Colors' gung-ho digital strategy

Why so much of social networking? What was the driving force for this aggressive online strategy? The digital head reasons: "Viewers are viewing, sharing, blogging and tweeting TV content. Consumers are willing rather eager to engage with their favourite shows and characters outside the silver screen. We realise this need, these serve as great conversation starters and opinion builders. It's important that we are present wherever our consumers are seeking us, and wherever possible channelise conversations to positively impact the brands."

An interesting aspect of GECs online is the apt usage of archived content. A lot of older episodes of popular properties as well as popular shows that have gone off air, get a considerable amount of traction. "Blockbuster content from any era gets traction, 1000 episodes down we still have viewers watching initial episode of Balika Vadhu and Uttaran. Obviously the shows on-air will get higher traction but there is always a market for classic content," adds Srivastava.

Madhubala seems to set precedents for the rest of the fiction shows with more than 100 Facebook fan-driven pages

In terms of genres, some non-fiction properties like Bigg Boss stand out because of the nature of the property and its ability to start conversations. But at an overall level both fiction and non-fiction gets equal traction.

The virtual world of Colors is not restricted to your laptop and desktop, the channel has very impressively targeted mobile as well. It all began with the launch of the Bigg Boss app which allowed viewers to watch all that is happening inside the house at any given time. The 24/7 live streaming app became an instant success and got the Bigg Boss fanatics hooked to their cell phones.

Today, Colors is taking the app world very seriously with the launch of the Jhalak app. This has a play along feature allowing the viewers to play real time along with the original telecast of the show. Apart from this, one can participate in quizzes about the show, vote for their contestants, watch videos, express your views on social platform etc all through one app.

Srivastava further explains: "People today are using multiple screens - laptops, smart phones, tablets etc and multiple platforms - the video sites, the social networks, Apps, Games etc to access content. Although, the numbers are small especially when compared to the reach TV as a medium provides, however the growth and engagement the medium provides is phenomenal."

Does he see then a profound shift from desktops to tablets very soon? "Tablets and mobiles are becoming important as the second screen, however the consumption is varied, most of video consumption is catch-up in case you have missed an episode or a highpoint," he further adds: "The bigger hook is exclusive content, viewers want to interact with their favourite stars, know more about their off screen personalities, behind the scenes, news, views, interactions, sometimes even spoilers. We ensure both these are present in equal proportion on our digital platforms."

Episode videos are uploaded within 2 hours of the telecast. Popular shows get more than 80000 average video views per episode

On that note, one has to but, wonder about this new-found lucrative source of revenue for the channel. How does the channel use this space in order to monetise? Srivastava reveals: "For a broadcaster, advertising and subscription revenues still contribute the maximum. However, revenues from digital platform have been exhibiting significant growth. Majority chunk of the revenue still comes from Linear and VOD content, then there is WAP, Voice, Gaming etc all of which exhibit positive numbers if you have the right offering."

In that case, is it time that GECs start taking the digital platform seriously from the revenue generation point of view? "Without commenting on the numbers the digital revenues have been showcasing a healthy growth YOY and as penetration of internet and accessibility to smart devices increases over the next few years we anticipate a bullish trend."

Television broadcasting is going through a metamorphosing phase, what with the TAM rating fiasco and the impending AD cap regulation. Talks about reducing dependence on advertising revenues is becoming the part of every discussion. In such a scenario, is there a possibility of subscription revenues from this rapidly growing online medium? "The Subscription market on both Internet and mobile is evolving. As models become stronger and penetration increases subscription revenues will start contributing more," states Srivastava.

All in all, Colors has definitely created an everlasting place for itself on the digital platform. Who are these who have created this dynamic virtual reality? On prodding Srivastava answers: "We have full fledged team looking after content creation, SEO, SEM for all platforms - social media, Colors website, Internet and mobile."

Whoever you knight in shining armours are, you have surely left an imprint in this ever evolving online space. Way to go!

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