LF is not just a TV channel, but a 360-degree medium: Amit Nair

As Indians remain confined to their homes during the lockdown, News, Movies and Kids genres have seen a huge surge in viewership. While the viewership growth of the Lifestyle genre has not been as dramatic, the genre has still managed to garner a 28 per cent growth, as per BARC-Nielsen’s report on ‘TV + Smartphone Consumption During Crisis’ for Week 16.

LF (Living Foodz), the food and lifestyle channel from the Essel Group, has claimed to have held the mantle of the No. 1 channel in the Food & Lifestyle genre for 50 consecutive weeks. The channel has attained the viewership for Food & Lifestyle category, which is 29 per cent of all the categories as per BARC data. In Week 16, LF was placed second in the Lifestyle genre, but with a gross viewership of 1,366(000), was neck and neck with the No. 1 channel, FYI TV18.

Meanwhile, livingfoodz.com, the digital arm of LF hit the 3. 2 million users mark in March, 2020. The fastest growing web portal, with over 7.2 million page visits according to Google Analytics, focuses on food, travel, culture & lifestyle. This has placed livingfoodz.com ahead in lifestyle over many legacy players owing to its unique content, its distinctive focus on trends and TV catch up.

In conversation with Adgully, Amit Nair, Business Head, Living Foodz, talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the food & lifestyle genre, key insights of the channel, advertisers’ response and the way ahead for this genre in the post-COVID-19 world.

How has the COVID-19 crisis and the nation-wide lockdown impacted the Food & Lifestyle genre?

The crisis has impacted the daily operations of all businesses, across categories and the lifestyles and routines of consumers. There are a lot of changes that have developed in the recent times, for both the food & lifestyle genre and how it is consumed by the audience. With food being one of the most consumed genres in India, the consumption for food and travel related shows and content, overall viewership and subscription numbers has seen a big spike.

Could you give some insights on the consumption of food & lifestyle content across platforms as people are confined to their homes?

Living Foodz is curating the best of shows and segments to keep their audience informed about the do’s and don’ts during this time of pandemic and helping them acquire numerous hobbies like DIYs, menu ideas, quick fix meals. The content created is well researched, local, informative, apt for millennials as well as for all mothers who don the chef’s hat at home. Speaking to the curious at heart who love to explore, travel and live life to the fullest, Living Foodz has some great travel shows lined up for the following months to come.

What are the factors that have contributed to Living Foodz’s performance?

At LF, we believe in providing the best content to our viewers when it comes to food, lifestyle & travel to keep the audience engrossed, engaged and entertained. LF is not just a TV channel, but a 360-degree medium. Along with television offering, we have #LF Originals – a Facebook and Insta offering with exclusive digital content, and Livingfoodz.com, a digital platform. As a heavy marketing driven brand, we go to great extents to identify our TG and ideate strategies to create and maintain connect with them. A perfect example of this is our presence at Sula Fest every year. The audience who visit Sula Fest are full of life and ready to experiment with whatever is served to them. This is also an NCCS A audience, which is also LF’s target audience. Youth forms a big part of that audience at Sula Fest and presence there helps brand LF communicate about other mediums that it operates. IPs like LFEGA have also helped in keeping the brand top of mind across audiences.

LF’s digital arm has also seen great traction. Could you tell us how it has surged ahead of several legacy players?

Work on the digital arm has been on for the past several months. We wanted a seamless experience for consumers of the brand LF on air and online and hence, developed a unique destination that offers catch up while also making it local, informative and carry trending stories as a publishing arm should. Our biggest strength is our repository of content with over 4,000+ videos on food, lifestyle, culture, places. The editorial team has been at the forefront in putting out stories that are thoroughly researched and offer a unique insight. These are also accompanied by stories from contributors who are stalwarts in the space of food and lifestyle.

How has the advertiser response been during the COVID-19 crisis? What kind of cut-back in ad spends are you seeing in this genre?

I think advertiser spends across all mediums are significantly down as brands wait for the lockdown to end and wait for a more positive consumer sentiment to emerge to plan the road ahead.

Could you give us an understanding of what the road ahead looks like for the food & lifestyle genre in the post-COVID-19 world?

We see a continued upwards trend in the consumption of food & lifestyle genre post-COVID-19. People are going to be more health conscious and sway more towards consuming home cooked meals. There is already an uprise amongst people who are going online to learn new culinary skills and consume quality food and lifestyle shows.


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