Ex | On-Demand Entertainment, the order of the day

Today when mobile applications are being launched in millions, Zee TV’s APP - a mobile solution by Mobilox Innovations Pvt. Ltd has been able to break the clutter and cross an outstanding one million downloads! Designed by Mobilox Innovations, India’s Best Dramebaaz application is a version of Zee TV’s existing mobile app, converted for its newest reality show. The app was created with a view to ensure audience engagement by going beyond voting. Television properties are no longer restricted to on-screen engagement. Broadcasters now tap a much larger audience base through various touch-points.

In a one-of-its-kind mobile innovation, Zee TV converted its existing mobile APP for its newest reality show – India’s Biggest Dramebaaz rather than creating a new APP for each of its shows thus leading Zee TV’s mobile APP to be a part of the million downloads club where very few India made apps have been able to enter . Zee TV’s India’s Best Dramebaaz has not only been performing well on television, but has also taken the digital world by storm with their mobile app crossing one million downloads!

Success on such a huge scale is a  rare occurrence especially when the mobile application is crafted for a television program. The USP of Zee TVs mobile application is that it consists of features that will continue and engage the APP consumers even after the show ends on their television screens.  .

Much planning and strategizing went into the journey that led to a million downloads. Each passing milestone required a new way thinking and only when implemented well, such astounding numbers were possible. Beginning from the  first download to the astounding figure of one million, Zee TV along with their mobile partner Mobilox Innovations crafted unique APP marketing strategies that led to the success story. 

In the first stage of the success story of 0 to 200,000 downloads it was important to facilitate heavy downloads, and also important for APP developers to chart out a sustainable product definition which meant the mobile APP features and sections had to be compelling and appealing to the users in order to register top downloads. With popular features like ‘live chat’, ‘In APP voting’ and ‘tutorials’, Mobilox Innovations took a step in the right direction to ensure consumers likeability to Zee TV’s APP.

Second stage saw Zee TV actively promote their mobile APP. By effectively using their primary media – television, the channel created large scale awareness about the APP amongst their viewers which in turn led to garner 200,000 to 500,000 downloads .To make sure that Zee TV’s mobile was visible and searchable at all times, Mobilox Innovations strategically crafted an APP Store Optimization plan. The plan worked wonders as Zee TV viewers were routinely exposed to the mobile APP on all leading APP stores.

With the  foundation laid for a successful APP, it was then increasingly important on their part to maintain the download numbers. Mobilox worked closely with the various APP stores to ensure that Zee TV gathered the required visibility to drive downloads  which was only possible through longstanding APP store partnerships and affiliations.

All downloads that Zee TV’s APP generated through carefully created marketing plans were organic in nature viz. the staggering one million downloads were free and not paid for! Mobilox Innovations believes that paid downloads would not satisfy the core objective of facilitating greater brand – consumer interaction for Zee TV thus  finally leading to the feat they achieved of touching 1000,000 downloads! 

Adgully spoke to Akash Chawla, Zee, Marketing Head - National Channels and Rohit Kaul, COO, Mobilox in connection with their achievement of one million downloads and the steps leading to their stupendous success. Some excerpts from the interview:

Zee TV’s shows have consistently topped viewership scorecards, making them the rulers of the on-air space. It has always been their vision to extend this leadership to other mediums as well.  Hence their non-fiction shows too  have emerged as the front-runners of the digital space with their mobile app crossing a milestone of 1 million downloads. With ‘on-demand’ entertainment being the order of the day, Zee TV has been successful in providing their viewers with content that has kept them engrossed and engaged.

Speaking about their association with Mobilox he said, “Yes it is nearly a year now since our association with Mobilox . The last season of Dance India Dance was the first one with which we started our association and from there it led from one show to another.”

Explaining how the spike of the downloads were built up Chawla said, “There are three to four  key reasons for that.  Infact when we first started with the APP we were pretty unsuccessful. The first round of the APP that  we did was not more than 38 thousand downloads but the key reason with which we  really bounced back was we thought over as to what was not really working and Mobilox  subsequently made a lot of innovative changes in the APP.  So numerical changes in the APP which  helped to hasten engagement is the first reason . The second reason being that there were a lot of associations and the way in which we were able to market the entire thing to them whether on air or through our mobile partners.  They have played a key role in increasing the downloads and the third reason being the co-operation of  our star cast,  our participants  and   the way in which they have participated in our live chats with our consumers. All these factors contributed to  the build up of  the spike seen .”

The LIVE chats and personalized tutorials APP features have clearly been crowd favourites while the easy voting APP feature has seen the contestants register a staggering number of votes on every season of their shows as people connected with them in huge numbers.

To make their mobile touch-point worthwhile, India’s Best Dramebaaz application was promoted with an extensive marketing strategy. They have marketed the initiative in various ways . Elaborating on the   specific marketing touch points that were created Chawla went on to inform that may it be audience , participants or marketers they have come forward and co-operated with them and their one on one communication has helped them in a big way. The other touch points being their  association with the mobile operators. Rohit Kaul too spoke on this point and said that there are 40 odd stores including Vodafone which has its own app stores . These stores  basically  uploaded their content  on the application  and helped to indirectly promote them .

Kaul adding further said "A million app downloads means a million new touch-points on the most personal device these days. Just technology development wouldn't have made it successful. Entertainment apps that are topical in nature come with a short life cycle but this app crafted for Zee TV has stood the test of time and will continue to engage users in time to come. Three key factors which Mobilox focused on helped the app scale to million downloads were - Strong Product Concept, App Store Optimization and App Store Affiliations. Another important factor considered in crafting the strategy was consumption patterns of the APP users. The Zee TV app underwent necessary changes to keep the brand –consumer engagement going. This was possible through continuous data analysis from our end. The insights derived from these analytics were the main contributor to the app’s success in reaching the million downloads mark. Lastly, we will work closely with Zee TV to tap the monetization potential of the app building on the foundation already laid. Mobilox will continue to add newer innovations to the Zee TV app and to its Mobile App Marketing plans to garner multi -million downloads in future.”

Both Chawla and Kaul also shared about  insights gained  in terms of the regular analytics that have been done on the app . Initially the number of downloads were  few but that is when they thought of what kind of content they could deliver to the consumer  apart from what they were already getting on their channels. In fact the features on the application may it be for Sa Re Ga Ma or any other show  which have been actually shot through videos  and  pushed to the consumer  in a specific time , actually gave a huge burst on numbers in terms of people actually coming on to the application and consuming  content .

The data analysis conducted on Zee TV’s mobile app consumption habits revealed insights such as - users spent the most time viewing tutorials and participating in the live chat. Users consumed the various features of the app mainly between 11am-1pm. Majority of the app downloads take place on Wednesdays, the reason being that the live chat sessions are unlocked on this day.

A data spike has been witnessed everyday at 11AM when the tutorials are sent. Also, maximum downloads are seen on Wednesdays which is the day for live chat. To create content and traction, the application has features such as live chat, in-app voting and tutorials. While the application manages to create a buzz on the weekends as people cheered for their favourite participants, the features help keep the app alive on weekdays too.

Going forward is this going to be a regular feature with all Zee TV’s  properties? Chawla in total agreement said, “Yes absolutely.  The first reason being that we are very mindful about how  we do various things whether it is through mobile apps or whether it is through something else and how  we keep our engagement level with our consumers on an increase. Secondly we have such a huge base now of people who look forward to downloading the app, it becomes our responsibility to give them more and more  interesting things  on the app as they go along and from there to  build up further engagement.”

While apps can be included in the traditional marketing mix of the brand, one has to pay great importance on marketing the app on the mobile platform. Mobilox paid a lot of attention on app store optimization and app store Affiliations which maximised downloads,” said Rohit Kaul. 

Kaul explained that the app was built on three key factors namely, strong product concept, app store optimization and app store affiliations. Also, the consumption pattern of the app users was given a lot of importance. Also, a specific content strategy was devised to make sure that the users have something to take every day. “The show runs for two days (Saturday and Sunday), while the app is on the audiences phone for all seven days. This is a very important point to keep in mind while developing the content strategy for any app,” added Kaul.

With regard to the increase seen over each spike he said, “ Where Dance India Dance is concerned the app you see right now in the stores and the changes we made to that application when you look at it season by season it is an application in which we have seen a significant growth in terms of numbers. So Dance India Dance has 10 % of the current level of downloads but over the next two applications which is Sa Re Ga Ma and India Best Dramebaaz right now we have managed to get 1 million downloads.”

He also informed that no charges are applicable  to download the application and is free for all. Concluding the talk they agreed that the Zee TV APP goes beyond the concept of only television viewing  and hence this is what keeps the brand – consumer engagement going.

There is no doubt that sustainable product definition, defined content strategy and efficient app marketing have seemed to help Zee TV focus on their target. The story of zero to a million downloads has proved fruitful for Zee TV. It is now evident that in future more brands will adopt mobile APPs as a medium to interact and communicate with their audience. Mobile experts will now be responsible for creating and executing innovative concepts leading to deeper consumer engagement.

Mobilox Innovations Private Limited has been conceptualized as the first Mobile Solutions Company of India with a vision of getting mobile as a media its due credit. As a company, Mobilox, focuses on Mobile Technologies, with a vision of helping Brand Managers and Marketers use Mobile as a medium of consumer engagement, marketing and advertising platform as well as enterprises to use mobile as a key device across various internal and external processes e.g. sales force automation, delivery management, employee management, travel expense management. Mobilox offers technology solutions around Mobile Apps, Mobile Web, SMS and Voice Marketing, Mobile Games, Location-based services. Their USP is that they not only suggest ideas to the enterprises but also execute the same with high quality and ensuring the value proposition of the brand is injected in their customers DNA.


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