With marketing budgets of Rs 80-100 crore, ZEEL's premium mass Hindi GEC - Zindagi is set to go live from June 23. The channel, with its propostion of 'Jodey Dilon Ko', will showcase shows produced overseas, starting with Pakistani content.
Campaign India caught up with Priyanka Datta, business head - Zindagi and FTA cluster, ZEEL, to know more about the channel.
Will Zindagi be a free to air channel?
Zindagi is a pay channel and not a free-to-air channel. But initially, for about six months, we will make it free to increase the sampling.
What is the feasibility of Pakistani content in India?
We have surveys and research before launching the channel across various cities. The content has been received beautifully, perceived beautifully. The content has a lot of USPs - the music is not filmy but original soundtracks that are full-fledged three minute songs; the series are also finite and not stretched since they are based on novels and stories that Indian viewer wants. However, once we put it on-air, we will know what the market is.
Since it is a GEC, would Zindagi not compete with Zee channel when it comes to audiences and advertisers?
When you look at the markets abroad, there are some 30-35 channels in the GEC space alone. In India, we have some nine odd channels. So, there is scope for more. Now, within the same portfolio you have 2-3 channels that are already being broadcast. So why should you stay behind, since somebody or other will definitely launch and eat into our share. So why not launch channels from the same network?
We see this channel to be a category creator. When you look at the current GEC space, you have tier I GEC, tier II GEC, FTA cluster, youth GECs. Similarly, we believe this channel will create a premium mass category. Since i have been in sales for about 12 years, one thing that advertisers talk about is that in Hindi GECs give you the maximum reach. The advertisers have brand they want instant reach for but they have to go to English channels, which does not give them the push. There was always a subliminal thought that there should be a Hindi channel that caters to this premium category, which is why we believe that this content can create premium mass audience.
Will the content for Zindagi be shown on Zee as well?
No. They are two SBUs, seperate profit centres with their own content.
Can you share the marketing initiatives lined up for the channel?
We are doing a 360-degree blitzkrieg. The 25 channels of our network are carrying the promotions of Zindagi. Other than the required media buy - radio, outdoor, print, digital, television - we are doing a lot of initiatives that are marketing the channel in the true sense. What we want to do is associate with organisations like Aaghaz-e-Dosti, which is an initiative for peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. These are associations, which can become big and make a difference in the society per se. It is an extension of our corporate philosophy - 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.
Will Zindagi showcase orginally-produced content or have syndicated content as well?
We have close to 4,000 hours of content. Currently, we are producing content overseas. Other than that there is also syndicated content. As we move along, we will get into further production, which we will announce in another six months.