Epic way to break clutter

12 Aug,2013

 

By Johnson Napier

 

With the Indian broadcast sector facing its toughest phase yet, it would be a daunting task for anyone to be attempting to try something new. But that’s precisely what excites newcomers in the space as is evident from the excitement around the soon-to-be-launched history & mythology channel, Epic.

Being launched under Epic Television Networks Private Limited banner with big name backers like Mukesh Ambani and Anand Mahindra, Epic is being touted as the first genre-specific channel that aims to introduce Indian television to a new chapter in genre-specific entertainment that can further create IPs, strong characters and new heroes that draw a strong resonance with audiences.

According to Aparna Pandey, Business Head, Epic, the need of the hour is a clutter-breaking approach that has a distinct personality. Replying to questions from MxMIndia, Aparna Pandey asserted that the channel has such a distinctive personality that it will appeal to the viewers and that they will have a very strong sense of identification with it. Read on to know more of what the channel has in store for the audiences and the path it intends to follow in the future.

 

What is it about Epic that you feel will make it a standout in the Indian broadcast space?

With maturity of digitization in India, consumers will be looking for content that appeals to them. We want to offer more choices to viewers by presenting thematic entertainment. With Epic, our aim is to introduce Indian television to a new chapter in genre specific entertainment that can further create IPs, strong characters and new heroes that draw a strong resonance with audiences. Our content philosophy is aimed at presenting a unique, episodic television format with a modern take on history and a fresh look at mythology – both fiction and narrative non-fiction. Epic will have action, drama, comedy, supernatural and narrative non-fiction content, set against Indian historic and mythological eras. The stories will be innovative with high production quality and a distinct look & feel that will appeal to both men and women across the country.

 

We are confident that the brand promise will be reflected in our unique and powerful content line up, as well as the marketing innovations. Our initial trials and checks have received great response from people all over. Audiences are looking for something new and more relatable. The need of the hour is a clutter-breaking approach that has a distinct personality. We are confident that the channel has such a distinctive personality that will appeal to the viewers and they will have a very strong sense of identification with it.

 

While the idea around Epic may be unique, is there enough content to be produced and consumed in this niche space in India?

Indian history and mythology has so much more to offer in terms of content. The current history and mythological content largely remains within the confines of stereotypical entertainment and follows a traditional path. Our aim is to present the rich elements of our vibrant past in an entertaining manner that would be unique for all. We want mass audiences to connect and relate with our rich history and past more closely and beyond the traditional way of showcasing the stories. During launch, the channel will cover subjects ranging from drama, comedy, romance to super natural and narrative non-fiction. To give you an example, we have acquired the exclusive rights for Indu Sundaresan’s acclaimed novel “The Twentieth Wife” which describes the captivating story of grand passion and adventure, of one of India’s most controversial empresses in the Mughal Empire – Mehrunnisa.

 

What is the core TG that you seek to lap up through Epic?

Epic is the only segmented channel in the Hindi entertainment category that is targeted at both men and women in urban digital households. We want Epic to be part of the basket of channels audiences in urban India watch. Our core audience set would comprise working professionals, housewives, young adults who consume varied content on television. We intend to provide an option for the entire family to watch when they want to watch different, meaningful content.

 

How do you see advertisers responding to the new offering?

Since our audience set demographics is relevant for mainstream urban television, we believe that a wide variety of products and services across segments could find a direct fit with our channel and content ideology.

 

What would be your emphasis on delivering content through the digital platform?

Epic is a subscription-driven channel that is planned to be available across all DTH service providers and also on digital cable across 50 Hindi speaking markets in India. All content on Epic is shot on HD and the channel too would be available on HD. However, the channel will also be available on SD for all non-HD households.

 

Our aim is to eventually reach over 80 million digital households across 50 cities. We are planning to find a partner for distribution and be a part of a channel bouquet to enable us to reach our distribution goals.

 

Would you be experimenting with feeds in different languages as well?

We may explore this in the future but as of now we will be available in one language – Hindi.

 

Without no direct competition out there to challenge you, what would be the barometer on which you would rate your performance?

Currently, we are focusing all our energies in getting compelling content that will appeal to our audiences. Epic is not here to compete with any channels in the Hindi entertainment category. Moreover, to compare Epic with current Hindi GECs would be an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison. We are not playing by the game of TRPs or GRPs. While we haven’t set any benchmarks in terms of evaluation, we will take a stock on performance after the complete of phase 1 of the channel post launch.

 


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