A year to remember!

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With over 20 years of media experience, Govind Shahi is an established media professional based in London. Currently heading the Indiacast business in Europe and Americas where the network has seen significant progress, Shahi was involved in launching a sister channel (Rishtey TV) and breaking the norm of moving Colors to the free-to-air mode, resulting in significant
revenue growth for the network.
What a rollercoaster the past year has been on the Asian ethnic media front! From channel launches to channel closures; from Bollywood cinema revenues
going down to coverage of radio stations going to national level; and of course, the news that Sky is to scrap its Asia pack and put all Asian channels on one big basic pack – whoa!! It’s been a year of paradoxes – how and why are new channels launching when the existing ones are not making enough money,
how can radio stations expand when local radio is not increasing revenues? While Bollywood remains the new buzz word why does Bollywood cinema revenue fall? Sunrise Radio’s move of going national last year gave radio advertisers the first-time opportunity
to be heard all over the country. Figures since launch have been encouraging and increasing quarter on quarter. A healthy growth story in terms of audience/listener numbers.

Cinema

Cinema on the other hand seems to be struggling to get a sizeable footfall and is showing a declining trend YOY. Generally speaking it was a rather sluggish market last year; the revenues were 8% lower YOY. Had Dangal not released in December 2016 this figure would be even lower. Though the number of Bollywood movies released has shown a slight growth, the overall revenues from ticket sales has declined. Luckily the first quarter of 2017 has shown an upward trend of 7% when compared to the same
period last year
Could the increased cinema genre on television be creating this decline? New movies now have a shorter time gap between the big screen to television premiers – and this looks increasingly challenging for cinemas. With more channels showing movies moving to the basic pack on sky this revenue stream will be an interesting one to watch out for this year

Asian TV in the last year

The number of South Asian channels in the UK continues to grow each year, with most of the new entrants choosing to be
“How and why are new channels launching when the existing ones are
not making enough money”
BARB’s from the outset. Performance metrics are becoming key in the development of Asian channels as they help evaluate the entertainment value provided to the audience. Here is a quick look at what the numbers are revealing as the insights gets deeper.

Overview

At first glance it would appear that despite the rising number of Asian channels in the market, viewership was down 1.03% yearon- year in 2016. However, this is not so alarming considering an overall 0.58% drop in Total TV ratings in the UK. Eyeballs are
shifting from the main TV set to ‘elsewhere’ as a general trend.
What makes the Asian market intriguing within this scenario is the behaviour of the Asian viewers themselves. Whilst ratings of the Asian audience to the Asian channel group
dropped 2.3% year-on-year in 2016, numbers of Asian viewers watching Total TV increased by 2.1%. The Asian appetite for TV is only getting bigger – these viewers are going nowhere.

What does this mean for the Asian TV market?

There have been several movements for networks in 2016 – while one network has gained, another has seen a drop. FTA channels are slowly climbing the ladder. Long standing channel Prime TV has seen the biggest increase in ratings. However, this was entirely led by the cricket broadcast. Entertainment channels remained strongest in the 2016 market followed by Pakistani channels – a sector that has seen a surge in interest from TV networks over recent years.
A year to remember! With over 20 years of media experience, Govind Shahi is an established media professional based in London. Currently heading the Indiacast business in Europe and Americas where the network has seen significant progress, Shahi was involved in launching a sister channel (Rishtey TV) and breaking the norm of moving Colors to the free-to-air mode, resulting in significant revenue growth for the network.
“How and why are new channels launching when the existing ones are
not making enough money”
When compared vs. the previous year, movie channels have increased viewership, (despite some big movies not being aired on movie channels but instead shown on GEC channels) as well as the Pakistani Channels. In comparison, the traditional Entertainment group of channels saw a decline

Time shift viewing

An interesting trend amongst Asian viewers is the preference for time shift viewing. Whilst 84% of viewing on Total TV is viewed live by Asians, this drops to 76% for Asian channels in 2016. A large 15% of viewing is recorded and viewed on the same day as live (VOSDAL) for Asian channels, compared to 9% of
“Entertainment channels remained
strongest in the 2016 market
followed by Pakistani channels”
viewing across Total TV. This however does not come as a surprise
as previous studies have suggested a hig her penetration of DVR/higher end boxes in Asian homes as compared to total TV homes.
Gazing into the crystal ball this year has shown that the Sky Asia pack may not continue and that all channels will be moved into the basic pack. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the Mela pack on Virgin.
New channels have launched and even more are in planning stage or being launched. Yet, another Asian radio station is rumoured to go national soon. Bollywood shows are making a comeback as the events market is seeing a significant increase vs. recent years. Clearly there is still plenty of life left in the brown pound.

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