Byravee Iyer
Jun 14, 2016

After Zalora, Rewind Networks keen to expand 'rewards' program

Singapore-based TV network wants to expand its newly launched 'rewards program' in a bid to expand revenue streams.

After Zalora, Rewind Networks keen to expand 'rewards' program

SINGAPORE - After running a first-of-its-kind reward-based marketing partnership with Zalora, TV channel Rewind Networks now wants to bring in more brands and services under its ‘HITS Rewards U’ program.

The program involves airing a promotion code that viewers can immediately use at the retailer's website.

“People are giving us their time and are loyal to our shows, and we want to be able to say thank you,” said Avi Himatsinghani, the CEO of Rewind Networks. “This gives us the opportunity to connect with folks in the digital economy. It’s a win-win—brands get more coverage and branding and consumers get something for watching our network.”

WIth the promotion currently in its third week, Himatsinghani claims the feedback from Zalora has been great. 

Rewind Networks launched HITS, a linear 24x7 pan-regional Pay-TV in 2013. The retro re-run channel currently reaches 8 million homes in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. Himatsinghani is seeking to raise a fresh round of funding to launch a retro movie channel.

One media expert Campaign Asia-Pacific spoke to didn’t share Himatsinghani’s optimism.  “In my opinion calling this a rewards-based branding campaign is an exaggerated claim," said Jason Tan, head of strategy at Zenith Singapore. "It's a mutually beneficial partnership, but the reward is essentially a promo code that is not too different from Zalora's other promotions.” 

Tan added: “I'll be more interested to see whether Hits is the ideal partner for Zalora because looking at the programming, the audience for Hits does not seem to be the savvy online fashionistas that Zalora is looking for.”

According to Himatsinghani, on-demand has introduced the binge viewing experience, but a lot of longtail content on these platforms wasn’t getting consumed. “Linear TV drives that," he said. "I was very convinced that what pay TV lacked was a simple proposition and curation of the best in an easy manner.” He claims that 1970s-era sitcom ‘Diff'rent Strokes’ gets 50,000 viewers for an episode and that the network is able to reach out to a “certain type of audience” and deliver consistently.

The company’s revenue model is fairly simple: it gets some of its revenue signing multiyear deals with pay-TV providers, and the remaining comes from ad sales. The network has not yet broken even.

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