Broadcasters will have to realign reach strategy in 2017: Ruchir Tiwari

Ruchir Tiwari, Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster (Zee Cinema, &pictures, Zee Classic, Zee Action, Zee Anmol Cinema, Zee Cinema HD and &pictures HD), introspects on the important developments of the year 2016 and crystal gazes into the New Year. 

To begin with, I feel 2016 reinstated the idea that good content sells. ‘Aligarh’, ‘Pink’, ‘Dear Zindagi’ are just few of the stories that stood out this year. One trend in the year gone by was that the big films delivered small. This wasn’t the case earlier. Big premieres usually delivered greater viewership, however, in 2016, films like ‘Sultan’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Dilwale’ under the current rating system, BARC, failed to deliver even half of it. 

Despite all this, Zee Hindi Movie Cluster did have a good and eventful year. While Zee Cinema continued to hold its fort, Zee Classic emerged with a stronger brand recall post the revamp. &pictures grew considerably in viewership and remained ahead of its nearest competitor. In the HD space, I think only Zee Cinema and &pictures have a distinct positioning. The competitors have a mirror face and usually adopt the simulcast strategy, but in the English and Hindi movie genres, there is a lot of room for distinct content in HD, which is where we are investing our efforts. Zee Anmol Cinema was launched with a bang and in a short while, it occupied a large share of the FTA pie. 

With BARC giving out rural data, we also observed pan India viewer palettes being reflected in the taste of the viewership. Hindi news witnessed a jump in ratings due to the FTA sector, which impacted the Hindi movie category this year. But in 2017, with a strong content platter, I believe Hindi films and GEC will garner better viewership figures. 

Also, the tariff order and its timely execution is going to be the biggest discussion in 2017. We will have to see how it pans out to be a win-win situation for everybody. As of now, it’s quite disruptive. We all will have to unlearn and relearn things. Broadcasters will have to realign their strategy in terms of how to build reach and how to approach the consumer. Everything will restart from the drawing board. It’s going to offer a lot of interesting challenges, including short term problems with long term gains. It will be a game-changing step for the broadcasting industry.

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