18 Nov 2017
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Living Foodz to up its game in 2017

MUMBAI: Lifestyle broadcaster Living Foodz has planned to focus on content innovation, a high-definition (HD) feed and having multiple touch points this year.

Amit NairThe key focus area for this year is to build on certain time bands, especially late evening, and to extend the hours of programming, said the channel’s business head Amit Nair.

“Our goals for 2017 include sustaining our leadership position as far as viewership is concerned, raising the bar in the content and expediting revenue growth. We are very well distributed and present in all major DTH and cable operators in India. Internationally, we are on track with our plans of expanding the channel’s footprint,” Nair stated.

Upcoming properties

For Nair innovative concepts are of paramount importance. This includes shows like ‘Taste Match’ which combines the country’s two passions – food and cricket. Soon to follow is ‘Femme Foodies’, the first ever food truck reality show in Asia.

Giving the example of ‘Taste Match’, which started on 8 April 2016, Nair said, “This is a brilliant combination of food and cricket! The show is an amalgamation of two elements that India is passionate about! We are presenting the show in a new and path-breaking style. This show will be followed by another mega show, ‘Femme Foodies’.”

Taste Match

The channel also plans to focus on expanding the scope of existing shows when they return for new seasons. This will be followed by a couple of second seasons of popular shows that have been loved by viewers. “We plan to bring the anchors and the stories in a new and refreshing avatar,” he said.

Focus to continue on metro audiences

While rural viewership has grown under the new measurement system, the focus of Living Foodz will continue to rest on the metro audiences. “Currently, our focus is on the affluent viewer in urban metros and cities as they are the ones who watch and relate to the kind of programming that we offer,” he explained.

Meeting viewers’ expectations

In terms of what viewers expect, the channel is creating the universe as it goes along. “We have pioneered many interesting formats, shows, launched new anchors and made a huge impact on viewers who look at food as lifestyle. The appeal lies in the innovative ideas that we bring to the genre,” Nair said.

Another area in this regard is the role of anchors who are extremely important in the lifestyle genre. Pointing out to Ranveer Brar as an example, Nair said, “We are very selective about the anchors that we work with and prefer a long-term association with them. Chef Ranveer Brar is someone who has been extremely successful and is a household name because of his discipline and tremendous hard work. He has trusted us and we have provided all the platforms possible to make the star in him shine brighter.”

On-ground events

On-ground events play an important role for Nair in terms of building multiple touchpoints with various stakeholders. Living Foodz recently held the ‘Epicurean Guild Awards’, where restaurants in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru were felicitated. Winners included Konkan Café, Indian Accent, Dum Pukht and Bombay Canteen.

“We have a long-term strategy for the properties that we curate. Our properties such as ‘Living Foodz Powerlist Awards’, ‘Food Fiesta’ and now the ‘Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards’ help enhance our brand. It helps us build consumers and trade touchpoints and also opportunities for revenue generation,” he said.

OTT & HD

The channel is available as a linear channel on dittoTV and is currently focused on improving the website to provide a seamless on-air and online experience.

According to Nair, OTT would complement TV viewing. “With data costs going down every year, we can expect more people to latch on to the OTT platform, but I see this as an increase over and above the TV viewing that he/she already does. This does not affect television viewership. OTT therefore in my opinion will complement traditional TV, with people watching more quality content in the hours where they weren’t,” he observed.

In terms of plans to launch an HD feed, the channel has already received a licence for the same and will launch soon.

The future

Nair is optimistic that lifestyle will give the factual genre more competition going forward. “At a broader level, I expect all players in the space to invest more in original content, which is something we always have believed in. Newer ideas, formats and combinations will come forth,” he stated.

According to Nair, lifestyle will give tough competition to the factual entertainment genre. “However, the big challenge is to grow the overall viewership pie, to bring more viewers in the fold and keep them engaged,” he added.