Essel Group's Living Entertainment to launch 4 channels in 12-15 months
Living Entertainment from Essel Group is quite bullish on its expansion plans in the next one year or so. The company, which already has a food and lifestyle channel Living Foodz in its bouquet, now plans to launch no less than four new channels in the next 12 to 15 months.
The first of these channels is called Living Zen, which will be in the space of health, wellness and happiness.
By the end of 2016 or early 2017, the network is planning to launch Living Travelz, followed by Living Homez and Living Roots.
Living Entertainment is hoping to have a full stable of channels by this time next year.
Meanwhile, Living Foodz is gearing up for its new weekend show ‘Ganga - The Soul of India’ on May 1, 2016. To be aired on Sundays, the show will be aired on dual time slots of 12 noon and 7.00 pm.
In conversation with AdGully, Piyush Sharma, CEO for India and APAC region, Living Group of Channels (Zee Entertainment), and Amit Nair, Business Head, Living Foodz, share more on the channel’s plans to ramp up its content line-up, the group’s plans to expand its offering with new channels, engaging audiences across segments and more. Excerpts:
How do you plan to create more traction for the different time bands?
When we launched, we had a combination of both Hindi and English shows. The English shows that we had were from our Zee library. We later shifted them to our evening post 10 pm time band because the content was much more upscale and it talked to a very metro-centric audience. Among these were ‘Good Food America’ and ‘Peggy’s Kitchen’. We are actively looking at completely revamping the late evening time band and introduce fresh content, which could much more cutting edge.
For ‘Ganga - The Soul of India’, due to its launch period, we have kept a dual time slot of 12 noon and 7 pm. On Sundays when people are usually busy at home, these are the two time bands when you can probably find them free to watch the show.
What about competition from English entertainment and movies in the late night time band?
What we are doing essentially is to draw up a good balance of interesting content with a syndicate or create originally for that time band, which will appeal to the metro-centric audience.
What is the show – ‘Ganga - The Soul of India’ – all about?
The show is actually a journey. It starts at the uppermost regions of Uttarakhand, which is Gaumukh, and it traverses the entire journey of Ganga right to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal. What is central to this narrative is Dia Mirza. So, Dia as a person is involved in a lot of social causes. We found her as a perfect fit because this is not necessarily a very food-centric show – even though food is a very important component of the show, it is not necessarily related to food in terms of food plus travel plus cooking. It’s a journey in which Dia meets a lot of people and it’s got a great mix of culture, adventure, spirituality all put together and food is that important component that binds it together.
How are you planning to make the show more inclusive?
Ganga is a very important and most revered river and every India would, at any point in time, connect to it in some manner or the other. What is essential is that this entire thing comes back to a very strong idea of how it can become varied television content. So, from an engagement point of view it has great stories and the narrative goes in such a manner that it … up with people, which makes it more relevant to today’s times. Hence, from a content point of view, this can appeal to across all age groups and across all SECs. While my primary target would be again urban metro-centric people, somebody in the entire UP belt or in the rural areas would find a connection in terms of the spiritual aspect of it, the mystical aspect of it. Whereas probably the urban audience would more connect to the adventure and interesting stories.
BARC releases something called the ‘Alpha Club’ report, if you look there we have close to 40 per cent of the market share in the SEC A or NCCS A. Our entire mix is very upper class skewed that way. But a show like ‘Ganga’ should cut across all classes.
How are you engaging the youth with your content?
The youth is one of the important TGs that we are looking at. The kind of content that appeals to the youth is something that is far more edgy, which connects several other dots. Music is one of them, reality is another. So we are looking at bringing in these kinds of elements also within the entire space to create the connect. We did that with ‘Ranveer’s Café’. Even though the musicians that were featured in ‘Ranveer’s Café’ were new and budding musicians and not the industry biggies, we found a great traction there because these were the kind of people that the viewers connected to. The big names in the industry are of course making waves, but we decided to give a platform to these upcoming musicians to express themselves. We now have a second season of ‘Ranveer’s Café’ coming up, where we are going to take this concept further and make it an important part of our entire programming.