&flix reduces window for movie premieres with new property

MUMBAI: ZEEL’s English movie channel &Flix has rebranded its ‘Flix First’ property as ‘World Television Premieres’. The window for the movies that will premiere as part of this initiative has been reduced to four to five months after the theatrical release from nine months to a year earlier.

ZEEL business head English cluster Kartik Mahadev said that the channel has so far offered the most number of premieres in the category. “What we are now looking to do is bring in ‘World Television Premieres’. It will be delightful news for our subscribers as the wait for a new movie to come has been reduced by half. The movie is seen on Indian television before it is seen anywhere else on television. It addresses a very clear consumer need. The challenge has been that the window from a theatrical release to television has been nine months to a year. By then the buzz around a film has been diluted. Now with this offer, we are looking to disrupt the category.”

The aim is to have at least one film a month through this initiative. It starts on 20 October 2019 with ‘Men In Black: International’ which was in theatres just four months back. Other movies that are lined up include ‘Brightburn’ and ‘Spiderman: Far From Home’.

“A whole host of other movies have been lined up. Movies that earlier would have been an Indian television premiere will now have a ‘World Television Premiere’. We have reduced the premiere gap by half through this initiative.”

Talking about the new tariff order (NTO) impact, he noted that the NTO brought in a period of disruption and the opportunity in front of him is to scale up the subscriber base. “Over the past four to six months what we have seen is that our HD subscriber base has grown. That is a very positive result for us. We are looking to build on that. Initiatives like the ‘World Television Premiere’ will really help us.”

He said that the NTO is now also about the purchase and not just about consumption. “We are looking to drive new behaviour. Reach has definitely fallen and therefore initiatives have to be taken to get the reach back. There are a lot of people who we can reach and get them subscribed through our offering. Now through marketing, we not only look at consumers but also at our distribution partners to ensure that actions taken by us are shared with them so that they, in turn, can also engage with consumers.”

The goal for the channel and ZEEL’s English cluster is to grow subscription revenue under the NTO at a time when ad revenue for the category has come under pressure.

ZEEL Cluster Head, West, North & Premium Channels Amit Shah said, “The NTO has been a mammoth change for the industry and it came with its own set of challenges. However, over time, it is settling down. Keeping that in mind, we have done extensive consumer research at the ground level to understand what our viewer wants and what the barriers are. One of our findings that stood out was that our audience wanted to be able to consume recent movies within a shorter time span. This led to the launch of ‘Flix First World Television Premieres’. With this launch, it is our endeavor to be able to give the viewer what he desires. We also expect that it will help us to reach out to a larger target audience, thereby driving subscription. Post the NTO regime, our subscription numbers month on month have seen a growth as more people are embracing the new MRP regime and are opening to the new content offerings from our channels. We are constantly working towards understanding the consumer and bringing as many more such content disruptions as we can.”

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