NDTV Group's lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times celebrated its first anniversary this month. The channel claims to be selling aspirational and luxurious lifestyle content to upwardly mobile, affluent, English speaking viewers.Shibani Sharma Khanna, channel head, NDTV Good Times, defines the channel, “It is aimed at the elite class, celebrating all things good and bringing forth the upbeat, celebratory aspects of an aspirational lifestyle.”“It is an effort to cover a whole line of cross sectional consumer products, be it food, beverages, clothes, gadgets-gizmos or health and relationships. The idea being to establish oneself as the first lifestyle channel of the country,” she adds while talking to afaqs!.
Shibani Sharma KhannaThe channel was also the first of its kind to have added an advertiser’s brand premise to its name – NDTV Good Times (UB-Group owned Kingfisher’s tagline is ‘The King of Good Times’). This way, the brand DNA of a luxury brand was embodied with the channel.Besides roping in Kingfisher as a major brand partner, the channel has successfully integrated lot of other brands in most of its shows; for instance, Zip Pouch for Chake le India!; Apollo Tyres for HOMP; Pedigree for Heavy petting; Bertoli for Italian Khana; Geetanjali for Limited Edition; Reebok for Sweat; and Reid and Taylor for Cracking the Code. Talking about the larger integration of brands on the show, Rohit Gopakumar, senior vice president, NDTV Media, tells afaqs!, “The value of any brand association is based on various parameters, such as the rub-off a brand gets by being associated with the channel or a certain programme, the intensity of visibility across the channel, tenure of association and the impact brands derive from this association.” When asked about the price tag for such brand associations, Gopakumar declines to reveal. He says, “One cannot compare it with a 10-sec ad spot, keeping in mind the saliency. As per TAM Media Research, 60 per cent of the channel’s viewership comes from the age group of under 35; while the rest comes from 35+. Interestingly, the ratio of female-male viewership for the channel is 60:40. Khanna explains that although the channel is committed to offering engaging, entertaining lifestyle fare to men who have no major entertainment source besides surfing between news, sports or movie channels, the fashion and lifestyle content would be appealing the women viewers as well. In terms of television genre, the channel competes with the likes of Discovery Travel and Living. However, the channel executives don’t prefer this comparison; they claim NDTV Good Times to be a unique content channel. Khanna says, “Definitely, Discovery's channel too is a niche channel, with distinctive programming and being the older channel, it is well placed. But at the same time, we are the only player as of now, offering India oriented content on lifestyle and fashion.”
Jyoti BansalMedia observers such as Jyoti Bansal, executive director, West and South, MPG, gives further insight into the positioning and appeal of the channel. “For a marketer and media planner, both the channels could be slotted in the same category; because after all, the content offered by the two players revolves around lifestyle, entertainment and travel. The only difference being that content on Discovery Travel and Living is more global; and fare on NDTV Good Times comes loaded with an Indian flavor. Anyway, in the first year of the launch any channel, and more so a specialised channel, has to struggle to establish a definitive position, defining its TG.”The channel now hopes to cash on the boom in the new distribution system of Indian television – DTH and CAS. Rahul Sood, head - distribution & affiliate sales, NDTV, states, “Emerging platforms such as DTH and CAS will definitely help grow the overall subscription market. The two existing players already claim to have around 5 million subscribers put together; and with the entry of Reliance, Bharti and Videocon, the DTH subscription is said to hit anything between 15-20 million by 2010-11. CAS has had a slow start, but that will also pick up with the second phase of CAS implementation being in the pipeline. All these are good signs for existing and to be launched specialised channels.”Khanna concludes on a promising note, saying, “Keeping in mind the festive season ahead, we have plans to offer some real big shows to the viewers. Differentiated programming, coupled with frequent replacement of old shows with new ones, has been our USP so far. We will continue the effort, providing viewers with new shows in new formats and by launching the second season of some of our popular shows, such as My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”