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Fox Life completes one year, broadens content offerings
MUMBAI: It has been a year since Fox International Channels (FIC) India rebranded Fox Traveller as Fox Life. Going forward, the channel will broaden the scope of offerings.
“We wanted to build a lifestyle destination with both Indian and international content. Fox Life today has content from all pillars of lifestyle, be it travel, food, fashion, party, reality, music, you name it and we have it.”
The goal was to build a channel that is a great fit with fans and audience. “They’ve loved our journey from Traveller to Life. Our goal of having a channel that covers lifestyle both in India and globally has been achieved through our India-made shows like ‘Style and the City’, ‘Soundtrek’, ‘Twist of Taste’, ‘Life Mein Ek Baar’, as well as our array of international shows like ‘Getaway’, ‘Street Food around the World’ and ‘Latin Angels’.”
There are challenges that Fox Life and other players in the lifestyle category face. “The lifestyle category is considered not as big as the GEC category and when it comes to us, we’re the leader in this genre. Like any other leader, we aim to grow the genre and get more and more into our fold,” said Mohan.
In terms of big upcoming properties, Mohan points out that the channel will introduce a new genre of home décor with a new show called ‘Cousins Undercover’.
In addition, there is a brand-new franchise that celebrates ‘No idea too small, no dream too big’! “The biggest names in Indian entrepreneurship will live out their dreams on ‘Be Your Own Boss’. The show brings together some of India’s talented entrepreneurs like the Bollywood choreographer Terence Lewis, The Weirdass Comedy Company owner Vir Das, pragmatist restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, and many more,” said Mohan.
The channel will also have all-new seasons of ‘Twist of Taste’ and ‘Soundtrek’. In addition, Fox Life will continue to showcase all lifestyle genres and add a new one this year.
Shedding light on the programming and scheduling strategy, she said that the channel is aware of audiences’ preferences and likes. “And that’s what we work with and will continue to do. Adapting timely, being relevant and staying current are things we’re following for Fox Life. Additionally, we have broadened into lifestyle and we’ll continuously strive to offer a wider range of lifestyle genres.”
The channel constantly bolsters its content library by making content acquisitions. Shows that have been bought recently include ‘Far Flung with Gary Mehigan’, ‘Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca’, and the earlier-mentioned ‘Cousins Undercover’.
As with other lifestyle channels, travel has been a big part of the channel. “Shows like ‘Getaway’ work very well when it comes to showcasing the world to audiences. It’s a show that is acquired and not locally produced. We are proud of our India productions like ‘Style & the City’ and ‘Soundtrek’ that showcase a different side of Indian destinations in a cool, cross-cultural, very Fox Life way!”
The channel strives to understand viewers better and how they react to the channel. “We did one when Fox Traveller changed to Fox Life and have been doing many after. The fans loved the change, they love the new channel graphic and packaging, and most of all, they loved our hosts and the shows. As always, there are some areas of improvement and we’re working on them,” said Mohan.
To celebrate completing one year, Fox Life launched a digital campaign on social media platforms and roped in digital influencers and bloggers to talk about the first birthday. “We tied up with Scoopwhoop and other native websites to create buzz about the birthday too. A unique idea that was bought alive on our FB page and Twitter was one where fans with their birthdays on our birthday week were given Fox Life birthday goodies. We are also celebrating our anniversary by putting our fans on TV through a contest,” stated Mohan.
One big issue for the genre is whether or not BARC is making a difference in terms of giving specialty channels a fair representation. “Whenever an eco-system changes, there are its ups and downs. We are working with it and will strive to get better and better at the ratings and growing the genre.”
The channel is looking at growing its presence in the digital realm. “We have a YouTube channel already, but there are developments in the pipeline we can talk about soon.”
The ad scene
Mohan noted that the ad scene is definitely better this year compared to 2014. “This is largely due to the positive sentiments in the market with the new government, new categories like e-commerce firing the marketplace and the existing FMCG, auto and telecom further increasing their spend. The entry of foreign retail players, penetration of mobile phones, awaited IPOs and a number of auto launches are expected to boost the ad market further,” she said.
In terms of Fox Life’s sales strategy, she noted that the channel does both run of day-part (RODP) and sponsored slots. “We follow a combination of both. While a strong focus on the show-based sponsorships has helped us to service the client better in terms of solutions, relevance, etc., RODP helps in greater exposure and brand presence. Therefore, clients prefer a mixture of show-based and RODP slots depending on their campaigns.”
The advertising clients have gone beyond tourism boards. “Apart from tourism boards, categories that have gained traction are hotels, BFSI, liquor and tobacco,” Mohan summed up.