Simran Hoon on what makes The Q unique in the FTA space

The Q India has made its mark within a short span of time with its unique positioning in the FTA space by adopting consumer-centric and youth-oriented content strategy, digital-to-TV integration, and multi-screen omnipresent route, etc. All of these combined have helped the channel in advertiser on-boarding in a significant way, says The Q CEO Simran Hoon. The channel is uniquely positioned to cater to the evolved FTA audiences who are on the lookout for fresh content, says Simran, in this interview with Adgully. Excerpts:

How has been the channel's performance and growth so far?

The Q has recognizably been a channel that is unique given our story-telling style, content curation format and our ability to take risks and experiment with content. We are the only channel in our category to curate and power content from the internet for young audiences on television. This has helped us grow to become the fastest-growing GEC in India. Our content is very different if compared to the other FTA and pay channels in the Hindi GEC category. We have comedy sketch shows like Baklol, Sweety Special, Elvish Yadav, Yo Yo Yogesh, Bakaiti, Ridhu Pidhu as well as young adult animation shows under our Kahaniyaan umbrella available for viewers across screens. We were the first in the category to hold an all-virtual audition on Chingari with an ‘Age No Bar’ approach that gave digital creators an opportunity on television. 

What have been the marketing strategies taken? Has there been an increase in advertiser onboarding, awareness and acceptance of the channel?

All the shows that we bring to The Q are launched with a consumer-centric blitzkrieg plan which gets us attention from the advertising fraternity as well as viewers. Our association with new-age creators is in line with our vision. The content of our channel has always been different, relatable, and yet entertaining.

Moreover, our brand proposition, ZARA HATKE, has given us the perfect position in the market as well as in the minds of our viewers. There certainly is a steady increase in the number of brands that we have on-boarded as advertisers. We are a strong player in the GEC-2 range of channels now and are part of most advertisers, media plans, particularly in the FMCG, healthcare, and e-commerce sectors. 

Please comment about the growth of the channel after the Free Dish launch.

We were able to reach 51 GRP within just eight weeks of our launch on DD Free Dish. We have been quick to understand our Young India TG, and are quality-oriented with a high entertainment quotient. The FTA audience set is very evolved today and is on the lookout for content that is fresh, new and that hasn’t been sampled before. However, unlike The Q, most FTA channels in our category focus on reruns. Thus, the need-gap and want for fresh content continues to exist and this is exactly where The Q fits in.

We curate to bring the best from digital to TV, partner with leading influencers from the creator ecosystem like Baklol, Maskari with Chetan Lokhande, and have built a robust library of shows across genres such as drama, comedy, animation, horror, lifestyle, etc.; all of it that is fresh and available on television for the first time. Our launch on DD Free Dish was exhilarating and helped us reach great heights. It also gave us the visibility we deserve.

What is Q’s omnipresent strategy? How is it working for the brand and for advertisers?

The FTA universe is constantly evolving and consists of a very discerning audience set. Television continues to be an integral part of The Q given its reach. However, as a young brand that is restless and hungry to grow and experiment, we couldn’t be alien to the fact that new-age OTT and digital platforms continue to grow. Keeping this in mind, we opted to go the omnipresent route thus allowing viewers to access and consume The Q across any device or screen of their choice. 

This strategy has also helped us become an advertiser favourite as it helps them plan better.

The Q provides advertisers a unique target audience. We recently launched on Mi Connected TV, growing our footprint there in addition to our presence on Samsung Smart TVs as well as expanded our cable and DTH presence by becoming available on AIRTEL DTH; The Q is already available across multiple other leading Cable and DTH operators as also short-format apps and OTT platforms.

How does Q cope up with the competition within the FTA space? How do you position yourself from the other FTAs?

Our content, programming and cross-platform omnipresent strategy sets us apart in a highly cluttered Hindi GEC category.  We have been curating very unique content for our audiences, unlike any other FTA channel.

Moreover, the content we are bringing is fresh and original to television. We have a growing library of over 850 programmes across different genres each of which is unique. We continue to stay true to our ‘Zara Hatke’ proposition and will continue to innovate and experiment to bring the best for our viewers across screens.

What are the opportunities for digital creators while curating digital for the FTA universe?

We are a known and trustworthy partner to the creator economy and work with them closely to give them an opportunity to take their content beyond the digital ecosystem. We have taken digital shows like Baklol, Yo-Yo Yogesh, to mainstream television. At the same time, we have been creating television-exclusive opportunities for the creator’s economy. For instance, we held virtual auditions for Jurm ka Chehra that gave digital talent an opportunity to be on a television show. We are also collaborating with new and popular digital creators after having experienced success with our previous shows.

We have recently partnered with Chetan Lokhande’s ‘Maskari’ which is also trending on our channel and will be launching Faridabad Rockers as well as Elvish Yadav, a digital creator with 8.2 million YouTube subscribers very soon. These are just a few instances and we will continue to innovate to create more such opportunities for these talented artists.


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