“We’re the digital first on TV – catch anywhere, anytime, on any platform. This is what makes us the fastest growing channel ”: Simran Hoon of The Q

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The FTA channel has seen phenomenal growth since joining DD Free Dish in April of this year.

After being available on multiple DTH platforms, OTT platforms, mobile and digital platforms like Snap, JioTV, Amazon Fire TV, The Q India found a spot on DD Free Dish in April of this year. The FTA chain has grown tremendously since then, going from 4 gross rating points (GRP) in the first quarter to 46 GRP in the second. With the ebb in Covid19 cases and the unblocking of the economy in the third quarter, it has now come down to 38 GRP.

“Before we got to DD Free Dish, we only had 0.5 GRP. Within about eight to nine weeks of arriving on DD Free Dish, we went up to 51 GRP. That makes us fastest growing Hindi GEC channel for young Indies. Our content was very different from what other FTA channels were showing. Currently we are in our 30s because in the last two weeks there has been a small unlocking and the whole GEC category went down, ”Hoon said.

The channel is a subsidiary of the Canadian-based media company QYOU Media Inc. It targets young people beyond metropolitan cities. This audience has limited access to digital media. Through its broadcasts, the channel tries to provide this. Their shows include comedy sketches, cooking shows hosted by popular digital creators, animation, and lifestyle / travel shows. It provides digital creators with a platform to showcase their content on television.

“It creates a win-win situation. For influencers and creators, they can showcase their content on a TV channel. And for us, we get original content. We’re the digital first on TV anytime, anywhere, on any platform. This is why we are the fastest growing channel, ”she adds.

The audience for Free Dish is typically located in Tier Two and Tier Three cities. Most of the content on these FTA channels is reruns of programs broadcast by major GECs during prime time. The “big dads” FTA channels – Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey – broadcast their old content from their main channels. For Dangal, this is the content of NDTV Imagine. The Q sets itself apart by offering digital content on television.

“We were looking at how we could serve something different to this underserved audience. So we selected digital media content and brought them whole new, up-to-date and differentiated entertainment on their televisions, ”she adds.

Thanks to television, the channel reaches more than 110 million households and 700 others via mobile screens. Providing content across multiple platforms comes with challenges. After all, the needs of OTT viewers and viewers are quite different.

“Yes, but since this audience is underserved by content, we are grabbing relevant content on OTT platforms for the channel. For example, we broadcast Ashram from MX Player. We edited it and instead of nine one-hour episodes we now have half-hour dailies for TV audiences. We have also removed content that is not suitable for television. OTT still has a very urban bias. In these cities, not everyone has a cell phone and the majority are still single-TV households. People also suffer from low bandwidth. Discoverability of content therefore remains a problem. Because we provide organized content based on what resonates with them, people don’t have to waste their bandwidth figuring out what to watch, ”she adds.

Besides the big four, the other players in the GEC space are Abzy Cool, Azaad and Shemaroo TV. Azaad is a new channel launched this year targeting rural audiences in particular.

“There are more players entering space. There is a strong growth in the number of viewers in the cities of level two and three, which until now were not taken into account by the pay networks, which has aroused the interest of advertisers, ”he said. she declared.

Hoon says The Q provides advertisers with a unique target audience. Unlike other free channels that target audiences over 35, the channel primarily targets young Indians. “The young population had almost quit television. With the arrival of digital, they were no longer served by these television channels. But we cater to that audience with digital content, which is curated for them so they don’t have to go and explore the content. And whether it’s on TV or on their mobile platforms, it’s free for them. For advertisers, this is in addition to the audiences that other networks provide, ”she adds.

The pandemic has changed the behavior of television viewers. Hoon says people now prefer happy content over dark material and also for shorter format shows.

“People are looking for more happy content now. They want entertaining content that they don’t have to think about too much, like comedy. They are also looking for infotainment, where they learn something new. Unlike before, when shows dragged on for years, audiences are now looking for episodic shows. They no longer have that patience. They are more interested in watching shorter formats, ”she adds.

Over the past year, The Q has seen a few major nominations as well. In August, they appointed Sujata Samant as Head of Marketing and Pankaj Rai as Head of Ad Sales for the North and East regions. Ashish Kotekar joined us in May as Ad Sales Manager for the South and West regions. Hoon was also named CEO in April this year. In addition, in August, the channel also launched BharatBox with Chtrbox as India’s first integrated marketing platform enabling brands to reach consumers in Indian cities level 2 and 3 through TV, digital platforms and social media. These are in the perspective of launching another channel in the first quarter of next year.

“We really want to be at the forefront of everything related to the digital space. Whether it is the economics of creators or the market for influencers or programming. And we are very nimble to stay ahead. We will unveil some exciting plans over the next 12-18 months, ”she concludes.


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