Yesterday, STAR Plus premiered two TV shows online before they went live on TV: the second season of Aap Ki Kachehri, hosted by Dr. Kiran Bedi, and the TV serial Sajan Ghar Jaana Hain. These were shown on the companys online video network STAR Player.

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As much as this event is going to be used for positioning, we don’t think it’s enough: it’ll be something for the press to lap up, but how many people really heard about it? Was there a cross-media marketing initiative to promote the online premiere on TV? No palpable buzz on facebook or twitter – this certainly wasn’t Rakhi Ka Swayamwar. I’ve only noticed a banner on Indya.com (and visited Indya.com only because I was expecting a banner there)

We view the online initiatives as an opportunity for STAR to get on board users unfamiliar with much of this content: we doubt there will be significant duplication of viewers between TV and online to begin with, and if STAR really wanted to build an online presence with STAR Player, it should consider webcasting a much larger portfolio of its shows online, perhaps an hour or two before the TV show: the incentive for online viewers would be – they would know how the shows ended before others. As irrelevant as it may sound, the one-upmanship is often what drives people to watch the first-day-first-show.

Apart from that, since having content online means that users can watch it anytime, STAR should consider just putting in a line at the end of the show while credits are rolling, that viewers who miss an episode on TV can always watch it again online. These little things matter, and one only has to learn from the way news channels (particularly from the Network18 group) promote their online properties.

What do you think STAR should do to promote its shows online?