A New En­ter­tainer

Prathyusha Agar­wal, CMO, ZEEL, along with Ruchir Ti­wari, busi­ness head, Zee Hindi movie clus­ter, speak about the launch of new Hindi movie chan­nel - Zee Bol­ly­wood.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­raj Ram­nath su­raj.ram­nath@afaqs.com

The tar­get au­di­ence for the chan­nel is 25+, male and fe­male, SEC A, B and C.

“I watch Net­flix and Ama­zon Prime, but I can’t find the masala Bol­ly­wood li­brary. Noth­ing beats the kind of 3,500 plus li­brary of movies that we have.” PRATHYUSHA AGAR­WAL

In the ad mar­ket for the Hindi movie genre, pegged any­where be­tween `2500-3000 crore, Zee En­ter­tain­ment En­ter­prises has launched a new chan­nel, — Zee Bol­ly­wood — which re­placed Zee Clas­sic from Au­gust 31.

ZEEL leads the view­er­ship share in the Hindi movies clus­ter with 35.8 per cent, fol­lowed by Sony Max with 28.4 per cent, the Star Hindi movie clus­ter with 24 per cent and UTV’s movies clus­ter with 11.8 per cent.

While the net­work is al­ready pro­mot­ing the launch of its new chan­nel through TVCs con­cep­tu­alised by Lowe Lin­tas, it will also be do­ing out­door ads in more than 10 cities along with dig­i­tal, print and ra­dio cam­paigns as well. The tagline of the chan­nel is ‘101 per cent Shuddh Bol­ly­wood’.

Ruchir Ti­wari, busi­ness head, Zee Hindi movie clus­ter, speaks to afaqs! Re­porter and out­lines how Zee Clas­sic al­ready has a pres­ence with a 6 per cent share in the Hindi movie genre. We asked him why the brand de­cided to shut the chan­nel and re­place it, he re­sponds, “Zee Clas­sic isn’t shut. What hap­pened was the min­istry per­mis­sion for a new chan­nel is a very slow process. We got this de­mand for Bol­ly­wood from con­sumers. There is this huge uni­verse, from 45-50 per cent, who says that Bol­ly­wood movies are now be­ing fea­tured less on TV and they want more. ‘Where have they gone? We miss them. Why are they not on Sun­day and why at 11 am?’ Those are the larger mar­kets we wish to ap­peal to. So, be­cause get­ting per­mis­sion is not an easy task, we had to use Zee Clas­sic’s li­cense to launch Zee Bol­ly­wood.”

Ti­wari tells afaqs! Re­porter that the fans of clas­sic movies like ‘Pa­dosan’ and ‘Ram Aur Shyam’, which would of­ten ap­pear on Zee Clas­sic, can still find those movies on Zee An­mol, Zee Cin­ema HD and even ZEE5. But with that as well, all is not lost for Zee Clas­sic fans. “We are go­ing to ap­ply for Zee Clas­sic’s li­cence very soon. It will be a re­vamped/ re­freshed of­fer­ing which will make it pre­mium and niche. It won’t be ad-sup­ported. It will also have an on-de­mand ver­sion and talks are on with DTH op­er­a­tors; you will hear about Zee Clas­sic very soon from us”, he adds.

View­ers can watch movies all day un­der time bands that speak the Bol­ly­wood lingo such as — Mere Sat-Sun Aayenge (Sat and Sun 9pm), Sub­hah Ho Gayi Mamu (Mon-Fri 10:30am), Dope­har Ka Tadka (MonFri 2pm), Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12 (Mon-Fri 9pm), Raat Baaki (MonFri 12am) and Maa Kasam Sun­day Hai (Sun 10:30am, 2pm, 5pm).

Zee Bol­ly­wood has cu­rated a ros­ter of 600 Bol­ly­wood movies which has a mix of ro­mance, drama, com­edy, ac­tion and much more. Un­der ro­mance, the chan­nel would air movies like ‘Chen­nai Ex­press’ and ‘Jab We Met’. Un­der the com­edy ban­ner movies like ‘Phir Hera Pheri’, ‘House­full’ and ‘Wel­come’ would be fea­tured. Un­der ac­tion, the chan­nel would show ‘Josh’, ‘Agneepath’ and ‘Gadar’ while drama would in­clude ‘La­gaan’, ‘Ju­daai’ and ‘Raja Hin­dus­tani’.

While the Zee Bol­ly­wood li­brary does in­clude movies such as ‘La­gaan’, which aired last week on Zee Cin­ema, we asked Ti­wari how dif­fer­ent the con­tent would be. He replies, “To­day, the top three chan­nels have pro­gram­ming close to 50-60 per cent on a weekly ba­sis of South In­dian dubbed movies be­cause there is a large view­er­ship and there are some mar­kets in the cat­e­gory, like the West, which sees strong de­mand for those films. A bit of cen­tral In­dia and the North, pre­fer Bol­ly­wood films. So, what is hap­pen­ing is that you will see ‘La­gaan’ show­cased less fre­quently there, but it might play on a Sun­day af­ter­noon be­cause there is no room. But Zee Bol­ly­wood has a sharper of­fer­ing. On­wards, there will be an over­lap and some movies you would find here and there. But what will hap­pen is that when the au­di­ence chooses a des­ti­na­tion, like­minded peo­ple will come to Zee Bol­ly­wood and au­to­mat­i­cally, the li­brary will set­tle there.”

While Ama­zon Prime Video and Net­flix have been ac­quir­ing new Bol­ly­wood movies to pre­miere on their plat­forms, Prathyusha Agar­wal, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, Zee En­ter­tain­ment En­ter­prises, doesn’t see them as com­pe­ti­tion for Zee Bol­ly­wood. “I watch Net­flix and Ama­zon Prime, but I can’t find the masala Bol­ly­wood li­brary. Noth­ing beats the kind of 3,500 plus li­brary of movies that we have. What they are do­ing is ag­gres­sively buy­ing new con­tent. But the ques­tion is — will you get the whole ex­pe­ri­ence of Bol­ly­wood? There is al­ways a need for what we call ‘seek­ing en­ter­tain­ment’ and ‘ef­fort­less en­ter­tain­ment’ and the days have moved to the lat­ter,” says Agar­wal.

When dis­cussing why there is no need for dubbed South In­dian movies on Zee Bol­ly­wood, Agar­wal adds, “If you think that from a con­sumer’s per­spec­tive, a viewer needs a masala pump and he wants to see that larger than life ac­tion and if that ex­ists in a Bol­ly­wood Hindi film and nobody is giv­ing that, then ob­vi­ously a viewer he/she would watch a dubbed ver­sion which is ac­tu­ally why we are com­ing up with this chan­nel say­ing that there is a masala Bol­ly­wood film that ex­ists and it is larger than life, has drama and has ‘panga’.”

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