14 August 2020 13:55

LEADERSHIP TALK

Amarpreet Singh Saini, Business Head Zee Biskope & Big Ganga, ZEEL

MediAvataar: What are the interesting trends and insights which are very unique to the Bhojpuri GEC/Movie viewership?

Amarpreet: Bhojpuri TV category is relatively nascent compared to other regional markets. The viewership is dominated by movie channels primarily. There is a very high appetite for movies and unlike other movie viewership landscapes it has equal presence of male and female viewership. In GEC there is high affinity for devotional, socio mytho content and dance & music based properties which makes it unique.

ZEEL has been at the forefront of refining and enhancing viewership in this category with the presence of leading movie and GEC brands.
ZEE Biskope has been launched to cater to the Bhojpuri movie affinity albeit in a curated manner. Built on the premise of offering hyper Bhojpuri entertainment 24X7, the brand has been at a strong leadership run since its inception.

Big Ganga caters to the need for original content beyond movies. The brand provides platform to the growing aspirations of the region. From talent based formatted shows to culture celebrating events, the leading GEC channel has given the Bhojpuri loving audience its own authentic regional content to take pride in.

MediAvataar: With viewers restricted to their homes owing to the nationwide lockdown, how do you plan to entertain your viewers?

Amarpreet: The pandemic has seen unprecedented impact on our lives as well as on entertainment consumption especially wrt TV viewership. TV remained the leading platform of choice for entertainment throughout the lockdown period.

In Bhojpuri category, movie viewership soared enormously during lockdown period, especially the non prime time viewership. ZEE Biskope super served the audience with a slew of movie festivals, premieres and original shows which saw it strengthen its leadership position throughout the lockdown period. For the upcoming Sawan month it is brining blockbuster premiere titles on Sawan Monday in a curated slot called Sawan Dar Somwar, alongwith two film festivals based on the theme of Sawan.

Big Ganga brought Sangeet Unlock, a shoot-from-home musical journey with regions most celebrated singers and celebs and it received a very positive response from the audience. With Sawan month starting now the channel is brining five new properties alongwith special offering of Live Aarti from Devghar temple as visits this year are restricted.

MediAvataar: It has been a few months since the launch of Zee Biskope. What are the major challenges that you have faced?

Amarpreet: ZEE Biskope has been created on the premise of offering curated content. Innovation and localization has been the filters to establish it as a differentiated offering in the category. The primary challenge had been to not to be seen as just another Bhojpuri movie channel in the category. The effort in creating curated library basis deep analysis of movie viewership over last 3 years, building brand pillars based on consumer affinity towards the genre and establishing an identity that celebrates as well as elevates the love for the genre had been the key focus to set us apart.

The channel opened at No.1 position with highest GRPs in the category, a rare feat by any channel in the TV industry, purely owing to this intense consumer centric approach.

MediAvataar: There is a growing demand in regional markets for disruptive content, both in fiction and non-fictions. What are your plans for Big Ganga?

Amarpreet: Big Ganga has always pushed the envelope when it comes to original and disruptive content. Be it creating a platform for housewives to showcase their talent through Memsaab No.1 or brining national IP SRGMP to Bhojpuri market the brand has always managed to serve the pride and ambition of the region. During lockdown the channel brought Sangeet Unlock which was regional singing sensations entertaining audience through shoot-at-home format. With the festive season onset the channel is bringing live aarti from Deoghar. Soon a multi-talent festive series will be launched which will span across the entire festive calendar from Aug to Nov, once again a first in the category.

MediAvataar: The growth of viewership among the HSM regional languages has been driven by Bhojpuri. What is your road map for growth both for Zee Biskope and Big Ganga?

Amarpreet: Bhojpuri viewership is growing significantly. With two flagships channels from ZEEL we have the lions share of this category and an aggressive plan outlined for both the channels.

ZEE Biskope caters to the masti and excitement of the region. It will bring forth hyper Bhojpuri cinema with blockbuster premieres and film based shows yet unexplored in the region. It further deepens viewership involvement with the brand and the category through category first engagement activities like Talent Camera Action and upcoming Emoji Day Special. The viewers will up close and personal with celebrities as well as earn fame for themselves.

Big Ganga caters to the pride of the region. It will be bringing forth completely new line up of syndicated fiction hitherto unseen in the region and non fiction shows that will celebrate the culture of the region in new formats and with biggest celebrities of the region. In the new scenario the channel will constantly facilitate access to cultural and regional celebrations through its innovative measures like facilitating Live Aarti during Sawan month etc.

Novelty and innovation will remain the core driving principles for either channels, in their respective genre.

MediAvataar: Share your thought process behind roping in all the three superstars of Bhojiwood for Zee Biskope?

Amarpreet: Bhojpuri category is primarily driven by male celeb fandom. Nirahua, Khesari and Pawan are like the three Khans of Bollywood. Each one has their exclusive fan club while also enjoying a wide popularity across. However, the three have never come together for any brand. ZEE Biskope in line with its core promise of Aathon Pahariya Loota Lahariya intended to drive the entertainment to its max quotient. Thus what better than to get the most loved stars under one roof and let the audience have maximum entertainment. The campaign received an enormous response with more than 90% awareness and intention to see scores on brand surveys conducted. This once again stood testimony to our differentiated and curated approach towards the category.

MediAvataar: Regional Channels may become the flagships of broadcast network. Your thoughts?

Amarpreet: Regional channels are growing across board. They are a major viewership and revenue drivers today. The appetite for content in own language and entertainment in own culture is an equal force alongwith broader spectrum main line entertainment. Bhojpuri viewership has seen a growth of more than 30% YoY in viewership across the years. With addition of new channels like ZEE BIskope the viewership has grown by an average 20% and has brought more viewers into the fold.


MediAvataar: On a personal note, what have been the highlights of your career so far?

Amarpreet: I had been associated with the media industry for long now. I have worked across radio, Hindi GEC as well regional GEC. Though there are many achievements across the year however the recent feat of ZEE Biskope being launched at No.1 position and sustaining its leadership position since then definitely stands out as special. This has been a rare feat for any channel in a long time, both in the TV industry as well as within ZEEL. We are very happy and proud to take Bhojpuri entertainment to the next level for our beloved viewers.

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