The advent of private television channels in Pakistan

Privatization-of-channelsIn 2003, Pakistani Television Industry went through major revolution. Prime Minister of that time Zafarullah Khan Jamali’s government awarded broadcasting licenses to 66 radio and television broadcasting companies.  With such sudden change in industry, a striking tough competition inside the industry started. The state’s monopoly broke down in the broadcasting field that thrilled Pakistani audience. Before the advent of Private Television Channels, the Pakistani audience had limited in entertainment side and less channels telling news about domestic and international issues. Until 1999 when General Pervaiz Musharraf liberalized the media by giving it a free hand that started showing development in 2002 when an elected government took place.

A decade has passed ever since the privatization of TV channels in Pakistan, the cable TV network has emerged as a significant medium engaging audience with current affairs debates and cross media fertilization and setting agendas at a broader perspective.

Taking an example of Geo TV, broadcasting under the banner of Jang Group who is considered an important name in newspaper industry of both English and Urdu, it broadcasts with high profile anchors, newsmakers and news breakers.

With more than 100 channels rolling in the television, our leisure times have become linked to news bulletins, current affair shows, talk shows and entertainment shows including dramas. More channels led to more advertising budgets and in 2010, it touched the budget of 5.6 billion. Despite the shrinking economy of Pakistan, our media industry shows no such sign. Private investors are applying for licenses to PEMRA. With lack of advertisements on private channels, many private channels closed.

The privatized channels in Pakistan are catering all segments of audience like women through dramas, men through talk’s shows through news channels and sports channels and youth through music channels.  By the end of the day, the private televisions are entertaining audiences and informing them about latest happenings every minute.

Investment opportunities in Pakistan

Pakistan is, no doubt, a land of multiple opportunities. There are numerous areas ,which are unexposed to the international market and are still unexplored and not identified by the potential investors .The sectors are being frequently revealed ,where the infra structure is required at very basic level .

Talking about the highly qualified, professional human resource and skilled labor, Pakistan stands at the top in the world and the factor of their economical availability is an exclusivity that cannot be found anywhere, in the world.

In technological revolution, Pakistan is striving hard to be independent and self sufficient in proving its capability at par with the most modern countries of the world. The Information Technology and tale-communication sectors are growing unprecedently.

The land of Pakistan is rich with mineral resources and richest in terms of agricultural yield .With an organized digging and cultivation strategy, the effect of growth would bring Pakistan to the top in these sectors.

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Why advertise frequently?

Advertising is such a fascinating field. One can investigate one’s thoughts and concoct any advancement to help one’s image flourish better in the business. Additionally a consistent work on, publicizing shows the brand in such a way, to the point that clients are roused to embrace or purchase it. An advertising campaign is the main path through which we are well known about the display of another brand in the business or about the redesigned peculiarity of a current old brand. Without promoting, it will be an intense assignment for each brand manager to create mindfulness about his item or business among prospects and potential purchasers. Along these lines, it is essential for every single brand holder to ceaselessly publicize his item so that clients are mindful about its peculiarities.

The medium of publicizing assumes a real part while passing on any brand message to the audience. A solid channel of correspondence effectively positions the brand on clients’ brain. TV Advertising, Radio Advertising, Print Advertising, Outdoor Advertising practices and so forth are normal method for brand correspondence actualized by brand managers. Media blend or dispatching an advancement crusade of a brand through numerous channels of publicizing is an effective method for the brand manager to advance its item.

A ceaseless publicizing fight of a brand keeps the brand correspondence in a stream in this manner guaranteeing simple reachability of the brand message .There are numerous brands that offer the same peculiarities or profits. Accordingly, it is again vital for the brand manager to constantly advance his item so clients remember and keep the brand on top of their brain. Rivalry has ended up truly forceful in the business sector particularly with the endless dispatch of brands just about consistently. A powerful promoting campaign is a benefit for a brand holder to pull in his clients’ consideration and sway them to embrace item.

In advertisements, it is hard to re-display a current old brand among the target bunches again and again. On the other hand, the peculiarities or look of a brand can be remodeled whenever. Once the remodel is carried out, it is vital for the brand manager to make his clients mindful about the changed gimmicks or look of brand image.

The best media rates to advertise on TV channels

Not letting your products or services advertise on TV? Well, you are missing a great chance to be in proper competition with your rivals. So now after reading this, if you are looking for some good media rates in your country then one must know the perks of advertising on TV Channels. Some basic principles are to be followed to be a real profit killer for the advertising technique on TV Channels. Gain attention of your client by being prominent in TV channels and make a space in your customer’s grocery trolley! It’s almost a game of few seconds to hold someone’s attention or they are going to change the TV channel they are watching.

It is a common practice and desire of the advertisers, clients in the advertising language, to get best rates for the media campaign on TV channels .This practice is not unique in media industry in other sectors as well, all business communities want to ensure that they are buying the best quality at best price .In case of media marketing industry this term (media buying) has been recognized and established, worldwide because of bulk media buying companies in Pakistan and all across the world.

Through media buying, the advertiser gets stretch of his money and maximum exposure with minimum budget .This is the best proposition and ultimate objective to be achieved from every campaign. On face of it, it doesn’t seems to be an illegitimate business demand, buying at your best, cut downs the cost. Reduction of expenses increases the profits and eventually helps in business growth. This is brighter side of media buying, best buying, best planning and perfect reach to the targeted audience.

But television programming and production is itself a huge industry, which is generally and specifically dependent on advertising revenues. Since there is no such thing as subscription in Pakistan, therefore all the development and boom of programming software is dependent on advertising revenue .which in turn improves or deteriorates the quality of programming and time comes, where the channel’s programming drowned to a level of zero ratings.

As the business is cut throat, so every channel tries to be on the top and perseverance in case of fighting to get maximum eyeballs remains the only way of staying on the top .Channels with deep pockets and proper planning of producing best software gets the due share of viewership.

If we discuss it neutrally without being biased about the media buying companies and remaining unbiased about the TV channels industry. The suggestion for TV channels would be, to remain consistent, about the production of best products for their viewers and do not sell their channel in desperate manner .Otherwise, they will just be an addition to the TV screens and media buyers shall not consider them at all, or if they will do, they will squeeze their rates to the point of no return.

This is like you do your business and I will do mine. Off course a media buying company for the love of God will not be worried about the survival of channel “A” but it will try doing best for its own survival .The media buying company will do its best to retain its clients and provide them best value of their money and returning on investment.

In this article, I have tried to make up a point that it is actually another version of Lamarck theory of evolution. The struggle for the survival and survival of the fittest .This however seems to be very materialistic and capitalistic in its interpretation but it is a crucial fact of business world and same applies to both TV channels and media buying companies

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Advertising during current affairs programs on News channels

images-(1)If you look around in your social circle, you may not find TV viewers who haven’t seen politicians shouting and accusing each other. This is the daily story in most current affair shows as well.

A viewer, sacred individual with eyeballs, the loveliest creature for the program producers, the marketers in the channels, for the channels, for the media planners and for the advertisers as well as source of revenue. The TV viewing for the end consumers of entertainment industry is almost free. You can have grand variety of channels and one can pay a small monthly cable fee to have this luxury of home theatre. The variety of entertainment available in approximately 5 Dollars a month to TV viewers is undoubtedly, unmatched across the globe.
The revenue stream for the channels is only through advertising that it gets from variety of advertisers including public and private sectors. There is no concept of subscription and it is not anticipated at all in the near future.
To have maximum advertising revenues the news channels make sure to design talk shows and execute them in a manner to pull maximum. Interestingly television news channels have become the breeding center for most of the controversies and political rivalries. The more vocal the show is and hotter the debate gets, higher it is shown on viewer ship ratings index .After the reshaping and repositioning of News channel in the second quarter of this year when Geo went through tough times and still not widely visible. The other current affair shows have started getting better rankings on viewership chart.
The media plans are usually designed while keeping in view of target consumers of the product. On the basis of gut feelings and filtered data of people’s meter, generally the targeted consumers is caught” red eyed” watching a program x. We can comment that it is assumed or statistically proven to be known and under such estimation, the program “A” is considered to be watched by maximum numbers of targeted consumers for product “B”.
There was a time and maybe it is still the same situation when an ad of a hair removing cream appears in the most popular current affairs or political talk shows. Without being biased about the political wisdom of our female viewers, watching an ad of hair removing cream in political talk shows gives a deep insight regarding viewer ship habits of Pakistani audience.
We may say that all Pakistani adults, urban and rural, males and females are glued to their screens at 10 pm to watch political bull fighting, which is called, current affairs talk show.

The quality of the content within these talk shows and serenity they provide to the minds of the viewers is not the topic here. The most important element is to ensure who is watching which program .If we think that all males and females from all socioeconomic classes love watching political talk shows then spending money during these shows must be giving best ROI. But if not, then we should reconsider our planning strategy.

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Females’ favorite dramas on TV channels

If you have the experience of shopping along with females , either real or window shopping , you might have an opinion about the hardships they face in choosing the object to buy. Maybe the same hardship is faced by the shopping companion as well. However, after such hardship and a comprehensive analysis of market, we may say that women choose the right object, in most of the cases.
This would be very hard to evaluate which subject of dramas is most popular in Pakistan and majority of females like to watch dramas of same genre or subject matter.

If you meet a TV drama producer, ask him about his selection of script to start a project. The subject that he would say would be more feasible financially and will get him maximum ratings and popularity, would be related to family issues. Some very famous family issues are related to marriages, joint family systems, financial issues faced by single individual and he has to support a whole family. Some topics related to polygamy, considered to be vague as a law. Dichotomy in its interpretation by law of land and laws of religion is also one of the popular (off course not favorite) subjects of dramas for female.
The romance is all time favorite as well in its various forms as per the social values of the society .Topics related to suppression of a woman as daughter in law, as wife or in any status being a woman is also a highly emotional and touching subject.
The variety and diversity of plots for drama production, those to become heart favorite is very high.
Some topics those are highly sensitive and fragile as per the religious norms and moral values if handled with care and the script is executed sensibly. Dramas on such topics could get high viewership.

In marketing communication, we study about the consumer behavior .The understanding of consumer behavior is very widely studied for planning an advertising campaign or developing a media plan .same goes with the production of drama serials ,series and other TV Programs. In Pakistan there is a wide variety of demographics and psycho graphics of the population .Unfortunately the public sector doesn’t conduct extensive research about the life styles of the people, such detail researches are very costly, though. Even if private or corporate sector execute such researches, the purpose is usually marketing or it is confined to one or other area only .Sample sizes in such research and objectives are defined for marketing communication and ultimate goal is usually to explore new markets and enhance sales.

I do not have the exact figure but still to a rough estimation, 70 percent of Pakistan’s total population is dependent on agriculture sector for their living. This clearly indicates the percentage of rural population in Pakistan. The demographics of rural population can be matched with urban population in certain scales but psycho graphics would be entirely different .In case of female members of rural population, it would be very hard to match the demographics as well.

While talking about the dramas, usually made for females or to capture the female audience, such facts are not being considered, we may say and we should say that they have equal rights to see entertainment of their choice and I wonder if some dramas are being made or under production for the people(females) living in rural areas. This would be another topic that if we want to urbanize them ….

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Myth behind the successful TV Dramas in Pakistan

images-(1)In Pakistan, the entertainment industry is technically not very young. The music of Pakistan along with the rich feature film industry at the time of partition has given strong foothold to the entertainment industry in Pakistan .At that time as many were migrating from their native cities, some precious talent destined them in this territory and has produced some pearls for the entertainment industry.

The music was very rich and it may be considered as the classical period of music in Pakistan .Coming back to Television, Pakistan TV, that is known as PTV  have started it transmission in early 60s and it is still considered  as nursery for Pakistani Drama and television programming .

Some renowned and highly viewed software for PTV are still worth watching, even though some are more then 40 to 50 years old .We have no doubts that drama producers, actors, actresses and writers of those times are mentors for many aspiring people of this fraternity.

In the year 1990 , PTV have started inviting the private sector to produce dramas and sell it to PTV under different marketing and sales arrangements .Simultaneously a private TV channel started showing its transmission under the license of using terrestrial network of public sector . The name of that channel was NTM.

This was the period when private sector have got an opportunity for giving their best shot and at the same time make and form the norms, values and learn the viability of private production business, especially the dramas for TV .It was the time of learning mostly about math of this business as the talent was abundant and was energetic and aggressive to prove its worth .New subjects for dramas were explored and were executed with comparatively heavier budgets and some of the TV serials have got huge success , tremendous viewership and highest revenues.

This was the nurturing period and based on this foundation, Pakistani Dramas were on their peak and the industry is surely producing the best dramas in entire south Asia

In Pakistan, where the household family viewing is very much intact and subject matters of dramas mostly revolves around the cultural and social values. Some liberal and advanced topics of west are either forbidden or are not digestible or are opposite to moral values of majority of the population.

In such restricted environment (as normally the environment for creativity and specially  for media industry is quite liberal ) this is very exemplary situation , that best dramas are being produced and those dramas are generating high revenues for the channels and highest grp’s  for the brands , those are advertising during top rated dramas .

One other factor which gives Pakistani dramas an edge is their competition with Indian film industry, though Indians call it Hindi movies but the language is Urdu and same which is widely understood and spoken in Pakistan. In the presence of such strong film industry across the border and availability of movies on cable channels and on DVD’s at a negligible price, the production of such high-end Drama serials and their extensive viewership is no doubt a remarkable achievement of Pakistan TV production industry.

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Top most viewed TV channel in Pakistan

alltvsAnyone who would be writing this article and has got some friends in Television Media industry especially in their marketing departments, the author should remain anonymous .There are maximum chances that the article writer would lose some friends in some of the TV channels .Only a decade ago, Television channels were owned by the public sector and there was no such thing as privately owned TV channels. The industry was small and ideas of current affairs and even of entertainment programming were conceived as per the policy guide lines of relevant government departments .The participation of private sector and of the human resource of private sector was almost negligible. That era was not considered as the era of innovation and creativity, the freedom of thought was a mere dream and execution of radical ideas was just wish for the inspiring and experienced directors and producers.

Surprisingly in the last years of the President Mr. Pervaiz Musharaf , whole media landscape of Pakistan changed .It was like a new dawn and screens were changed like through some overnight magic. Electronic media have now started enjoying the freedom to produce and show what has never been shown in the past in Pakistan.

In this decade of getting the maximum ratings, the media industry has passed through a hard evolutionary period. The fever initially was of News and Current Affairs but later as it always happened; people got bored of monotonous screens .In that period, a competition between the different genres have started. People have started to pick and choose and the remote control holders became the driving force and decisive authority about the type of programming they wanted to see on their screens.

After this evolutionary period and hard times and teething issues, those have been resolved .The media is tamed down and people are no more freak about the News and current affairs but the viewers are also trained and tamed to a great extent and now they can tell, which program has got a richness of content and what would they prefer to see. Family viewing of TV in households is culturally and socially very common. People mostly with one household TV set like to watch their favorite programs in the evening in family gathering.

The latest situation of the electronic media industry is interesting, GEO News is picking up its ratings after it has passed through the most crucial time, ARY news is getting good ratings and along with Dunya News and Samaa , Express News is also claiming to be on top . Aaj TV is struggling to remain on top in the second tier channels

The entertainment genre which is normally comprised of Drama channel is equally interesting; it has however given some dynamic positioning to Television production industry of Pakistan. As of today PTV home is leading because of its terrestrial and satellite reach and HUM TV is going head-on with ARY digital and Urdu 1 Just some inches below on the viewership graph.

A-Plus is leading among the second tier and ATV not to forget, its terrestrial reach , the struggling channels are TV 1 and others .Last but not the least GEO entertainment and Geo Kahani waiting for their fate to come back in the main stream .

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

It’s economical to advertise on TV Channels in Pakistan

imagesHowever, with the new channels coming in, on the screens, it has become hard for the media planners to decide about the right channel and right amount of budget to be spent on each channel for a campaign.

People’s meter which is at least providing  viewership data on the basis of its sample size,(let’s not discuss the sample size ) .It is being extensively used by the corporate clients ,multinationals  and structured local companies of Pakistan .Media Logic is the only company which is providing viewership trends in the form of numbers to the clients , advertising agencies and all other companies with stakes in media , may have access to the reports ,generated from people’s meter.

Those reports ,if do not give a clear mathematical  idea , at least it tells you about the trends of the people’s choice , what they have liked watching most and which program is becoming popular and which genre is getting maximum eyeballs at some point of time .

Pakistan as it is not considered a rich country from international perspectives and as per world economic indicators, GDP and other parameters consider Pakistan a growing but not flourishing economy. The main reason is the system of taxes, which is not working at all but people are not willing, neither accustomed to the payment of taxes. Majority of the population that may belong to any profession thinks that their taxes are not important to the welfare of the state. They also think that why they should pay taxes and many doesn’t even bother to think about it at all.

Still with this level of ignorance about taxes, if you go deep into the life of Pakistani, there could be variation in life style and there are huge gaps between the upper and lower classes but it will be hard for you to see an extreme poverty. There are reasons about this hypothesis, which we may discuss in some other article, however, briefly it can be stated that that Pakistan is one of the biggest philanthropist state in the world, culturally and religiously.

This paradoxical state of affairs makes people rich and Government poor and eventually it makes Pakistan a country which is considered an ideal market for FMCG’S and people specially in metropolitans are enjoying a reasonable buying power , even we can compare it with some countries of Europe as well . However any statistics about this analysis shall not be readily available.

The cost of advertising on TV channels in comparison with other countries is much lower   , a 30 seconds spot during a highly viewed program on a News channel with only cost 700 to 1700 USD.  According to market surveys regarding potential buyers, it may show a wide variety of audience, that maybe tuned to program “A” at one point of time. But if the option of filtering the right kind of buyer verses the product of their choice (product that is being advertised), the results will be very optimistic for Advertisers on TV.

Author: Maqbool Mirza -about author

Best Urdu and English Newspapers in Pakistan for Advertising

downloadPakistan , because of its fastest growing rate of literacy is becoming an important market for Print Media industry . Recently in the last few years many international high ranking Newspapers have started printing their local additions for Pakistan in collaboration with the established print media organisations of Pakistan .
Newyork  times / tribune is largely circulated in Pakistan in association with
daily Express in Pakistan, most recently Financial Times have also developed an arrangement of distributing its local version with the largest Newspaper publishing group of Pakistan, which is jang group of publication.
However, if we have to decide in our media plan about the selection of Urdu or English Newspapers , it is quite a task and depends on the target audience of media campaign. In general , the popular mass media in print media industry are Urdu Newspapers and among them the most popular one is Jang , specially for the purpose of classified and display advertising and they claim to have largest circulation .Even the English readers prefer to look for jang ,if they need to see some ads in any specific category .
However, it does not make jang an only popular Urdu language newspaper in Pakistan, daily Express, daily nawa e waqt , khabrian , pakistan and some other are important and these are considered as second tier newspapers in Pakistan.
The print media market in Pakistan is not squeezed as a whole , like it has happened across the globe because of extensive use of gadgets ,digital and social media , but it has effected the revenues of daily Newspapers ,either in English or Urdu.Interestingly many magazines and journals have been launched successfully and have got their share of readership in the last few years .Selected genres have got very strong position in the market and they are being distributed in very innovative manners in the metropolitan cities .
Some magazines about fashion are sold on traffic signals and their entire stock is disposed off ,within a day . Lately in Pakistan photo journalism is the new trend and it is very popular among the elite class , GT magazine is one of the example out of many available on stalls .The language in those magazine does not actually matters a lot but the most glamorous and glitzy pictures with high quality printing make them look very appealing to a passer by .Generally the language of such magazines is English but some are available in Urdu as well .
If we have to select Newspapers for advertising in Pakistan and our budget is limited. The first Newspaper that we can suggest would be Jang .It has five editions , published simultaneously from karachi , lahore, islamabad ,Quetta and Multan . Maqbool Mirza-about author