The Anchor: 5 ways how lifestyle channels can make it big

20 Sep,2012

By Smeeta Chakrabarti


To paraphrase James Harkin, there is a new rule in business – forget the general audience and instead, stake out an identifiable niche. Love it or hate it, lifestyle programming that caters to special interests is here to stay. To our minds, the question was never about whether lifestyle channels can make it big, but more about how to build a sustainable ecosystem around brands which resonate, connect, relate and engage with the discerning consumer. We’ve always believed that passion is at the core of lifestyle channels or special interest content, and the following are ways in which we approach building and sustaining our lifestyle brands.


#1 Multiple platform technologies: Lifestyle channels need to think of themselves as content providers targeting a specific audience, and indeed, targeting a defined passion, through all possible platforms and not just television. Technology today plays a vital role in sustaining and building lifestyle businesses.


#2 Platform-agnostic content: While technology today permits dissemination of content across platforms and touch points, content creators need to be mindful of the fact that there are now multiple ways to consume that content, and a one-size-fits-all approach does not necessarily work. Whether it’s a laptop screen, the iPad, your smartphone or even an experiential initiative, smart content that’s platform-agnostic is the key.


#3 Integrated marketing: Lifestyle channels need to be where their consumers are – something that finds resonance with the multi-platform and multi-faceted approach to content. Research, product, positioning, promotions, delivery and all aspects of the marketing value chain have to be geared to connect and engage audiences through touch-points not just inIndia, but globally as well.


#4 Multiple revenue sources: It is imperative for lifestyle channels to see themselves as brands, which can be monetized beyond the conventions of FCT, sponsorships, integrations and subscriptions. Brand extensions, social media and DTH interactivity consumer products, books – the possibilities are endless, and essential.


#5 Smarter distribution: This is an equally important step in building a sustainable business model. The very raison d’etre of special interest lifestyle channels is catering to a targeted, well-defined consumer, based on clearly articulated passions. Therefore, the conventional modes of carpet bombing and non-segmented distribution will need to get far smarter and targeted to have impact.


Smeeta Chakrabarti is Chief Executive Officer of NDTV Lifestyle


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