‘Content innovation to govern English movie channels’ landscape:’ Kevin Vaz

MUMBAI: As 2016 rolls in after an action packed 2015, people are now rolling up their sleeves setting tougher goals to meet new challenges and touch greater heights in the new year. And amongst them is Star India business head - English cluster Kevin Vaz.

According to Vaz, the English movie channels’ landscape will be governed by content and experience that will be led by innovation. And that's exactly what Star Movies and Star Movies Select HD plan to do this year.

Vaz tells Indiantelevision.com, “The industry landscape will be governed by content and experience that will be led by innovation. The invitation to our viewers is not just the promise of top-of-the-line Hollywood premieres on TV, but a marketing story to match its grandeur. Advertisers are well informed and believe in the power of great content and innovations and are willing to partner on something that will drive the viewers. At Star, we have also invested in creating a very strong brand extension in the form of Star Movies Secret Screening that engages and involves viewers beyond TV and makes them a part of the brand community. Understanding the consumer psychographics and creating stories that appeal to them will continue to the motivation for the team.”

With an edge over its competitors with the rights to the Oscars, this year the 88th Academy Awards will be simulcast live for the first time on Star Movies as well as Star Movies Select HD on 29 February, 2016.

While Star believes in curating content with content filters that appeals to the audience, Vaz is not perturbed by the advent of over the top (OTT) platforms offering content to viewers at their convenience. Opining that the mushrooming OTT platforms are not something that will affect acquisition cost of content, Vaz says, “At Star, we have some of the longest running studio deals giving us access to the biggest blockbusters and franchises. Our acquisition model has always been content based and continues to focus on ensuring that our viewers get the best of Hollywood.”

Nowadays, marketing is not just about spending more, but spending smart and driving impact for viewership and perception of brands. For the premiere of Captain America, the channel initiated a first of its kind activity giving viewers a chance to win Captain America’s Harley Davidson bike. Going a step further in content innovation, for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Star Movies had joined forces with Farhan Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani & SKRAT to create a music video for the TV premiere.

Additionally, the network has strategically invested in creating a strong brand extension in the form of Star Movies ‘Secret Screening’ that involves viewers beyond the television and makes them a part of the brand community.

When queried as to how viewership impacts advertisers and agencies when it comes to English entertainment channels, Vaz says, “Advertising does depend on viewership, as that’s how the format of the TV business operates in India.” However, he is quick to add that Star has a competitive edge over its rivals with the strategic content deals with 21st Century Fox and Disney, which gives it access to some of the biggest blockbusters and franchises. “Our library strength is exhaustive and cannot be replicated by anyone. These facts alone make us a natural choice for our partners. The responsibility of having the best premieres and the biggest library is well shouldered with thought through marketing stories and festivals,” he adds.

From a content perspective, Vaz is bullish about 2016. “This year will be spectacular for our viewers as they will get to see some of the biggest titles like Avengers- Age of Ultron , Birdman, Boyhood, Fantastic Four and Ant Man being showcased as an offering month on month between Star Movies and Star Movies Select HD. We will continue with our radical content innovations like premiering unreleased movies month on month on Star Movies Select HD, something no other channel can offer,” he informs.

Beyond the premieres, the channel will continue to offer viewers unique movie festivals on book adaptations, critically acclaimed animation and Select 7+ to name a few, which brings some of the highest rated movies together.

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