By Sonam Saini
Non-fiction programming on Hindi normal leisure channels (GECs) appears to be following the identical sample because the saas-bahu spin-offs that have been all the trend as soon as upon a time. Multiple actuality present in the identical style on a Hindi GEC just isn’t uncommon at this time. Pattern this: Sony Leisure Tv (SET) has Famous person Singer on air at present, and the eleventh season of Indian Idol slated to launch later this 12 months.
Equally, Star Plus has two dance actuality exhibits — Dance Plus, the fourth season of which concluded in February this 12 months, and the at present on-air Nach Baliye. The broadcaster additionally has two singing actuality exhibits in its programming roster — The Voice and Dil Hai Hindustani, each at present off air. In the meantime Colours has had two exhibits within the comedy style: Khatra Khatra Khatra, which is a mixture of motion and comedy, and Leisure Ki Raat.
Evidently, broadcasters are taking part in it protected. However is the over-reliance on the singing-dancing-comedy actuality genres a sound technique?
Spot the distinction
Singing, dancing and comedy actuality exhibits have been the ‘evergreen’ codecs for broadcasters ever because the codecs have been imported. However not all of them have been fail-safe. Sony learnt this the onerous approach when it launched a comedy present, The Drama Firm, alongside its already-existing The Kapil Sharma Present. The previous didn’t garner desired viewership and was taken off air inside 5 months of launch. “We haven’t repeated the error since,” says Ashish Golwalkar, head – programming, SET.
Colours experimented with airing two comedy exhibits again in 2015-16, specifically Comedy Nights with Kapil and Comedy Nights Bachao. Nevertheless it hasn’t finished so within the current previous. Nina Elavia Jaipuria, head of Hindi mass leisure and the youngsters TV community at Viacom18, says that the channel tries to schedule exhibits in comparable genres otherwise, in order that they don’t eat into one another’s audiences. “There’s no level placing exhibits from the identical style collectively. For instance, we won’t slot Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Dance Deewane collectively,” she shares.
When channels have a couple of present in the identical style, innovation and differentiation are essential. When Colours launched its singing actuality present Rising Star in 2017, the channel launched dwell viewers voting. Equally, India Banega Manch, its expertise hunt present launched in 2017, was shot on floor, not like India’s Obtained Expertise which relies on the in-studio format.
In comparison with fiction content material, actuality exhibits are costly to provide — a present like Dance Deewane or Famous person Singer might incur a manufacturing value of `70-90 lakh per episode. Nonetheless, they fetch far more in promoting income than fiction exhibits — virtually thrice as a lot. Sometimes, an hour-long actuality present has 1,320 seconds of advert stock; and a 10-second advert slot on such a present prices `1.5-2 lakh.
Ashish Pherwani, accomplice, and media and leisure chief, EY India, says, “Fiction programming, which includes often low-cost, excessive margin content material, generates quite a lot of stickiness and will increase the time spent on channels. Alternatively, actuality exhibits starring movie star judges assist entice new audiences.”
How do advertisers resolve which property to place their cash into? Ok Srinivas Rao, nationwide director – shopping for, Mediacom, says a well-established present based mostly on a global format with a robust movie star line-up is the holy grail for any marketer. Points akin to how previous the franchise is and which channel is airing it are additionally thought of.
The track and dance routine will proceed to be a fixture on GECs, consultants say. “The viewers is all the time in search of contemporary content material. So long as channels are experimenting with the codecs and bringing in new expertise and themes, actuality exhibits based mostly on these genres received’t go anyplace for just a few years,” says Sujata Dwibedy, EVP, head of shopping for and buying and selling, Amplifi India.
A parallel could be drawn with fiction exhibits of the previous, the place a success theme/storyline turned fodder for a complete clutch of comparable exhibits for numerous broadcasters, however finally, only some remained. “Identical to fiction, a saturation level will likely be reached when rationalisation will happen and a few of these similar-themed actuality exhibits will die a pure dying,” says Vineet Sodhani, CEO, Spatial Entry.
Moreover, he says, broadcasters are at present utilizing actuality exhibits as some form of an edge to scale back the migration of customers from TV to OTT, because the latter is usually related to fiction exhibits. “That is an try and stem the shrinking Hindi GEC viewership,” he provides.