Television

9XM forays into live events; spends 20% of its total budget on marketing

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MUMBAI: After having tasted success with ‘Tashan Nites’, organised by 9X Tashan and ‘Jhakaas Music Yatra’ with 9X Jhakaas, it is now Hindi music channel 9XM which aims to fly high in the live events space. The channel has forayed into ticket based events in order to improve revenues.

Kick-starting the live event segment, 9XM is organising a music concert with singer Arijit Singh of Ashiqui2 fame. The channel has partnered with Mirah Entertainment and Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium to host the concert titled – ‘9XM Dome Musically Yours Arijit Singh Live with Symphony Orchestra.’ It is scheduled for 5 July at 8 pm at NSCI Stadium, Mumbai. The entire event has been conceptualised and executed by Ranaji events.

“Live events are not new to us,” says 9X Media marketing head Kapil Sharma. Over the past three-five years the network has conducted multiple live events for people in Punjab and Maharashtra with ‘Tashan Nites’ and ‘Jhakaas Music Yatra.’ “All of these events have an audience of 10,000 people upwards. The last edition of ‘Tashan Nite’ which was done with the Tanu Weds Manu stars garnered eyeballs of close to 15,000 people. But, none of these were ticket based events. With 9XM, we want to get into that space,” explains Sharma.

With 9XM being an established brand, Sharma says that the scale of the event is also huge and hence the network needs a combination of sponsorship and ticket revenue to recover the cost it incurs. “Doing events in Mumbai and Delhi are very expensive. To do an event which has a top class artist, a venue like Dome with an audience of 5,000 plus people, the overall production of the event shoots and it is impossible to recover the cost only from sponsor commitments,” explains Sharma.

The channel is selling tickets online through bookmyshow (BMS) and a few offline venues which include clubs and gymkhanas. The tickets are priced at Rs 3,000, Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 and the capacity of the stadium is around 4,000-4,500. The company is expected to earn around Rs 1.8 crore in ticketing revenue.

In the span of three weeks, Rs 10,000 tickets got sold and Sharma hopes the rest to be sold out by Sunday.

The three hour on-ground concert will later be edited to a 30-minute show for 9XM, which will air either on 12 July or 19 July. The channel has roped in Welspun Spaces Home & Beyond as the title sponsor and Carwale and Hungama as the 'powered by' sponsors both for the on-ground event and on-air.

Other partners include Hindustan Times Cafe as print partner, 9XE as digital partner, XXX Energy Drink as beverage partner, Red FM as radio partner and Bright Outdoor Media as outdoor partner.

The channel got into a room with all the three players, i.e Singh’s, Mirah and Ranaji’s team about two months back to ideate on the first symphony driven concert with the singer in Mumbai for 9XM.

“Ranaji had associated with Singh’s event about six months back which was organised in Navi Mumbai and 9XM was the TV partner. Post that, we thought that rather than just being TV partners, we could get into the space and organise the event ourselves,” informs Sharma.

Speaking of his performance at the Symphony concert Singh says, “This will be my first Symphony concert in India and am pleased to present my fans with such a unique concert. The majestic musical extravaganza at the concert will surely delight music lovers. The precession and rehearsals required to pull off a live performance with symphony orchestra is a mammoth task and I hope that my fans will revel it just as I have enjoyed every moment of putting it together.”

Digital has been the hero

For the network, social media has played a big role in helping amplify the event, be it Facebook, Twitter or bookmyshow. The channel is using a combination of both, Above the Line (ATL) and digital to promote the event.

Three weeks back, when the network started selling tickets on bookmyshow, it concentrated only on digital promotion. “We used 9XM’s social media which has close to 8 million odd fans on Facebook. Later, we went on to promote through Google ads, tapped into YouTube audience and of course on bookmyshow where the tickets were available,” explains Sharma.

After first week, it started with the ATL activities with its other partners.

On 1 July, during a press conference, the sensational singer did a periscope interview (a live Twitter video capability), where he spoke into his camera phone which got tweeted real time. Further, to engage with the online audiences, it kicked off a contest asking people to tweet their favourite songs of the singer, out of which three popular requests will be performed by Singh at the concert.

“This will give an opportunity to the person whose song has been selected, but is sitting home and not at the venue, to watch him perform live via Periscope on Twitter,” asserts Sharma.

It is learnt that 9XM is spending 20 per cent out of its total budget to market the property. 

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