Indica Research highlights consumer standpoint in the CAS debate

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 27, 2002
According to a recent study by Indica Research, consumer preferences will assume greater significance under a conditional access system

As the Government grapples with the issues relating to CAS (conditional access system), and the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) tries hard to put across the demands of the broadcasting industry, Indica Research has conducted a study that tries to gauge the implications of all this for the consumer.

The bulk of the market today comprises single TV households. Less than 5 per cent of the households have two or more TVs. A recent CII report, based on an analysis of TAM data, clearly points out that average television rating points (TVRs) have been falling over a period of time. This means that the viewership is becoming more and more variegated, and thus, by definition, the channels that carry the programmes.

In a context where the customer chooses the channel basket (different from programme basket), a completely different set of factors may come into play. Some of the key questions are: Will they choose to maximise or minimise variety? How important will be the predictability of the fare (for example, music is predictable)? What will be the role of the various family members? What are the channels they want, assuming they have a fixed budget, and a mental plan factoring in the choices of the various members of the family? What is the consumer likely to choose as their base pack, and what are they willing to pay for that?

These factors have some definite pointers for channel managers. The key implication for broadcasters will be the valuation of the subscription package. The Indica study says programming genres such as action thrillers and comedies may assume greater significance because of their broad appeal across the members of the household. In such a scenario the focus of the channels should be marketing at a channel level, and not just marketing of programmes.

Promotions, bundling, constant tracking will be necessary to stay top-of-mind. That is because besides appointment viewership, there is a strong component of surf-and-settle viewership that a programme enjoys. So TRPs alone will not yield all the information needed to craft strategies for success.

Given this each channel has to figure out where it stands vis--vis its competitor in the viewers mind. The positioning will need to evoke expectations and in effect "sell" the brand as much as the actual programming would, says the study. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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