2018 at a glance: Regional entertainment ecosystem’s year in the sun
Ravish Kumar, Head - Regional TV Network, Viacom18, sums up the year 2018 for the regional broadcast space. He considers the year to be a positive one for regional television, which registered a strong double digit growth.
Looking back at 2018
The year 2018 has been extremely satisfying for us. From the regional perspective, viewership of regional channels saw tremendous growth in all the markets. This positive outcome led to improved monetisation opportunities. From the content point of view, good concept transformed into multi-languages this year, leading to content with enriched production value, high tech equipment, exotic shoot locales and relatable stories. With Viacom18’s entry into the southern market with Colors Tamil and Colors Kannada Cinema to tap the burgeoning viewer appetite, Viacom18 is poised to grow horizontally and foray into newer markets and simultaneously deepen our presence in the existing markets.
Performance of regional channels in 2018
Television content in the regional space has already started mirroring the cinematic values. Ad spends also are on the growth trajectory. In terms of language content, Telugu and Tamil were the two clusters that dominated the Indian regional entertainment space with clutter breaking regional content even making its way into Hindi entertainment. On the whole, the regional entertainment ecosystem is on a growth phase – all regional channels have a tremendous potential to grow, even the smaller ones.
We at Viacom18 continue to be bullish on regional TV, ambitious to grow our share. I feel regional TV will grow at a strong double digit. There’s tremendous appetite for regional content in the domestic as well as international market. To conclude, the future is quite bright for regional TV entertainment in this country.
Key trends & development
The year 2018 witnessed high-intensity competitiveness within the space with all major broadcasters putting their best foot forward to entice the viewers. With aggressive investments, entertaining and innovative content, and newer ways to market a show, the regional markets have proven to be strong growth drivers.
We noticed that despite aggressive investments and experimentation in the non-fiction space, non-fiction format shows continue to lag behind their fiction counterparts. Kitchen politics gave way to relatable and progressive content. Mythological shows, which were rooted deep in our culture, did well. The year also saw the emergence of the positive and progressive protagonist, someone who is a change-seeker and yet a homemaker. The comedy and fantasy genres, too, witnessed a resurgence. Another trend that stood out was good concept that transformed into multi-languages this year, leading to content with enriched production value, high tech equipment, exotic shoot locales and relatable stories.
Also, advertising rates have been on an upswing in the recent past and with the growth that the genre is witnessing, marketing spending sentiment seems set to continue its upward trajectory. The trend is that the rates will continue to grow and I see no surprises in the immediate to near future.