Movies Now: One year old, strikes gold

16 Dec,2011

By Rishi Vora


Movies Now has completed a year. And the story of the channel’s progress since day one of launch is an exciting one, especially for the officials who’ve been running the show. Numbers of the past 51 weeks across eight metros indicate that Movies Now has garnered a market-share of 30 per cent and has increased the category viewership by 50 per cent (from 50 GRPs to 75).


The reach too, increased from 46 million viewers to 56 million. And the average time spent has shot up from 42 minutes to 55 minutes. (Source: TAM, CS 15-34, AB, All 8 Metros, week 52’10 – week 50’11).


The channel launched with a bang and shook up the otherwise dormant category, dominated primarily by Star Movies, and of course other players like HBO and Sony Pix, which had spent reasonable amount of time in the market.


HBO has been in the market for more than a decade. Experts believe that with the right kind of content, marketing and distribution push, Movies Now wiped out every bit of complacency that had set in among existing channels. Now, as even other players would agree in the category, the market has become more competitive, and a lot of action can be expected in the genre.


The strategy was to first set foot in the six metros and from there look at expanding their reach further. In fact, in its first month, the channel did not have a single DTH company on board. Currently present in eight metros, Movies Now will now look at getting to the 1 million+ market. With digitisation of TV, quite naturally the channel will look to move from analog to digital.


Currently the channel reaches out to 100 million households and the plan is to get to the 140 million mark by end of next year.

Ajay Trigunayat, Channel Head informed MxM India that the plan was pretty much to aim at the top. “We were clear right from the beginning that we wanted to bring a stellar brand to the viewers. We’ve challenged the status quo and reshaped the marketplace. 89 per cent of our viewership is library-led, and unlike other players, we cater to all eight metros. In the past one year, we have increased the category reach by 22 per cent and time-spent per viewer by 33 per cent.”


He added, “In 2011, we are the most searched English Movie channel on Google India, we have about 5 lakh Facebook fans.”

For Sunil Lulla, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Times Television Network, Movies Now is a super-smash-hit story of the year 2011.On what it means to the Times Broadcast Network, he said: “As a network we cater to the Urban Affluent audience. All our channels – Times Now, ET NOW, Zoom and Movies Now have been doing very well in their respective genres. These channels, put together, provide great value to advertisers; it generates a fantastic synergy.”


On what he expects from Movies Now in the future, he said that the channel’s primary focus will be to achieve consistent growth and in the process widen the gap from its nearest competitor.

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