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Zoom’s entertainment quotient to go up

MUMBAI: Times Network’s Bollywood entertainment channel Zoom is planning to ramp up its entertainment programming to reduce dependence on music content, which presently forms the lifeblood of the channel.

Zoom logoThe current programming mix of Zoom comprises 70 per cent music and 30 per cent entertainment content that includes news and gossip from Bollywood. The intent is to take entertainment content above 50 per cent in the next financial year.

“We intend to bring music content down and get news and entertainment content up. We will take entertainment content to at least 40 per cent by this financial year, and then the next year we will try to make this 50 per cent,” Zoom VP and product head Sunder Venkatraman told TelevisionPost.com.

The channel will also extend some of its properties into long-format shows to increase time spent on the channel. Venkatraman said that the short formats have contributed to increasing time spent on the channel and that there is a lot of demand for long formats. The channel had launched a number of short-format shows during its revamp in June.

Venkatraman noted that the youth entertainment genre does not have appointment viewing. The channel counts females in the 15–30 age group as its core audience. Although there is no set primetime for the channel, it has identified 7–9 pm as its primetime, because that is when its core TG takes charge of the remote.

Sunder VenkatramanAside from TV, the channel also plans to bolster its presence with a Zoom mobile app in 2016. “The app is in the making. We plan to launch it next year. The content on the app will be different from that on the TV channel,” he stated.

Zoom is also exploring expansion into rural markets, which are now being measured by BARC. “BARC is measuring a bit of urban and rural so we need to have a footprint in both the places,” he added.

The key markets for the channel are the six metros, plus Maharashtra, UP and Bihar. Apart from these, the channel is looking at new cities like Chandigarh and even Bengaluru. It will also look at expanding to the North East since some areas in that region are also being measured by BARC.

The ultimate objective is to make the channel fully available in HSM 1 million+ areas, Venkatraman asserted.

Talking about the revamp of the channel, he said that the intent was to bring in efficiency, increase revenues and improve perception. “The channel’s GRPs are on the rise, reach is getting stabilised, and time spent is also increasing. In fact, time spent is better than the competitive genre,” he averred.

The channel’s pitch to advertisers is that “you are buying into a category and not just a channel”, he said.

“In terms of revenues, there is great traction in the market. Our ad sales guys are able to steer the brand, saying that this is a category and not just a product. Other channels are seen as a music channel or youth channel,” he said.

He, however, did not disclose the percentage growth in ad revenue following the revamp, contending that the ad deals are centralised.

Venkatraman also stated that the perception of the channel has grown due to its brand campaign with Kangana Ranaut. Zoom, he said, is perceived as a one-stop destination for Bollywood.