildfire, TV is still alive and kicking. It continues to remain the most dominant medium of all, even amongst the youth. Once the youth is hooked onto content, the engagement with the brand continues across platforms and the content team needs to make sure this content is available in the form and duration most suited for the platform. We cater to such evolved youth in the Southern market.”

In terms of programming, the channel has introduced some new shows in 2013. A gadget show called ‘Tech In’ with an exclusive gaming segment, a show called ‘On Ground’ which profiles different colleges, and a show named ‘The Boss’ that features successful businessmen, entrepreneurs and professionals discussing their vision, obstacles faced, future plans, etc. are some of the flagship shows of the channel.

Tamil Nadu is a sensitive state and the digitisaton process is still not up to the mark here. Strong political factors have also opposed blackout of TV in case digitisaton deadlines are not met. A senior official from the channel mentioned, “Chennai has been affected due to political factors. But it is more of a bigger issue and as a network, we cannot change the situation.”

But even in this scenario, the channel is very aggressive on its distribution. UFX is available on four out of the six key DAS operators in Chennai. It is also available on Arasu Cable outside Chennai and KCCL, DEN Network and All Digital in Karnataka. The channel is currently available in Vishakhapatnam and will soon be distributed across Andhra Pradesh.

UFX, with time, is aiming at redefining the youth market and delivering better RoI to advertisers.

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