War for an English Pie

Recently I read an article in a business magazine about the competition amongst english movie channels in India. Article discusses about the quest of English movie channels for leadership in this niche segment.

Now let us explain you the overview

  • There are approximately 11 english movie channels in India
  • Major channels are (source: TMA Media)

o Star Movies: English movie channel with largest market share (41%)

o HBO: English movie channel with second highest share of 39%

o UTV World Movies: A uniquely differentiated channel that offers International award winning movies of different languages. Market share 5%

o Zee Studio: English movie channel with market share (6%)

So what’s the problem with English movie channel industry? The problem is:

  • The segment account for only 5% of total viewership pie in the country. All the channels compete in this small segment
  • Low English-speaking population
  • Major markets are 8 metro cities

But how these channels are making money? The channels garnered 300 crores of ad revenue this year as compared to last year’s revenue of 220 crores, a growth of 36%

These are channels are employing various strategies to increase their market penetration rate and ad revenue of their channels such as

  • Inclusion of subtitles in the movies
  • Choosing the blockbuster titles
  • Selecting movies which has high revenue generation capability even with high repeat rate

I would like to particularly mention the channel UTVAction channel which telecasts action movies, the most popular genre with Indian population, dubbed in hindi for the masses, a good strategy to achieving penetration in tier B and Tier C cities. These kind of channels forms an entry level brands and launching pad for other pure english channels.

The road ahead is quite tough for UTV Worldmovies, is other differentiated channel that offers International award-winning movies of different languages. The channel operates in a niche within niche segment. I believe that potential consumers for this segment are real movie buffs who want to move beyond Hollywood to experience the international cinema.

Only the future will tell us who will win the War over the viewership.

Please post for comments.

Bye for now till the next time.


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