MTV adopts a new ‘Raw’ look

MUMBAI: MTV, the youth brand channel, will go "raw" as it repositions for its Indian viewers from 27 November.

The new philosophy - ‘Stay Raw’ - will be supported by a new logo and packaging that will start promoting across Viacom18 network channels, print, outdoor and Internet.

Changing its earlier gameplan, MTV is also upping its music quotient as the M in MTV gets a boost to play a key role in India‘s rapidly changing marketplace..

Says MTV India channel head Aditya Swamy, “What we have started is not an ad campaign or new tagline. It’s a philosophy. It’s an idea that is based on what young people today believe, expressed in an edgy yet tongue in cheek manner which is trademark MTV. A powerful idea has a limitless canvas and way this has come together is proof of just that.” 

MTV India channel head Aditya Swamy

In a strategic content shift,  MTV is creating four music blocks - MTV BBM (Big Bang Mornings); MTV Music Xprs; MTV Mash Ups; and MTV International.

MTV BBM will play latest Bollywood music in the morning, while the afternoon music block (MTV Music Xprs) will have film music from across the years.

In the evenings, the global MTV phenomenon will hit India. MTV Mash Ups, the unique concept of East meets West, will see VJ Nikhil mashing up the Indian and International tracks from the same genre.

And the channel has decided to get back the global music charts with MTV International, the midnight block.
"The success of pure music channels 9XM and the newly launched Mastiii is, perhaps, forcing the older music channels to relook on their music content. MTV and Channel [V] had taken steps to reduce their music content as they repositioned themselves as youth brand channels. MTV could now be trying to play a fine balance between their reality and music content," says a media tracker.

Swamy, however, feels that there is a need for youth channel brands to reinvent themselves from time to time to stay ahead of the curve. “Our core TG evolves very fast, and so we have to reinvent ourselves. We are just resonating," he says.

On the reality content front, MTV is feeling the heat from UTV Bindass that has succeeded with bold homegrown reality shows like Emotional Attyachaar and Dadagiri.

Swamy denies that the move has anything to do with competition in the youth genre. “Today MTV is much bigger than a TV channel. Only 50 per cent of our revenues come from airtime sales,” he says.

For years, music channels in India have struggled to develop subscription and licensing and merchandising as strong revenue streams.

MTV has taken progressive steps to reduce its overarching dependence on advertising revenue. In an interview in mid-2009, the then MTV India head Ashish Patil had told that ad sales accounted for 65 per cent of the overall revenues, of which 5 per cent comes from international clients. "Around 15 per cent comes from affiliates, which is also increasing. 15 per cent comes from Viacom Brand Solutions (client lead stuff, events and advertiser funded programming) like The Fast and The Gorgeorus, Stunt Mania etc. The remaining 5 per cent comes from L&M and movie previews (Ghajini)."
For promoting its new ‘raw‘ look, the channel is going ad free over the weekend for the first time, doing a "roadblock for itself."

The new look of MTV is designed by UK-based Petrol, while the creatives are done by Bates 141.

The channel is going to promote the change heavily with graphics. It has created a series of 3D channel IDs and over 100 creatives that will communicate its ‘Stay Raw’ philosophy through mass media and digital.

MTV said Friday it is launching the second season of ‘Kurkure Desi Beats Rock On with MTV’ on 27 November at 7 pm and ‘Vodafone MTV Splitsvilla Season 4’ on 3 December at 7 pm.

"The channel has got rock band Indian Ocean and music director and composer Pritam to judge the singing reality show this season," says Swamy.

MTV recently launched its first ever magazine globally, MTV Noise Factory. It also launched a website, which captures and shares what’s going on in the minds of young people with marketers and advertisers.

"MTV plans to enter a new growth phase. All its new moves are a step in this direction. The challenge is for it to succeed on the content front as well as on the new brand position it has taken," says a senior executive from a rival network.

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