Headlines Today, which was launched in 2003 from the house of TV Today Network, has undergone a change. Apart from changing the name to India Today, it also dons new on-screen look.
"The English news channel Headlines Today was launched with the idea of delivering fast snappy headline news - it was not a reporter-driven channel at all," said India Today Group Synergy and creative officer Kalli Purie.
The channel did research with brand agency Chlorophyll and did eye movement study to find a way forward. Purie explains the effect of research on the look. "Now there are three separate teams who power the screen - each team responsible for one part of the screen. We needed internal team who understood content and technology. The idea of this kind of channel has been in our minds for many years but everything just aligned now. There were couple of reason why we felt this was the right time. We did a lot of research in the last nine months on how consumption of news has changed with coming in of smartphones, no primetime. Viewer doesnt want linear news. The idea was to bring non-linear web story by giving multi-dimensional storytelling on the story. Channel ned to be a fact factory, which fitted with our philosophy."
She added, "It's not a rebranding, it's a change in the entire philosophy. TV journalism is linear - we are moving beyind that and bringing India Today ethos of journalism on to television. India Today is a very big brand, and it exists across mediums. For people who are consuming news, dividing brand or mediums doesnt work. Why not give brand that he trusts across platforms."
With the new look, the channel has also narrowcasted its TG - going from targetting 22-55 year olds to 22-44 year olds.
The group banded everything we have in Hindi under the name of Aaj Tak and everything in English under India Today, three years ago, to collect viewers as critical mass. "And that strategy has worked really well," said Purie.
The channel will develop magazine format shows, and weekend programming.
Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today Group, said, "With this new look, we have brought in the web philosophy of native advertising on screen. This will mean there are shorter ad breaks, and helps advertiser because their is no switching off." On the ad rates, he said, "There is a lot of headroom to increase our ad rates but we do it in a measured manner."
The change will be communicated with 360-degree media campaign, devised by O&M. Maxus remains the media agency.