“We will keep increasing our footprint in all current & future entertainment platforms”: Krishna Menon, Chief Operating Officer, The Q India

Krishna Menon COO Q India

The Q India is an advertiser and influencer-marketing content brand supporting Hindi language, channel, and VOD provider. With a growing library of over 850 programs, the channel boasts to have reached an audience base of over 712 million via 100 million television homes along with its various partners.

MI in conversation with Krishna Menon – Chief Operating Officer, The Q India. In his present role, Krishna maintains control of diverse business operations and is directly responsible for distribution, branding, influencer marketing, digital sales, and operations. Having been a part of the team at The Q since its inception in India, Krishna strategized to increase the channel’s reach and tap rural markets thus moving beyond metros.

Excerpts here:

Q) Tell us about your journey in building The Q so far. Please underline the channel objectives. 

When we entered the Indian market, our key focus was on understanding the pulse of young India and catering to their needs. The Q is a Hindi General Entertainment Channel, at its core which as a Brand has evolved from an IP channel to a Linear TV channel and now practically into becoming a platform-agnostic entertainment entity for Young India!

Also Read: The Q Announces The World Television Premiere Of Critically Acclaimed Series Aashram

Our core DNA is to offer genres of content that is fresh, entertaining, coming from popular Digital Creators of Indian heartland; content that is never seen before on television. We as a Brand at the same time, also provide digital creators with a platform to showcase their content on television. When you watch The Q, you’ll find multiple genres of content from gag comedy, Drama, Animation, Food, Travel, etc. Overall, we are preserving the general entertainment flavour which is entertainment for everyone. Initially working alongside top creators, we’ve tested our content to see what works and what doesn’t. Our objective is to reach out to the young Indian audience beyond metro cities and provide entertaining content to tier 2 and tier 3 cities where not everyone has access to smartphones.

Q) Tell us about your decision to take The Q on DD Free Dish.

The Q holds a vision of becoming the preferred destination and brand for entertainment for the youth in India. Considering the vision, we had to choose our programming strategies that would be different and result-oriented. After closely tracking our viewership numbers and audience preferences; we realized that a large chunk of our viewers are from rural India, as television is their only source of entertainment. This same audience also does not have easy access to the fresh goldmine of entertaining content that exists in the Digital World. Hence the move of taking ‘The Q’ on DD Free Dish was also backed with a strong consumer-centric lens and thereby tap and serve the rural markets with digital-first content. Before we came onto DD FreeDish we were at 0.5 to 2 GRP’s. In a span of about eight to nine weeks of launching on DD FreeDish, we went up to 50+ GRP. Thus making us the fastest growing Hindi GEC channel for young India.

Q) What are your plans for a multi-platform entity of The Q?

The Q has reached an audience base of over 712 million via 100 million television homes with DTH, MSO & Cable distribution partners. The channel is present on OTT platforms, mobile and digital platforms like MX Player, Snap, JioTV, Amazon Fire TV, Chingari, etc.  We are also rapidly expanding our presence on Connected TV devices by way of live TV & VOD offerings.

Recently, we mobilized the digital creator economy in collaboration with Chingari, the leading short video platform which held India’s first-ever virtual audition for our crime fiction show on Jurm Ka Chehra. The auditions were held on the Chingari app for 20 days with an ‘Age no Bar’ approach and over 47,000 users participated for a role in Jurm Ka Chehra garnering over a billion impressions. We will keep increasing our footprint in all current & future entertainment platforms. Our aim is to make “The Q” a platform agnostic entertainment destination.

Interview of Krishna Menon, Chief Operating Officer, The Q India

Q) With so many players in the FTA Hindi Entertainment space, how challenging is it to sustain in the category?

It is always good to be surrounded by competition. Our immensely differentiated proposition is what’s actually set a new bar in the category for our competition with a few players actually adopting our strategy of content curation. And our hunger to be the pioneer in helping us in pushing the team to generate raw and unique content for our viewers. Being an advertiser and influencer marketing-supported Hindi language general entertainment channel with a dynamic programming strategy that targets young Indian audiences sets us apart from our peers. We have been the only brand in our category to experiment and think differently from inception by curating and powering content from the digital ecosystem for young audiences across platforms. Our library of over 850 programs is robust and cuts across genres with a Zara Hatke style of storytelling. We have been doing quite well so far and will continue to provide differentiated content, take risks and strengthen our connection with our audience.

Q) Throw some light on the expansion of The Q after the acquisition of Chtrbox.

Since its inception, The Q has leveraged the power of digital on television. We acquired Chtrbox with an intent to continue to drive synergies between television and digital. Further on, we launched BharatBox as India’s first integrated marketing platform powering brands to reach consumers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities across television, digital platforms, and social media. It’s an interesting proposition. BharatBox offers brands 360 degrees go-to-market customized solutions that are fully integrated across all distribution platforms like Television Advertisements, Influencer-Generated Social Media Content, Branded Content, Interactivity, and Surveys to seek real responses from consumers about new launches via influencers, and E-Commerce integrations encouraging direct purchases from audiences. We have just acquired Chtrbox and are working closely with the team to explore how we can work with brands more closely.

Also Read: The Q And Chtrbox Launch BharatBox

Q) How has the pandemic affected the overall viewership of the channel?

As opposed to the changes seen in the category and drop experienced by many players, we actually experienced a surge in our viewership early this year and our unparalleled strategies turned out to break the challenges experienced by our competition during Pandemic. The overwhelming response of the viewers to the channel in such a short period is a product of unparalleled content bought by The Q. We curate content that the advertisers find refreshing and appealing and serve digital-first content on TV. We have a presence across TV and Digital to reach out to Young India, a very coveted target group for Advertisers backed by GRPs that have made us the fastest-growing GEC in recent times.

Also Read: The Q And Chingari Partner For Virtual Television Show Audition

Q) What are the future plans for The Q?

As we are heading towards the end of the year and looking forward to the beginning of an amazing year, we are collaboratively working to ensure that The Q reaches altogether a different height in 2022. We have planned a brand campaign that will be out very soon with a very popular and loved face of the Hindi Entertainment space. For building viewer loyalty, we have initiated engaging on-air offerings through Watch & Win contests with more and more promising rewards. We will continue to stay focused on curating the best of digital content and keep a close watch on the creator’s economy to explore creating interesting content for our discerning viewers. With this lens, we have collaborated with a slew of popular and new Creators getting a fresh supply of existing new shows across genres of Animation, Comedy, and Drama from this month and have plans to launch originals across genres such as Comedy, Drama, and Talent hunt which will encourage and promote Digital Talent also in it.

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