Movies Now: Riding high on popular titles

22 Nov,2011

By Tuhina Anand


It’s going to be a year since Movies Now from the stable of Times Television Network launched in December last year. Ever since its launch, the channel has managed to upstage its competition, some of which have been in the business for much more than a decade like Star Movies and HBO and the newer players including PIX. What has worked in favour of the channel is its promise of an enhanced viewing experience because of being available on the High Definition (HD) platform, relying on popular titles, getting its distribution correct besides the backing of the Times conglomerate that definitely has helped in marketing the channel.


Amongst the English channel category, it is the English movie channels that comprise 30 percent of the market share. This is the highest reach in this category.  The English Movie category also has a reach of around 29 percent of the total television viewers. These numbers definitely moves the genre which was earlier seen as niche to be highly influential hence even catching advertisers eye especially those marketing premium products because this is the category where the potential customers are on.


With launch of Movies Now last year the category underwent a change especially because of the performance of the channel thus putting competition on their toes. The launch of the channel had catapulted the growth of the category from 50 GRPs to 72 GRPs and witnessed growth of 43 per cent. The category reach increased by 20 percent and now reaches out to 5.5mn individuals every week. Besides, Movies Now enjoys the highest viewer time-spent in the category, which is nearly double of other English Movie Channels.


Talking about the success, Ajay Trigunayat, Channel Head, Movies Now, under whose  leadership, the channel has been charting success shares that his firm directive towards the channel’s Audience Management Plan included Content, Brand & Marketing and that has helped Movies Now break-through the clutter and carve a distinct identity in the mind of its consumers and a firm place in their daily lives, culture and ethos.


He said, “Movies Now India is witnessing an ever increasing English speaking audience. Also, the target audience is no longer residing only in the metros and is now moving into the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Thereby, we have a category which growing rapidly and demanding far more English content paving way for the new players in the market.”


The talking point of channels success has been its limited but popular library. Kunal Jamuar, Head of West India and Executive Director, Mumbai at MPG India explains how he sees the channels growth. He said, “It has a limited library but good titles that has ensured first appointment viewing and later stickiness. I think they have consciously kept a limited library thus giving viewers the much more opportunity for stickiness so in that sense they have changed the paradigm for English movies category.”


“However, I think going ahead they need to address larger demographics which I think is getting ignored like paying attention to various time bands and playing movies accordingly.”


Rajneesh Chaturvedi of MEC Global, said, “Movies channel is primarily driven by its title where Movies Now has scored well. They have managed their distribution well so in a year’s time they have done well for themselves and the category. Going ahead, they have to keep on adding popular titles which they have been doing currently to get viewers to stick to the channel.”





‘Providing the best to the viewer’: Ajay Trigunayat, Channel Head, Movies Now

Ajay Trigunayat has been instrumental in conceiving & nurturing the launch of Movies Now – Hollywood in HD, the English Movie Channel from the Times Television Network. Prior to Movies Now, he has worked with Media Agency Middle East, Dubai as CEO (2006-07) handling Sales, Event Management & Broadcast, Brand & Marketing for the Arab Youth Football Championship. He has spent 4 years at Zee Telefilms Ltd. and was the driving force behind the re-branding of Zee English, Zee MGM to Zee Café and Zee Studio in 2004 – at the same time re-vamping the content through key strategic partnerships with Disney, Warner, Sony, Fox and Universal.

Mr Trigunayat has spent a decade in Advertising agencies honing his Brand and marketing skills across Rediffusion Y&R , Lintas and Contract. Here, Mr Trigunayat in conversation with MxM India offers a peek into the working and success of Movies Now.


Q: How do you see Movies Now poised amongst competition in this category?

Movies Now has achieved category leadership from the very launch day itself; and is the leader across all channels, across weekdays, across weekends, across day parts and despite 2 key cricket events (World Cup and IPL) the category viewership has grown by a whopping 80%. Our reach has nearly doubled for the category from 36 mn viewers per week to 60 mn + viewers today and Time Spent per viewer has grown from 35 minutes per week to 55 minutes per week!

We have excellent feedback from our viewers on the our HD picture quality, 5.1 surround sound, selection of titles and our overall look and feel.


Q: What is the advantage that Movies Now has as compared to the other players in this category?

Better Movies, Better Picture, Better Sound! Movies Now – Hollywood in HD is a

complete sensorial treat. It is an exponentially better English Movie watching experience

in India.


Q: In terms of future growth for the channel, where do you see it coming from?

Growth will come due to significantly better viewing pleasure, furnished through significantly better digital distribution; with government mandating CAS across all metros.


Q: What has been the biggest challenge for the channel since its launch?

Keeping up the good work and increasing the gap with competition!


Q: How do you view the current trend of subtitling. Does it help in garnering greater viewership?

No. Sub-titling does not lead to increase in viewership; but it does provide better comprehension to a large section of viewers who are not familiar with foreign accents.


Q: In terms of acquiring new titles, what have been your top two priorities?

Only one priority: provide the best to the viewer!


Q: There are lot of repeats of a movie, what policy does Movies Now follow on this?

We let the repeat pattern be decided by the viewer. Thus some movies have few repeats and some movies have many repeats.


Q: To go beyond metros, what are the few pointers that the channel is following?

Currently the significant chunk of viewership is delivered from Metros even though we are present across the 1 mn+ universe. We will extend distribution as the viewers across the country take preference to our category


Q: What should we expect from the channel in times to come?

Loaded Viewer Engagement with Hollywood in HD.

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