NGC Network’s ‘localisation’ effort reaps engagement in millions

Jessu John Bengaluru | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 15, 2016

Swati Mohan

Big traction on social networks for digital shows; views for local productions up

NGC Network began the year with ‘India Unlocked’, an initiative that caters closely to Indian viewers by offering them a mix of television content.

Shows have been varying from the Mahakumbh to India’s Megakitchens, Mega Factories: Tata Nano, Mangalyaan – India’s Mission to MARS, and others like Heart of Incredible India – MP tourism.

This move to straddle a range of programming, including indigenous productions, is aimed at refining the brand’s understanding of its Indian viewership while offering ‘localised’ content.

“Localisation and being relevant goes way beyond choosing the right content. It also means having the right platform. And about 10 – 15 per cent of the total programming for India is locally produced,” says Swati Mohan, Business Head (India), Fox Networks Group.

The diversity of programmes on the NGC Network channels is now more reflective of modern India’s interests than ever before. Dubbing, localised promotions of international shows, and local productions make up the broader localisation strategy.

“Localisation works to increase ratings and sponsorships. And from an editorial standpoint, unless a piece of content fits into a large scale production, we don’t run with it,” Mohan explains. NGC Network India Pvt Ltd, part of FOX Network Group (Asia) has National Geographic Channel, Fox Life, Nat Geo Wild (along with their respective HD channels) and Baby TV, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo Music as part of its bouquet. Increasingly, advertisers too seem to be keen on varying their game in content marketing, according to Mohan.

“Advertisers want to tell stories, and they want to deliver on multiple platforms. They’re looking for brand love,” she shares.

The right mix

In India, NGC Network offers a combination of regular ‘on-air’ programming and digital shows.

A mix of series and specials make up local productions for NGC Network’s various channels. There’s also a mix of long and short form content. The brand claims its documentary BSF: India’s First Line of Defence, a digital offering, achieved more than 2 million minutes of video views in the three days of its being available (26th - 28th January 2016), becoming also “the 3rd most watched show on Hotstar on Republic Day”.

The brand also shares that the digital reach of promotions for the documentary was about 20.2 million users in 10 days (excluding the views on Hotstar).

“In just five days, Facebook engagement for that show was to the tune of 2.24 million users. Mobile promotions resulted in more than 2,12,000 people setting a reminder for the show,” Mohan elaborates. Another show Mission Explorer, also made available entirely on digital platform, saw 2.1 million video views in four weeks.

Meanwhile, Nat Geo and its sister channels have a combined global fan base of 250 million across all social networks; Nat Geo Channel is the “most followed non-celebrity brand in the world on Instagram” while it has “over 55 million fans on Facebook alone”.

Catching the wave

In recent news, Netflix entered India. Balaji Telefilms also articulated intentions to take on video-on-demand players like Netflix and Hotstar, while BBC Worldwide inked subscription video-on-demand deals with Hungama and Vuclip. The NGC Network’s partnership with Hotstar spells similar ambitions.

“With our motto of ‘no viewer left behind’, we introduced our content on Hotstar for viewers who prefer to consume content on the go... we believe in being platform agonistic… being available across various screens,” Mohan says. Whether or not this leads to a glut of players in the VOD space, what it definitely means is that media owners, platforms, and content aggregators know localisation helps drive conversion and preference.

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Published on April 15, 2016
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