Firstpost’s 9 Months, a digital show on parenting and childcare, recently launched its fourth season. The show on the day release conducted a Blogger’s meet in Mumbai where a panel of celebrity mothers that included MaliniKapoor and celebrity Chef RakheeVaswani addressed topics around motherhood and childcare. As part of the show, these celeb moms, along with Suchitra Pillai, Rakshanda Khan and ChahatKhanna will provide a realistic take on parenting as they speak about their first-hand experience.
9 months addresses the oblivious millennial parent-to-be or a new parent or a parent of a toddler, to give first-hand, expert guidance on every stage of motherhood and more importantly parenthood.
The previous seasons of 9 Months, have garnered around 11.8 million views across platforms. The series has gained traction as the go-to guide for new parents amassed a reach of 20 million and 43,000 engagements in form of reactions, comments and shares on Facebook.
Brands that have associated with 9 Months for the fourth season are Asian Paints, Nestle Ceregrow, Mothercare, Momspresso, FoodFood and IshqFM. The series will be live on Firstpost.com, Momspresso.com along with their Facebook and YouTube channels. It will be available on Viacom18’s OTT platform Voot as well.
Medianews4u caught up with Azim Lalani, Business Head of English General News Cluster, Network 18. (Firstpost, News18.com English)for a brief conversation about the show and how it has been contributing to Firstpost’s success.
What was the insight that led to creating the show, 9 months?
When we launched FirstpostStudio two years ago, we were deciding on the topic we should focus and create engaging content on. While conducting our research, parenting stood out as one of the strong categories. We observed that there is a gap in expectations of users consuming content around parenting and childcare. While there was ample information available on the web for parents, most of it was in text. Video content was limited and lacked the gripping experience and engagement. We wanted this demographic to receive that experience via a host of engrossing videos by making the communication more interactive.
The core idea behind 9 Months was to tap into this audience through a chat show that brings in experiences of Indian parents thus creating conversations that resonate with them. The one challenge that we faced was tapping the target audience since we are a news website. Hence, it was important for us to collaborate with parenting platforms like Indusparent and Momspresso. In the long run, this has increased our viewership as their audiences have also taken to and appreciated a well-thought of show like 9 Months.
Was the show conceptualized for a brand which later became a series or was it conceptualized for the portal and brands were a natural addition to the project?
It was definitely the latter. Two years back, when we were deciding to create content on the topic of parenting, we lacked direction as we didn’t know how to give this project a start. At that time, author and speaker, Meghna Pantwho was working with us on another project, was expecting. That’s when we decided to go ahead with her as the host for the first season of 9 Months. Her being the host of the show was indeed a commendable feat as for the first time in India we presented an author, journalist and anchor as face of the show despite being 7 months pregnant.
How was the response for the first three seasons of 9 months on Firstpost?
Having been a trend-setter in the parenting and childcare genre, the show has gone on to garner around 50 million plus viewers a mix of organic and paid over the last three seasons. A reason for this astounding success has been the platforms that we’ve collaborated with. Partnering with them has proved fruitful and led to the show to broadening its reach and achieving such high viewership figures. It was also important that the show was made available to the right audiences, which is why we ensured that we pushed the content on the right social media channels and networks.
Could dive deep into the topics that have been covered in the past and which would be topic that would be covered in this season?
We covered topics right from nascent stage of pregnancy, till the point where a child is just about to enter his teens. Over the last three seasons, we made sure we threw light on topics that needed to be talked about. We wanted our audiences to grasp the information in a manner that didn’t seem like an overload of content. Each one of these topics involved a lot of research at every stage. Every season till today has seen our dedicated team spend at least 3-6 months researching on the topics covered. The fourth season, in particular, was a highly extensive one and required the most amount of research since we covered the age group between 2 to 12.
How has the advertiser’s response for the show been? Which are the brands that are on board for this season? What are the other categories that you would want to bring onto the show…apart from the ones that are already on board?
For Season 4, we have brought on board recognized brands like Asian Paints, Nestle Ceregrow and Mothercare as sponsors. In the last few seasons, we have had associations with Baby Dove, Eureka Forbes, Huggies, Nerolac, Sanofi, Godrej Securities, Mother Dairy, Godrej’s Nature Basket, Tata Chemicals, Thyrocareand Cloud 9 hospital. We made sure that we were able to seamlessly integrate these brands into the show. We saw to it that we have a seamless integration with all these brands. While we did a few branded listicles separately, we were certain that we want the content to be very clean and out of the forceful integration of a brand. For the next season, we will be making a foray into the teen space, which will see multiple brands be part of the show. I also see a lot of excitement in the internal team as we will be covering the age group of 13 – 18year olds.
We understand that the target audience would be to-be parents or parents who have been blessed by a baby recently, but which are your key target markets? How have you positioned the show for your target markets?
Initially, the idea was to break the language barrier and enter the Tier 2 and Tier 3 market as well. Unfortunately, due to limitations, we couldn’t go ahead with that. We realised that the conversations on the show are much more urban and metro centric for a mother between 25 – 40 years of age.But if we are able to garner the brand and monetary support to make the next leap forward, we would love to get into these regional markets as well in the future.
How are you going to promote the show? What apart from the network support of the mighty Network18 group are you planning to do?
We have roped in Momspresso as our content partner, which will see the episodes going live on their own platforms as well. In addition to that, we are also tapping into social media using Network18’s combined social strength and Momspresso’smommy network across social and dark social media to push the show. Lastly, we also have leveraged our reach on the OTT medium by partnering with Voot where the episodes will be going live.