Television

Zoom packs a digital punch

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Not only is it the ‘go to’ television channel for gossip and music, Zoom has caught the fancy of the youth even in the all-important digital space. We did some digging to find out just how much.

Launched in 2004 and available in over 15 countries, Zoom’s official page boasts a staggering 5.4 million likes, with over 4 lakh fans talking about it simultaneously.

In September, the channel crossed 5 million likes on Facebook with the community drawing a weekly reach of 95 lakhs, with Facebook posts delivering impressions in excess of 4 crores every week.

So what’s the secret of Zoom’s digital success? “Through careful monitoring and studying of past trends, Zoom ensures that it puts out content that the audience is looking out for the most. Also, in this space, it is critical to be the first. Zoom has systems in place to ensure that even if one is not in front of the TV – one never has to lose access to the latest,” says ET Now, Times Now and Zoom CEO Avinash Kaul.

The Zoom page works towards interacting from more of a friend perspective rather than just a brand, says Avinash Kaul

But with properties like MTV also crossing the magical number of 5 million on Facebook, how does Zoom plan to stay ahead of the game? “Being the first to get to a landmark figure is always special. As an entertainment brand, the channel has its own defined presence in our audience’s mind. Our objective has never been to be the one with the highest number, but to be the one who engages their audiences the best. As long as we continue to focus on that, we would still be the preferred destination for our kind of content,” says Kaul.

Zoom walks the talk in keeping its official page up-to-speed with pictures of Bollywood divas and hunks and all the masala from telly and Bolly land as well as happenings on its shows like Gennext and Planet Bollywood.

And how does the channel build traffic? “There is a broader strategy based on a clear understanding of our consumers and their basic requirements. But we also look at micro management on the page, by concentrating on each post to ensure engagement and therefore build traffic."

“The question is what the consumer takes away from this page, so be it through contests, trivia, or breaking news, it is told to the fans as and how they want it. The Zoom page works towards interacting from more of a friend perspective rather than just a brand,” reveals Kaul.

The social media space is managed by a dedicated in-house team, which helps maintain complete control over content apart from ensuring immediate response and interaction with members.

In a world where news is increasingly being replaced by 140 character-tweets, Zoom tweaks music tunes as per fan tweets. The channel has 2.9 million-odd followers and more than 50,000 tweets, setting the official twitter handle @ZoomTV abuzz.

Topping such a comprehensive digital presence is Zoom’s official website, http://zoomtv.indiatimes.com/, the channel’s mainstay in the digital space with special web exclusive content including live streaming, picture gallery, video uploads, trends and show trivia. The idea is to feed avid Zoom fans as much information as possible through the website.

Also, Zoom’s official YouTube channel has over 28,000 videos uploaded with 3.4 lakh loyal subscribers and over 81 crore views at last count.

To its credit, Zoom was adjudged the third most consumed TV channel on Mobile TV by India’s largest consumer survey on mobile usage.

The channel follows a simple strategy which Kaul puts as: “The strategy has been to listen keenly to know audience conversations, reactions and trends from the past and use that knowledge, almost instinctively, to serve up new stuff that they find interesting. The choice of topic, stars, the time of day (when an update is put out), and selection of hash tags – all comes from the close and mindful study of past trends. Above all, we aim to be as current and quick as possible in making the content available online. Keeping a constant track on all that’s being reported by our own internal resources, while also being watchful at the world outside”

Zoom’s online channel Telly Talk is the newest jewel in its digital crown and made heads turn when it crossed 10 million video views on YouTube within six months of its launch.

Telly Talk affords audiences uncensored access to their favourite stars, right from their personal wardrobes to how they celebrate their anniversaries to what goes on behind-the-scenes et al. Not only does it provide entertainment in newer, more user-friendly formats, it also engages viewers by giving them opportunities to interact with their favourite small-screen stars from time to time.

Telly Talk has over 21,000 subscribers on YouTube. Through Twitter initiative - #TellyMate, the channel facilitates two-way communication between the audience and their favourite stars.

Asked what makes the channel so popular, sometimes more than GECs, Kaul says: “As a part of family TV viewing, the youth has to follow GECs even when they’re not their most preferred choice of entertainment. In the digital space, it’s entirely left to their individual choice to choose and watch exactly what they want. The width of leadership that the channel enjoys in the space is evidence of the strong connect that the brand has with its core audience.”

Asked if Zoom would turn to reality shows ever, Kaul simply says: “The youth is really smart and is looking for content that will interest them. The minute it’s not relevant or exciting enough, they have many more options to turn to. So we are focused on the quality of our conversations on the page. It’s more about providing relevant content on the fans’ page to keep them interested and encourage their friends to further develop interest and that automatically gets people to visit the page.”

The channel is pretty sorted in terms of getting clients and business on-board, says Karthik Lakshminarayan

On the other hand, Zoom’s activeness on digital platforms is getting praise from senior media professionals.

“The channel is doing pretty well, very profitable and has made good progress in the last so many years. The channel is pretty sorted in terms of getting clients and business on-board,” says Madison Media COO Karthik Lakshminarayan.

He further adds that, though the channel is doing well, it does not have any undifferentiated content to offer to its viewers. He suggests that in future, the channel should not take a reality turn and should stay in what its forte is. “Moving beyond that into different forms of offering won’t really help them,” Lakshminarayan signs off.

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