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Media brands report card Pitch Media BrandOmeter topline out; Star Plus pips Colors, Special Interest emerges favourite

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Media brands report card Pitch Media BrandOmeter topline out; Star Plus pips Colors, Special Interest emerges favourite

The hues of Colors seem to be fading and Star Plus has emerged this year as the favourite of media planners and buyers in the Hindi GEC space, according to the second edition of the annual Pitch Media BrandOmeter study. Star Plus managed to get an absolute score of 680, as against Colors’ 661, which is in the second position. While Star Plus has managed to up its score by one point, Colors, the leader last year, went down from 699. As POGO garners an absolute score of 722, Special Interest channels seem to be performing better than any other genres. The Top 5 channels in the Special Interest genre have a score higher than the leaders in the other genres.

The Study
Pitch Media BrandOmeter is an exercise to gauge the media planners’/ buyers’ perception of the media brands on six different parameters: Media Delivery (has numbers and offers good deal/ rates, value adds), Professionalism (ethical, transparent, sticks to commitment), Innovation (innovative and offers customised solutions ensuring maximum visibility for the brand), Servicing Ability (quick response time and accessible), Sales Team’s Knowledge (about media environment and advertiser/ brand need) and Relationship (mutual trust, comfort level).

The sample size consisted of 303 media planners/ buyers, up from 135 last year, across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, in the months of May, June and July, this year. Also, Bangalore too is the latest addition.

The Parameters
The surveyors were asked to rate the six parameters as Critical, Important, Not So Important, and Irrelevant. Amongst all the parameters, Media Delivery gets the highest points as 54 per cent of the sample size finds it to be critical, as against 60 per cent last year. Next on priority is Professionalism, which is found to be critical by 48 per cent of the respondents, as against 43 per cent last year. Servicing Ability, too, is critical for 38 per cent of the respondents. The parameter was critical only for 26 per cent respondents last year. Meanwhile, Innovation is important for 68 per cent respondents, but is critical only for 23 per cent. Sales Team’s Knowledge, too, is in demand, with 21 per cent respondents rating it as critical. Last year, only 14 per cent found it critical. Relationship has taken a beating, with only 8 per cent finding it critical as against 13 per cent last year. The reasons for Media Delivery and Relationship taking a beating could be assigned to the economy coming out of the slowdown, as people last year were only looking for numbers and making deals on Relationship. However, with the economy back in action, media planners and buyers are looking for more than delivery.

The study has been conducted by Annik Systems on behalf of Pitch, the leading monthly on marketing from the exchange4media Group.

The TV Channel Report Card
Today, we look at how television channels have fared. Watch out for this space, tomorrow and day after for the rankings of newspaper brands and radio brands, respectively.

Coming back to the survey, Zee TV and Sony Entertainment Television (SET), with an absolute score of 636 each, are tied for the No. 3 spot, ahead of Imagine TV, which is at the No. 5 position with an absolute score of 622. To Imagine’s credit, it has been able to take up its score from a mere 494 last year.

While, both Star Plus and Colors have lost on Media Delivery, it is the Servicing Ability of the former that is being liked by the media planners and buyers. However, Colors still beats Star Plus on Media Delivery. (For absolute scores on this and other parameters, do read the upcoming issue of Pitch.)

The News Space
Riding high on Media Delivery, Professionalism and Servicing Ability in the Hindi News space, the leader is Aaj Tak, which has leaped up from the No. 4 position last year to be the leader this year, interchanging positions with NDTV India. However, media planners and buyers feel that as far as offering Innovations to advertisers is concerned, Aaj Tak is not so forthcoming. Aaj Tak managed to garner an absolute score of 691, as against 629 last year. At the No. 2 spot, losing one point though to its absolute score of 676 last year, is Zee News. It has managed to retain its position.

Star News, too, has managed to up its position from No. 6 to No. 3. The biggest losers along with NDTV India are IBN7 and India TV, which are at No. 5 and No, 6 spots, down from No. 3 and No. 5, respectively. NDTV India, while has fallen flat on Media Delivery, is still a front-runner on the Innovation parameter. Interestingly, the absolute score of NDTV India on the parameter (Innovation) is still bad, compared to last year.

Meanwhile, there are no surprises in the English News space, where CNBC-TV18 continues to be the leader with an absolute score of 682, down from 716 last year. CNBC-TV18 has lost on Media Delivery and Relationship. The other channels that have held on to their spots are CNN-IBN, Times Now and NDTV 24X7 at the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 positions, respectively. In spite of upping its absolute score from 575 to 651, NDTV 24X7 couldn’t beat Times Now, which has a score of 655 (a gain of one point).The other additions to the survey this year are Bloomberg UTV and Headlines Today, which are at No. 5 and No. 6 positions, respectively.

The Movie Space
In the Hindi Movie space, Max remains the leader with an absolute score of 670. Max is a leader across all parameters, barring Innovation. It has lost points in Relationship too. With an absolute score of 634, the No. 2 position overall is being held by UTV Movies and Star Gold, still not being able to beat Max’s score of 639 last year. UTV Movies has moved up two positions though. While all have gained in their absolute scores in the genre, Zee Cinema is the only one that has lost one point, down from 619 last year. It has also gone down to the No. 4 position from No. 2 last year.

Special Interest Genre Muscles through
In the Special Interest genre, POGO emerges as a leader with an absolute score of 722, followed by Neo Cricket (710) and Cartoon Network (701). Neo Cricket has taken a leap up from the sixth spot last year. POGO, Cartoon Network, Nick (No. 7 spot), Star Sports (No. 12 spot) and Hungama TV (No. 13 spot) are the new additions to the survey. National Geographic Channel (NGC) in spite of adding 11 points to its last year’s absolute score of 668, has slipped to the fourth position from the No. 2 spot. Discovery (690 this year), gained 89 points, but could only push itself up by two positions from the No. 8 spot last year. ESPN lost one position, down to No. 5 spot. PIX, too, slipped three positions down from No. 5 last year. HBO is down from the third position to No. 9, even though it added one point to its last year’s score of 656. Star Movies is at No. 10, down from the No. 7 spot. While, the channels must have lost positions, they have otherwise gained on their absolute score. The biggest loser in the genre, however, is Ten Sports, which not only has slipped from the No. 1 spot last year to No. 11, but has lost on its absolute score – down from 678 to 646. It has lost points across parameters, except Servicing Ability, where it seems to be a marginal gainer in its absolute score. However, it has fallen down on the ranks table in this parameter too.

The genre is interesting from the point that some of the channels here, like POGO, have managed to get an absolute score much higher than any other channel across genres; and more than Star Plus (680), Aaj Tak (691), CNBC-TV 18 (682), and MAX (670) – the leaders in their genres. The Top 5 channels of this genre are all ahead of even Aaj Tak, which got the maximum amongst the leaders of the other genres.

The Bangalore Angle
As the survey went to Bangalore this year, the effect seems to be clearly showing in the outcome of the survey, where Udaya TV has emerged as the leader, a gain of 173 points over 490 last year; and a move of 10 positions up. Zee Telugu, a new addition to the survey, is at the No. 2 spot. The other additions being Zee Kannada (No. 8 spot), Sun TV (No. 10), Surya TV (No. 13) and Star Jalsha (No. 14). Asianet is at No. 3 position, a gain of two positions. At No. 4 is Zee Bangla, two positions down; at No. 5 is ETV Bangla, a gain of three positions. Last year’s leader, Zee Marathi, is down to the No. 6 position even though it has gained on its absolute score. Next is ETV Marathi, holding on to its seventh position. ETV Kannada is down to No. 9 from No. 3 last year. Gemini TV is seven positions down to No. 11. Maa Telugu goes down two ranks to No. 12. Eenadu TV and Kalaignar TV are at No. 15 and No. 16 respectively, down from No. 9 and No. 6, respectively.

(How each of these brands fared on different parameters, and who are the leaders and laggards on these six parameters – read the upcoming December issue of Pitch.)

“Media decision makers, both at media services agencies and on the client sides, are the all important link in the Rs 25,000 crore ad industry, and while media delivery is an important parameter on how the planners place the advertisers’ money, there are many other important factors, too, which influence the media buying decisions. Hence, the Pitch BrandOmeter has evolved as a currency for media brands to assess their performance,” said Amit Agnihotri, Editor, Pitch and Co-founder, exchange4media Group.

Round Table Discussions
Before releasing the survey, two Round Table Conferences were held in Delhi and Mumbai, where media planners/ buyers across agencies and advertisers were the special audience for a preview of the survey.

Amit Tiwari, General Manager & Country Head, Media, Philips Electronics India, said, “The study is very robust and it is very important for the media owners to customise their knowledge with the information available to offer better options for us.”

Vidyadhar Kale, Head of Vodafone, Maxus India, added here, “It’s a great insight any channel can have. While there are rigorous quantitative ways like TAM to measure delivery, the Pitch Media BrandOmeter is a great qualitative study.”

Others who had attended the Round Table Conferences included (in alphabetical order): Abhishek Jain, Vice President, Lintas Media Group; Anindya Ray, General Manager, Lodestar UM; Bhavna Jha, Associate VP, TME (Delhi); Himanka Das, COO, Karishma Initiative; Manoj Malkani, Vice President, MPG; Mohit Joshi, Executive Director, North, MPG; Saurabh Tyagi, Executive Director, Starcom Worldwide; Shailesh Velandy, Vice President, Mudra Max; Sumeet Pahwa, DGM - Media, Tata DoCoMo; and Suresh Shah, Vice President - Investment, Allied Media.

Based on suggestions to include more markets in the survey, Agnihotri of Pitch, promised to make the survey more robust and increase the sample size. “We are looking at a possibility of adding Chennai and Kolkata in the survey in the future,” he informed.


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