Romedy Now rides high on EQ
Romedy Now turns two. Mood at the channel is buoyant and happy. It claims to be a consistent number one in its genre and it does not intend to vacate that position in a hurry.
Taking us through Romedy Now’s success story, Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice President & Head English Entertainment Cluster at Times Network says, “The channel looks for share of heart. Content on Romedy Now can be broadly divided in two buckets: romance and comedy. In fact the name ROMEDY Now was coined keeping in mind its hybrid content”.
It has been an interesting journey for the channel. It extended its fiction show slots from 7-9 to 6-9 in the evening, and 9-11 was retained as the time for movies as it understood viewer preferences. Now the channel, with a roughly 50:50 mix of romance and comedy, claims that, of the Top 25 English shows in the Indian Television space 18 are with it.
Research indicated to the channel that there are two types of viewers: One who is loyal to the day part and another who is loyal to the shows or programmes. The channel hence has focused on understanding the audience and creating show slots in such a manner that audience stays with it.
Vivek believes that channel has grown at a rapid pace because it has understood the pulse of the viewer and kept the viewing experience stress free. He says, “Mood of the channel is ‘Happy’. Its emotional quotient (EQ) is higher than any other channel in the genre. Romcoms provide a feel good factor. We are looking at making the viewer smile and enjoy.” He adds, “We took the risk of creating a differentiated and segmented brand Romedy Now and it has paid off.”
The channel has faced its fair share of challenges as is expected of a channel which has experimented with a hybrid genre. Vivek says, “Challenge of ‘romedy’ as a genre is that you cannot repeat movies or audience interest will wane. You also have to focus on keeping the content fresh – which is true of television across genres. In our case, since it emotional content, it has low repeat value and hence the need to source more content.”
The channel has doubled its revenue in two years. A large percentage of its advertising revenue comes from advertisers like e-commerce and high end auto brands. Its ad rates have gone up by 50 to 60 % since the launch. It is on track on the breakeven front and is working towards it. The channel, as per Vivek, intends at growing at a faster pace than the genre at large.
The channel is also working towards bridging the gap with US in terms of time gap in the airing of shows/seasons. In some cases it is showing content within few hours of telecast in US. Like the Ellen Degeneres show.
It is present on all distribution platforms and is not focused only on metros. Vivek explains, “Our viewership is increasing in markets other than metros as it is a gateway to international lifestyle.
Newer markets have come into our fold. These are major growth drivers for us.”
Targeted at 15+ SEC AB audiences, it has a similar user profile for comedy and romance. Vivek informs, “When we launched Romcom as a genre was available to us. From a ROI and mood stand point our platform works well for advertisers.”
As a large percentage of its audiences are present on social media it is using the platform extensively. Efforts are in the direction of encouraging conversations and igniting new conversation around the brand.
The channel, at the completion of two years is running a thank you campaign on air to celebrate its audiences.