Zee Music banks on interactive shows

MUMBAI: Zee Music, hit by low penetration, is planning to get its distribution act together. The channel is banking on interactive programming like dial-in shows to improve its reach.

Zee Music has an average 13 per cent reach in November, according to TAM data in cable and satellite 4+ Hindi-speaking markets. MTV's reach is much higher at 24.23, followed by Channel [V] and ETC Music (20 per cent).

The channels two live and interactive shows, Suniyon Re airing 3 pm and another Please Toh Play at 7 pm, have shown the managers of Zee Music that good properties can drive reach. In both these shows, viewers can request for songs through a toll free number and also chat with celebrities real time.

Zee Music is also considering whether a joint promotion/packaging with ETC channels would help increase its viewership base.

Emphasising on the interactivity factor, Zee Music and Zee Cinema business head Bharat Ranga admitted to, Connectivity is a problem, but that problem is being addressed through various initiatives, including our live shows that have got us positive feedback.

Recently, Jagjit Singh interacted live with viewers/listeners on Suniyon Re. A first of its kind for Singh, the feedback was positive enough for the channel to think of effectively marketing such properties to increase viewership in C&S homes.

Zee Music is also bothered about increasing its audience share. It has a 12 per cent channel share, putting it behind MTV (20 per cent) and Channel (V) and ETC Music (17 per cent each). This is based on TAM data for 1 November to 12 December, in C&S 4+ Hindi-speaking markets. B4U Music has a five per cent share.

Though a major portion of Zee Musics content comprises of Hindi filmi music, pop music too is aired. However, Ranga feels that this exclusive access to film music owing to the rights of films that Zee as a network buys would be a driver and help the channel in a big way to get its distribution in place."

Dwelling on the significance of acquiring film rights for a music channel, Ranga feels that it is done with a definite strategy in mind. Zee Music is interested in servicing the definitive need for pure Hindi filmi music in a format of playing the whole song, which the other music channels cannot do as they have access to short trailer clips only.

Zee has more Hindi film music rights than its rivals, claims Ranga. The only other channel that can lay claim to having access to Hindi film music is SET Max, but the Sony bouquet doesnt have an Indian music channel within its fold. Ranga also pointed out that earlier MTV would buy film music form Zee, but the practice has been discontinued.

Meanwhile, Zee Music is making efforts to groom new talents too. Towards this end, the channel has recently constituted a Talent Artiste Repertoire (TAR) division with an aim to locate talents and provide them with a platform.

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