Interestingly, Pix has been consistently concentrating on the day-part build up strategy for a while now.
With the fifth season of the IPL finally coming to a close, Sony Pix has decided to extend its day-part focus strategy to the 9 pm slot for the next one month.
The channel has acquired 15 new titles that will be positioned as Pix Premiers (movies that will be shown on Pix for the first time) and will be exploited to build the 9 pm block. Also, the exclusivity of the titles will remain with the channel for an approximate period from June-December, 2012.
The new titles include names such as Watchmen, GI Joe Rise Of Cobra, SPY GAME, Surfs Up, and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.
Ashwini Kamat, general manager, MediaCom, however notes that since the cricket-watching audience may not be interested to watch a movie after all, the move and thus the investments may not receive the right ROI.
"Had the channel promoted its 9 pm focus aggressively during the IPL, it could have attracted the interested viewers. But since it did not, the strategy to tap viewers that will also include the IPL audience does not make sense. Nevertheless, the channel can gain extra eyeballs because of the fresh titles," Kamat avers.
Interestingly, Pix has been consistently concentrating on the day-part build up strategy for a while now. The tactic was initiated with the 'Sunday Breakout' block in October, 2011 wherein two back-to-back films are shown on a Sunday afternoon with a single break within each given movie that is telecast.
Meanwhile, the approach was once again exploited to tap into the youth segment during the 2012 vacations, wherein the weekday afternoon was built with the telecast of back-to-back movies between 12 noon and 5:30 pm.
But does day-part strategy work well for a channel like Pix? Currently, an advertiser's investment call is still heavily dependent on ratings; now while for a general entertainment channel (especially Hindi GECs), the difference in day part viewership is quite stark, it's not the same for niche genres.
"The day-part performance difference in ratings is not much for niche channels; for an English movie channel, the analysis is more qualitative and based on the hypothesis that it's the working male audience with a high spending capacity who will watch a Pix-like channel once back from work. So, the advertiser more often than not buys spots on such channels during primetime, chiefly based on ERs," says a top media executive.
In fact, many note that an aggressive focus on the 9 pm block could help the channel pull in audiences from other English movie channels such as Zee Studio or Movies Now.
But, if a channel intends to convert the other genre viewers too (which are also the IPL viewers), then 10:30 pm weekdays and overall weekends are the right blocks to be focused on; 10:30 pm because most of the channels' important programming (national and regional GECs) extend from 8 pm till 10:30 pm. Not to forget, Indian viewers have a habit to turn off their TV sets after 12 in the night. So, an early start of a movie (around 10:30 pm) could build additional viewership to a large extent.