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60% ad booked, Property Now eyes break-even in Year 1

MUMBAI: Times Now, ET Now and Property Now. That will form the news bouquet of Times Network, with the real estate and property channel launching in October to complement business news channel ET Now.

M-K-AnandProperty Now is most likely to launch after Shradh, Times Network MD and CEO MK Anand revealed. ET Now editor of real estate and personal finance Faye D’Souza will be the editor of the new channel. She will report to Times Network president news Arnab Goswami.

TelevisionPost.com had earlier reported that Times Network was planning to launch a property channel.

According to Anand, Property Now was a natural extension as the company already has the ET Now infrastructure. He also said that D’Souza is the ideal person to head the channel as she comes with a lot of understanding of the real estate sector.

With 60% ad inventory booked, channel to break-even in first year

Anand also believes that Property Now will open up a category. The real estate segment ad market is close to Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) and is dominated largely by the print category.

The channel is looking to break-even in the first year itself, having booked 50–60 per cent of the ad inventory for the year. Some of the key advertising categories on the channel are real estate, real estate portals, building constructions and interiors.

“We have already got a reasonably large number of launch partners. Almost 50–60 per cent of our annual revenue has already been booked. I hope to launch the channel with all my targets met,” he said.

Times Response team to play a role

While the channel is being helped by the Times Response team in roping in advertisers, Anand clarified that there would be no commercial linkages between Times Property, the property supplement of The Times of India, or Magic Bricks, the real estate portal owned by Times Internet.

“We don’t have commercial linkages with Magic Bricks or Times Property, but yes the whole go-to market with builders has happened in tandem with Times Response. We are doing it as a joint sales activity with Response,” he stated.

The network is also luring to buy into Property Now along with Times Now and ET Now. “We are encouraging builders to advertise on Times Now and ET Now with Property Now as a lead piece,” he stated.

Content plan

Property Now will have 2.5–3 hours of original content. It will air news bulletins and debates apart from international syndicated content.

Faye D’SouzaAccording to D’Souza, the channel will have two key time bands, afternoon for homemakers and primetime. The channel will cover a wide range of issues including industry trends and pricing trends. It will also have lifestyle shows on interiors and home decor.

“We will spend a lot of time on advice which includes tax, home loans and legal aspects. We will have panellists who will answer questions. The debates will put into perspective important developments of the day. Our focus is on the end consumer who is buying or selling,” she said.

“Our fundamental aim is to improve customer experience in buying a property. We want to bring urban development on the agenda. Through this channel, we will bring all the stakeholders together,” she added.

English and Hindi mix

The channel will be mainly in English with some sprinkling of Hindi. “It will be in a language that the corporate understands so it will have English with a mix of Hindi,” said Anand.

Distribution

The channel will be distributed across India with Male 25+ as the prime TG. It will also target females through lifestyle content.

In terms of distribution, 1 million+ towns will be a priority market. In fact, the channel is in the process of inking a few carriage deals with MSOs. “We are targeting the ET Now penetration. However, it will have a higher reach because the subject is of greater interest,” he noted.

He also stated that Property Now will have a bigger reach than existing news channels but distribution will have a phased rollout.

App

There are plans to launch Property Now app by December–January. However, the app will not compete with any of the real estate portals as they are search platforms.

Partners Amagi for split feed

The channel has also partnered Amagi Media, which provides geo-targeted advertising, to offer split beams in different cities. The rationale behind the experiment is that consumers are more interested in properties in their neighbourhood rather than a distant metropolis.

“We are going to be experimenting with splitting television beam. We have partnered Amagi for the technology which is our innovation. They have been splitting ads for geo-targeting. We asked them whether they could split content. This will allow us to air four different shows at four different locations,” Anand explained.

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