magicbricks now

The Times Group has launched MagicBricks Now, a real estate and property channel named after its online real estate portal MagicBricks, reports Indiantelevision. The channel will be available on DTH and cable networks (excluding DD’s Freedish) from 1 November and is targeted at NCCS A and B viewers in the age group 25-37 and 38-50. Faye D’Souza will be the channel’s editor, and said that the channel would be multilingual.  According to the Indiantelevision report, its sponsors include Lotus Green Developer, Hiranandani and Mantri Developers. The channel is expected to break even in 4-5 years. Some of its programs include The Property Guide, The Home Buyer’s Guide, Property Hotline, The Interiors Show, The Vastu Show, Real Estate Tycoons, and The News.

MediaNama’s take (Nikhil Pahwa adds)

How should the Times Group view its properties: as per medium (print, web, TV, Radio), or as singular brands across media? The Internet brought about the unbundling of the newspaper, with segments such as news, classifieds (jobs, matrimonial, real estate and education), entertainment, sports (and even Cricket and Football, individually) being carved up into independent brands. It’s difficult for a horizontal brand which has a little of everything to compete with independent brands for whom the whole focus (similar to what happens with business units versus independent startups), for example, what happened with Naukri when it launched.

We saw some of this strategic shift from a horizontal play online (Indiatimes) when it was reorganized as Times Internet Limited, where the company decided to focus on each brand independently, possibly to raise funds for each brand separately.

Now we’re seeing that “product focus” extend to other media as well, with MagicBricks TV. From an organizational perspective, it would be interesting to see – and we don’t know if this is already the case – whether the sales arm of the newspaper business (Times Response) will also have cross-media teams for Magic Bricks, across web, print and TV. That is potentially a much trickier reorganization than rebranding, but necessary if MagicBricks wants to raise funds or list one day.

Of course, we’re not sure if focusing on a single brand quite works out: Zigwheels, was sold to Cardekho, apparently a larger player, recently.

Image Credit: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu

Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama