Television

Viewers looking for FM feel in visual space?

The viewer‘s verdict for music channels for the year 2007 is out. The long established players like MTV and Channel [V] are losing on the front of relative shares while new kid on the block 9XM has shown an unprecedented growth from the second month of its launch.

Indiantelevision.com‘s analysis of music channels using Tam data (HSM, CS 15 - 24 years, all day parts) during the one-year period beginning January 2007 reveals that 9XM is way ahead than MTV and Channel [V].

Launched in October 2007, 9XM, with its tagline Haq Se, had secured a relative share of 43 per cent by December. In comparison, MTV stood at 20 per cent while Channel [V] had 11 per cent.

Music Channel‘s Relative Shares
Channel Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
9XM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 34 43
MTV 32 29 31 32 29 30 31 31 32 29 21 20
Channel V 15 14 13 11 11 14 13 11 13 16 11 11
Music India 12 15 12 14 19 20 18 17 16 17 11 7
B4U Music 12 11 11 11 9 10 10 13 13 11 6 5
Zee Music 8 11 11 11 12 7 10 12 9 7 5 4
ETC 15 12 12 9 9 10 8 8 7 6 4 4
YO Music 3 3 6 7 6 5 5 4 4 4 3 3
Enterr10 4 4 4 4 3 2 4 3 5 5 4 3
Lemon 0 0 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0
Source: TAM, TG 15 - 24, HSM, Jan-Dec 2007, All Day Part

From January to October 2007, MTV was on top of the music channel heap with an average relative share of 30 per cent while Music India and Channel [V] were tossing for second and third position with 15.8 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.

The whole scenario changed dramatically with the launch of 9XM in October. By the second month of launch, 9XM had 34 per cent whereas MTV was reduced to 21 per cent and Music India and Channel [V] had 11 per cent each.

In December, it was thumbs down for other channels like Zee Music (4 per cent), B4U music (5 per cent), ETC (4 per cent), Enter10 (3 per cent) and Yo Music (3 per cent). Wooden spooner Lemon‘s share is so insignificant that it has not even registered on the GRP scale.

On the new market scene, INX Media‘s music entertainment channel head Vikas Varma says, "I think the qualities of youth are what our channel targets, not necessarily as the demographic youth. That is why we are getting the unprecedented ratings."

It is to be noted that 9XM has no VJ‘s, only some animated characters. The USP of the channel is current Bollywood songs. However, the verdict among the media pundits is that 9XM is playing only songs; it is more like an FM station in the visual space.

The ratings have not got in much by way of ads as yet though so how is it going to generate revenue? Avers INX Media revenue management, advertising sales and new media group director Probal Gaanguly, "We are offering ‘Club INX‘ partnerships to sponsors. Very soon we will officially announce the tie-ups. An exclusive platform will be provided to them."

MTV India vice president ad sales and marketing Aditya Swamy has a different story to tell: "Our ad sales and revenue has gone up. We have established the youth based music channel in India. Roadies, Konees (animated characters) etc are our initiatives; it is not fair to compare it with a channel like 9XM. We are a youth brand."

Channel [V] head honcho Amar K Deb sings a similar tune. "Channel [V] has won awards for many initiatives we have taken. We have our hands full and our competition is not with 9XM. It is anyways too early to comment on the future," avers Deb.

Music India that started life without ad breaks, gave in to the lure of commercials in 2007. 9XM appears to be going the same route, with a few ads visible on the channel intermittently since the beginning of the year.

If indeed all that the Indian viewer is interested in is uninterrupted songs sans ads, it will be interesting to watch how the year unfolds for 2008.

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