Television

SS Music on a high, plans global expansion

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MUMBAI: Chennai-based music channel Southern Spice Music (SS Music) has set its eyes beyond the Southern market - and it is not just within India!



Buoyed by the superiority it had been maintaining, ahead of music channels MTV and Channel [V], in the South Indian market since a long time, the channel is planning its global expansion, apart from strengthening its presence in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata during the third quarter of 2004.



As per the Tam report for the week ending 12 June (TG all 15-34 ABC C&S South India - prime time 4 pm - 11:30 pm), SS Music recorded the highest 18.79 per cent cumulative reach in the total Southern market while in the non-primetime segment it grabbed 17.31 per cent. The channel topped in the channel share for the total South India market also by recording 38 per cent each for the primetime and non-primetime segments.



SS Music will kick off its South India music talent hunt SS Music Voice Hunt on 26 July with a road show in Chennai. Contests that will be held in five Southern cities on different dates will conclude with the Hyderabad auditions scheduled for 18 and 19 August. The final four winners across the four states will come together to form a band where Sony Music will do the videos apart from producing and distributing the album.



SS Music president BD Ramesh Babu spoke to indiantelevision.com about the ambitious plans the company had set forth.



About future initiatives:



"Since we have reasonably achieved certain milestones in content, connectivity and commercial(s), our future initiative will be focused on Marketing and Promotions. A sizeable budget has been allocated in this direction, this financial year. Our presence in Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta will also be increased within the third quarter of the year."



"We are in the advanced stage of finalising our global expansion plans. We are planning to distribute SS Music in the US, Europe, Middle East and Singapore through major DTH platforms in these territories. This will not only increase the popularity of the channel but also directly contribute to the bottom line of the revenue."



Update on MTV's interest to acquire SS Music:



"With regard to MTV's interest to acquire SS Music, the issue under consideration is valuation and their requirement for stake higher than 51 per cent."



On SS Music's success as a dedicated music channel:



"The channel has been widely accepted as the only South Indian youth channel which caters to all the four Southern states. With English as the medium of communication, South Indian youth are able to relate themselves well with the channel. The channel's USP continues to be 'a unique dedicated music channel with 4 South Indian languages plus English as the medium of communication targeted at the youth'."



"Besides, SS Music has become a decent platform for promotion of South Indian films and film music including pop albums. The four language-mix content has also received acceptance and demand for international tracks has consistently increased. The channel's connectivity in the four South Indian states has nearly complete, viz 100% reach across South India."



On big networks getting ambitious about the South Indian music channel market:



"Three years ago, when SS Music was launched as a dedicated South Indian music channel, many eyebrows were raised as to the concept and the viability of the channel. In recent times, we hear of many leading names planning dedicated music channel for South India. Now this vindicates our decision! It is clearly a niche market, yet we believe we have a considerable universe to keep us growing comfortably, year after year."



"To the advertisers and media planners, the attractiveness of a media vehicle -- right ambience, right packaging and zero waste audience with minimal advertising clutter -- cannot be ignored. As a pioneer, SS Music feels elated with the competitive plans."



Upcoming shows in SS Music:



"High 5 is partly a countdown and partly a game show, which demands a constant viewership for a possibility to win cash prizes. The idea is to create a countdown programme on the channel and add a twist to it to gain more viewership. High 5 also works as an interactive platform, as the audience would be using the internet and SMS to communicate their versions or the "right sequence" to us. SS Music will base the countdown on the total amount of requests and airplay a song gets on the channel, with other data in regard to the numbers of units sold."



"Launch Pad aims at generating interest amongst aspiring singers and music lovers. The show is a combination of a contest and a quiz show. Launch Pad will be a three round programme with four participants in each episode. A prominent VJ will host the show and there will also be a judge to give us his verdict. There will be three different age groups participating in the show and at the end of 26 weeks, we will have one winner from each age group.



"Interactive chat/request music show Connect which is already on air, is a video-conferencing technology based program to bring one-on-one interaction between our viewers and the celebrities/ VJs. Brought in collaboration with Satyam Infoway, Connect allows the participant to videoconference with SS Music anchors from video-conferencing booths in Sify iways across South India. The interaction on Connect is unique, and exciting, as has been proved by the runaway success of this show."



More on the SS Music Voice Hunt:



SS Music Voice Hunt is a "music talent hunt" with focus on South India -- a mega televised event that will bring together music talent and give them a platform for recognition and performance. Entrants will be required to sing from a predetermined set of songs on which they will be judged. The final four across the four states will go on to form a band with music composed by leading music directors in the industry with videos made for the same by Sony Music.



Sony Music is undertaking the production and distribution and after the album is made, the Album will be promoted extensively on the Channel.



The schedule for the road shows and auditions is as follows:

Chennai

Roadshows - 26 & 27 July 

Auditions - 28 & 29 July

Coimbatore

Road shows - 31 July, 1 August

Auditions - 2 & 3 August

Kochi

Roadshows - 5 & 6 August

Auditions - 7 & 8 August

Bangalore

Roadshows - 10 & 11 August

Auditions - 12 & 13 August

Hyderabad

Roadshows - 16 & 17 August

Auditions - 18 & 19 August

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