Friday, June 03, 2005

Zee And the Telugus' Appetite for Entertainment

Compiled from Financial Express and Screen India:
Zee enters Rs 320 crore telugu advertising market
HYDERABAD, MAY 31: If you thought the real battle for eyeballs is fought in Mumbai and Delhi, consider this. Andhra Pradesh is the single biggest market in the country with 10 million cable and satellite (C&S) connections. Put differently, 88% of the state is connected to C&S. Moreover, Telugu accounts for 14% of all Indian viewership. That’s not all. The market size in revenue terms is an eye-popping Rs 400 crore per annum. Of this, about Rs 320 crore is from ad revenue and Rs 70 crore from subscriptions. “And this is growing at 15-17% per annum. If addressability issues are sorted out, this could touch Rs 800 crore,” points out R Ajay Kumar, Business Head, Zee South Channels, Telefilms. No wonder then that there are already 11 channels clamouring for viewer attention. And the ad pie also is too alluring to ignore. That’s precisely the reason for Zee to launch Zee Telugu (it was launched a few weeks ago) by none other than Telugu film icon Chiranjeevi.

“There is a demand we see and are trying to catering to it. Moreover, it is a tremendous pride to be in this market,” says Mr Kumar. With nearly a dozen channels, how does one stand out? The key is content differentiation. While the Telugus’ appetite for entertainment is well known, its quite a challenge for any channel to get the content mix right. While most other channels are dishing out routine song and dance fare how does Zee Telugu intend to attract viewers and retain them? “Other channels can be broadly classified into news and general entertainment channels with no specific positioning. Zee Telugu clearly segments itself in the crowd, he says. It is very clearly a very youngist, trendy and modern and for the upwardly mobile. It’s a channel for classes than masses,” explains Mr Kumar. “In short, an aspirational channel,” he adds. His logic: A third of the Telugus are under 30 and they are as good or as bad everyone else in the country. SATYA NAAGESH AYYAGARY


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