After launching English movie channel &Privé HD in September 2017, Zee Entertainment Enterprises is launching one more English movie channel &flix in standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) options. ZEEL's new movie channel will go on air from June 3, 2018, and the tagline is 'Leap Forth'. The first movie that the channel will air as a part of the premier is Marvel's Spider-Man Homecoming at 1.00 pm.
According to industry sources, ZEEL's English movie channel - Zee Studio - will soon go off-air with &flix being its replacement. The ad expenditure in the English movie category is currently around Rs 520 crore. ZEEL has come up with a new TVC to promote the launch of &flix that is being aired through various network channels. The campaign has been conceptualised and made by Publicis India in partnership with ZEEL's in-house team.
Apart from TVCs, the network is already promoting the launch of the new channel via the digital platform as well. And to ensure that the news hits "home" (pun intended) ZEEL will advertise through outdoor and print campaigns in six metros - Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad which are the core markets for the channel. The campaign will run for six weeks. The core target audience for the channel is 15-40, male and female, SEC A and B.
The channel promises that no two Sundays will be the same again as it brings one hit premiere every weekend, before anyone else, under the property Flix First Premiere. Additionally, it will showcase its movies under unique properties like 'Best Flix Forever', 'Late Night Flix' and 'FamJam Flix' amongst others. It's line-up of movies also includes Baby Driver, Life, The Emoji Movie, The Atomic Blonde, Jumanji, and Blade Runner 2049 to name a few after Spider-Man.
ZEEL worked on the launch of &flix for approximately one year. The channel's content distribution partners are Sony, Paramount and Disney. The channel also has a deal with seven to eight independent studios. In total, it has 400+ movies in its library and 52 premiers. The five channel partners are Fiama, Lloyd, Domino's Pizza, Amazon, and Pernod Ricard.
Talking about how ZEEL would house differentiated content for &flix and &Prive HD, Aparna Bhosle, business cluster head - premium channels, ZEEL, has this to say, "When we take an output, it is everything that a studio produces that comes to us in the current window and we have a library to choose from. All the movies that release come to us anyway, but the decision that we have to make is what goes on &Prive HD and &flix. However, the proposition is so distinctly different, that there can be no overlap. So, the call then, is how nuanced is the movie that it should be on &Prive HD or how mainstream is the movie that it should be on &flix."
We asked Prathyusha Agarwal, chief marketing officer, the reason behind not re-branding Zee Studio and launching a new English movie channel. She says, "Zee Studio and &flix provide different offerings and there was a need gap and the new channel is bringing up fresher and larger than life offerings. We were looking at an overall portfolio of different segments and what the offerings are that we want to bring and, in that context, &flix becomes our new channel to launch. Zee Studio has its own place and has its performance. Hence, trying to modify that into something which has a totally different offering, we don't think that works."
So, is &flix replacing Zee Studio? She says, "That's not how we are thinking. We are looking at this as a new movie channel. We don't see the role of Zee Studio given that we will now have two channels in the English movie category; so that becomes redundant as an offering. It is not about replacing this. Zee Studio had its own space and the kind of programming we had for it; it had its own kind of audience, but this is definitely the larger segment that we wanted to chase."
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