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Living Foodz sees 25% growth in advertiser response

Living Foodz sees 25% growth in advertiser response

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MUMBAI: After Aparna Bhosle’s elevation in the Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (Zeel) from the premium English cluster head to now being the business head of Zee TV’s Hindi GEC channel, Shaurya Mehta along with handling the lifestyle genre, Living Foodz (LF), is also given the additional responsibility of donning the hat of the premium English cluster-- Zee Cafe, &flix and &prive.

Talking about the lifestyle channel that launched in 2015, LF COO Shaurya Mehta said that since the start, the channel’s only focus was to offer original content to the Indian audiences and being true to its factor, it has been the cornerstone to its success.

Despite the disruptive elements that the lifestyle genre witnessed in the form of demonetisation and GST, it didn’t affect LF which took two years to break even. “We broke even a while back. It took less than two years to break even,” he said. According to him, the genre within these 2-3 years has grown 10-15 per cent y-o-y and the channel claims to have grown in excess to the growth of the overall space.

Not only this, as far as advertisers’ response on the channel is concerned, it claims to have witnessed a healthy growth rate in excess of 25 per cent y-o-y. Also, whether or not the ad rates of the genre increased, Mehta said that the channel has already increased its ad rates. “The ad rates have already increased and over these past three years, we have consistently seen our ERs growing. LF is more on the premium side now from a viewer and advertisers perspective and we enjoy a much healthy ERs than our competition.”

When it comes to adex that declined in FY18, according to the KPMG report 2018, the lifestyle genre observed 1.3 per cent adex in FY17 and 1.2 per cent in FY18. “We at LF have seen great growth within these 2-3 years. The genre stayed a little stagnant from the ad sales perspective and going forward this would improve and there will be relatively steadier phase over the coming years.”

Considering the BARC data, LF has been ruling the charts. Mehta said that the channel continues to lead the market share in terms of viewership with a healthy margin in a genre which is already cluttered. “With the channels that have been around for almost a decade especially some leaders in the market like Discovery and others and to go up against them and draw us a span of viewership shares is quite a big thing.”

The network has plans to launch 6-8 shows this month and many more in the coming month with a mix of both original and acquired shows. The channel garners most of the viewership during the daytime, between 1-7 pm depending on the shows that could vary. Several shows were launched on 3 October, slotted for the typical prime time of 9 pm.   

LF provides just local content for the viewers buy other players offer a mix of syndicated and local content. Mehta said, “We have seen much of our competitors also adopting our strategy where instead of airing syndicated content, they are also airing a mix of original shows. So as the overall content strategy, competition will have a mix of both syndicated and original content and in case of LF, original shows remain our main pillar.”

He added that as per the consumers’ choices, there is an appetite for syndicated content as well. There is a room for both local and syndicated content where there are people in the market who want to consume the content from all around the world.

Mehta said that considering the infotainment and lifestyle genres together, lifestyle has seen growth from the perspective of the accretion value of the viewers that is known in India. According to him the outlook remains positive and the viewership base will continue to grow. “We have seen digital as a medium growing tremendously in this genre and competing with TV viewership. So from that perspective as well, LF has a strong strategy for our digital footprint also playing an important role for growth in the group and LF as a brand. We have been investing our digital platform as well since last year and we continue to do so. We bring the shows that are available on TV and we also do some originals to publish on our livingfoodz.com. We do realise that in order to build the story over the next 5 years, our digital footprint will also play an important role,” he said.

A Tamil feed was also to be added this year for which he said, “The Tamil feed is still in progress. We want to ensure when we are completely ready to announce. We are looking at all the possibilities.”

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