Digitisation is the way to go and the latest to jump on the bandwagon is Zee TV. The general entertainment channel announced the launch of a WAP site and a mobile application for its dance reality show, Maruti Suzuki Dance India Dance (Season 3).
The move is essentially to build on the engagement factor with the show loyalists in real time. The channel has associated with Mobilox Innovations to develop the site and the app.
"Technology engages us in ways that are addictive. Television consumption patterns are changing for good. Viewers are leading the charge towards on-demand entertainment, viewable on the device of their choice. This power shift is pervasive and they are not just passive viewers anymore, they are also generators of content, co-creators of products, and - with social media and their smartphones - a media channel in their own right. With anytime, anyplace consumption, it is imperative for a content producer like us to adapt to their methods to make an impression and engage with audiences. And, to remain viable, we must do our part to facilitate this process," Chawla adds.
The WAP site will feature entertaining content through which viewers can interact with the participants as well as the judges, and also vote for their favourite participants (with the in-built missed call function for voting). The app, too, shall facilitate similar interaction, and enable watching of video content on the go. It will also incorporate fun features compatible with the various social media platforms.
The WAP site is developed on HTML5 and enables a better, faster and richer experience on phones.
Abhijit Saxena, managing director and chief executive officer, Mobilox Innovations, says, "The explosive growth of mobile phones, especially smartphones, in India has opened multi-model opportunities for viewers to interact with content from the channel. Channels now have a huge opportunity to deliver a concept or a show in multiple flavours on mobile, thus making a TV show come out of the screen and resonate strongly in the minds of the viewers."
According to Saxena, marrying television and mobile (two widely viewed screens), viewers can now interact with a particular show beyond its airing time to a 24-hour format.
Chawla insists that Zee is extensively looking at the digital medium and will exploit it more going forward. He says that while the other media are not being downplayed in any way, it cannot be ignored that digital allows better interaction and targeted communication at a lower cost.
He also suggests that the company's digital strategy won't be one that is 'one size fits all' but will be very different, according to the programme content and the audience.