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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Want Craig David and Dido all night long?

Those music channels, whose USP so far has been Hindi film music should wake up and smell the coffee because there is another opportunity waiting in the wings. MTV's sister channel VH1, which with its all-English and no veejay mantra is today a hit with its listeners. This is because niche channels are muscling to media planners notice and therefore, niche music channels can also make the most of this attention.

Though MTV made Hindi film music its mainstay in 1997, when it swept away a huge Indian audience, VH1 has reached its annual target of 12 million subscribers in just 10 months. It has also roped in 20 brands like Pepsi, Nokia, Samsung and Hyundai. The channel has no costs because it airs recycled, international music, no annoying veejays and little programming, this is one channel that is all about pure, unadulterated music. With this, the channel is looking at breaking even in the next two years.

A top source at VH1 told CNBC-TV18, "There are 120 odd channels addressing different market segments. There was this one segment, which was international music and it was going unaddressed and VH1 saw the gap there and came into the country at the right time. So we've hit upon the need gap and we are servicing it and it seems to be large enough so that advertisers also want to come on board and address them." But the honchos at VH1 will continue to want the channel to be more niche based because the market for English music and lifestyle ccontent is that much smaller currently. So the idea is that VH1 will remain India's only English music and lifestyle channel and MTV will be more broadbased.

Even though a broad player like MTV has seen a slight dip in growth, as compared to Channel V, people in the know admit that a channel like VH1 that purely plays music is going to have a high share but Channel V does not want to go down that route. They would prefer to position their channel as a youth product with great music being flanked by glamour and fun activities. All the same, media planners feel that all channels, including niche music channels will have to work to keep the eyeballs glued to their respective channels.

Written for moneycontrol.com

1 comment:

Abhinav said...

Hiya. I too am a freelancer though I've just started out and don't have a portfolio yet.