Adgully Exclusive | Everyone has the aspiration to travel and the urge to know more: Travelxp's Prashant Chothani
Prashant Chothani, with his well honed entrepreneurial skills,sharp and astute business acumen with specialized Business setups & Owner of companies in Broadcast and Travel Vertical in India and United Kingdom has a 25 year experience in the media domain across distribution, programming, executive management and execution.
Chothani's ventures include broadcast television channels in India namely Music India, Sangeet Bangla, Sangeet Bhojpuri and Travelxp HD. The broadcast television
channel TRAVEL XP.
The channel Travel XP is already on air from February 2011 and is a high definition channel with rich and original content. The production language is English but it is also dubbed in Hindi. So there is a dual field in the channel. It has more than 350 hours of original high definition content.
On asking about the opportunities he saw in this specific and specialized genre of travel, he replied, "Some time back we thought of catering to the people who love to travel and we knew that putting up a channel that is totally based on traveling takes a lot of time in terms of the content, distribution and much more and also as we knew there are very few such channels with such content. Three and half years back we thought of starting an Indian destination based channel as there are many with international based destinations and so as to produce more about our country rather than showcasing the slums and poverty."
Talking about the pre-launch research, he said, "Yes we studied the genre well so as to know what content is available across the world, what are the portals on Indian destinations and what programmes are there and how they are being showcased in international destination based channels."
The most important aspect of such specialized genre based channels is the content and also the channel's programming strategy. So explaining this aspect he elucidates further, "We have taken care of each and every aspect of travel needs and travel requirements. As you see there is always a purpose and requirement of a person who is travelling which could be anything like pleasure trip, family trip, and holiday or may be business trip. So basically what you require is the food, places to go and how to go. It takes almost all your time to find the history of that place. So the content strategy revolves around the same fact and so we give all important facts and figures about a place and we do an extensive and exhausting research prior to featuring any destination on our shows."
There are programs which showcase different hotels across the world like all traditional hotels, typical luxury hotels and focuses on its history, the reasons behind those hotels. So basically it showcases each and every aspect of those hotels. "We explore each and every aspect of the destination, "he added.
So the question arises that if the channel is HD (high definition) there will be no advertisements and so how does the channel plan to monetize?
He replied, "No this not true that if the channel is in HD advertisements are not allowed. It is allowed and we have been approaching many advertisers and advertisers today want to reach out in different manners."
Chothani points out that Travel XP HD is not in any competition with channels like TLC, NDTV GOOD TIMES etc. and that as per TAM ratings of week 24 among the top 5 shows two shows were from Travel XP.
Talking about the distribution platforms, he said, "We are currently available on DISH TV and VIDEOCON HD and also we are in discussion with other operators too."
"There is an in house team who takes care of the programs and the content. This team also takes care of all the pre and post production planning, research etc, where as there is a different team which goes and explores and covers the destination from in and out. Then the footage reaches the post production desk where it is edited again on HD," he adds.
Explaining the marketing strategy and also the involvement of digital and social media, he told us that, "Yes it is highly engaging content and we have been involving audience in social media. We have our facebook site, www.facebook.com/travelxp. We even have content partnerships with YouTube that is www.youtube.com/travelxp. We already have many videos there and within a few weeks time you will get to see more."
Talking about the advertising revenues, he said that channel is in discussion with many tourism boards and brands. Revenue he feels is largely going to be subscription driven.
Chothani says, "The content production cost of a HD travel channel is much more than the content production cost of GEC. While in a GEC channel in one day you can get an average of 15 mins footage but in travel based channel in a whole day you might just get one minute footage and also it acquires lots of pre production planning."
While signing off he says, "It is high time that people should understand that Indian production or broadcast companies can produce content equivalent to any other company worldwide."
Kudos to Prashant Chothani and his team to bring the world closer for the explorers. Only time will tell how they fared with their content.