'Zoom'ing start, but key is sustaining power

MUMBAI: Some may say it is too soon to tell but even the critics will admit that the take-off has been good for the Times Group's non-fiction entertainment & lifestyle channel Zoom.

As per the data released by TAM Peoplemeter for four weeks (3-30 October, 2004), for the TG SEC AB 15-34 segment, Zoom overtook the channel shares of established channels like Star World, Zee English, NDTV 24x7, CNBC, B4U Movies, FTV, History, Trendz and BBC World. As far as the Mumbai market goes, the channel claims that it has overtaken the channel shares of Channel [V], ETC, HBO, Discovery, National Geographic AXN and Star Utsav besides the channel mentioned above. As far as the time spent by viewers on Zoom goes, it exceeds even the channels like Sahara One and SAB TV.

Speaking to, Times Group president Arun Arora said, "Though we have the first mover advantage in the lifestyle genre, we did not expect the channel to do well so soon. If you look at week 45, the time spent on Zoom has grown to 29 minutes which is higher than any other niche channel. Also, if you look at the market today, it's unfair competition so we are looking at all the niche channels like Zee English, Star World or Channel [V] and MTV. Though these are not our competitors but what we are saying that viewers are spending more time on the channel."

Speaking to media planners on the positioning of the channel and the data released, national director investments, GroupM India , Sanjay Chakraborty says, "The data given just provides the demographic information based on numbers. But since here we are talking of a niche lifestyle channel that caters to a different mindset of people. What the channel really needs to understand and get information on is what kind of people are watching the channel, which will be more valuable in terms of understanding the clear positioning of the channel in the market."

Most of the planners agree to the fact that the figures definitely indicate that the channel has performed well in the initial stages.

Says Initiative Media, associate vice-president Manas Misra, "The numbers do indicate that the channel is doing well in the initial stages, but we will have to wait and watch for some more time to see whether it holds steady and secures loyal viewership. The initial positive response from viewers could also be because of strong marketing support during the launch phase and the curiosity factor."

As far as the programming goes, five out of the Top 10 programs on niche entertainment channels that include MTV, Channel [V], Zee English, Star World, AXN and Zoom in the four-week period are from Zoom. Dance Divas, anchored by Rohit Roy takes the top slot. In Mumbai, Zoom has 6 out the top 10 programs, with Dance Divas and Mirchi Top 20 at No. 1 and 2.

The performance of Zoom is the best compared to any new pay channel in the last two years during their first six week of launch. Zoom's GRP's in its target group (SEC AB 15-34) is higher than NDTV India, NDTV 24X7, Animax, Hungama etc recorded in their respective target groups.

Zoom's performance in its competitive set in SEC AB 15-34, Hindi speaking markets (1mn+) 4-wk average:

Channel Time Spent (mins/viewer) Channel Share (%)
Zoom 68 0.37
MTV 52 0.84
[V] 47 0.54
AXN 31 0.48
Zee English 26 0.22
Star World 15 0.17
S.No. Channel Program TVR
1. Zoom Dance Divas 0.74
2. Star World Rendezvous with Simi Garewal 0.66
3. MTV MTV Khamosh 0.62
4. Zoom Mirchi Top 20 0.61
5. Star World Cover Story 0.58
6. Zoom Kyaa Kahein 0.57
7. Zoom Bole To 0.56
8. Zee English Mind of the Married Man 0.55
9. Zoom Friday Fever 0.54
10. MTV Yash Raj Music 0.53
HSM 1 MN+ wk43 wk44 wk45 Avg
Zoom 19 25 29 24.33
MTV 21 20 24 21.67
[V] 21 15 16 17.33
ETC 19 18 14 17.00
Star World 7 12 15 11.33
AXN 19 18 15 17.33
Zee English 16 30 15 20.33
Discovery 25 23 28 25.33
Nat Geo 17 13 15 15.00

SEC AB 15-34; mins/ viewer/ wk

What now remains to be seen is whether Zoom will climb even higher or plateau off.

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