9XO's D'souza says: We invest zero amount in marketing

MUMBAI: International music brands had been ruling the English music channel space in India until 9XO emerged five years ago. Today, it authoritatively announces itself as an English music influencer and it’s leaving no stone unturned under the guidance of channel head Clyde D'souza.

The former MTV associate director joined 9XO at inception. He does all that it takes to stay updated, to keep the channel well-run, and stay close to the audience. This is also one of the reasons for the innovative ideas that the channel has churned in these years.

In an exclusive interview, D'souza shares 9XO’s journey, innovations, constant race to match up and times when they managed to overtake the digital world and more. Excerpts.

In these five years, 9XO hasn’t deviated from its core purpose, being a pure play music channel.

We started with a simple focus to help people discover music. So, we decluttered 9XO from all the other channels that play reality and lifestyle. We don’t do any of that. We stick to top 40 English songs. When a viewer comes to 9XO he gets 15 songs in an hour posed to another channel that might give 7-8 songs per hour. The other channels also have lot more breaks. We have lesser breaks.

Does 9XO believe in 360-degree marketing campaigns?

We invest zero amount in marketing. Our marketing guys do a great job by tying up with the biggest events in India be it Sunburn or EVC. We give more banks for their buck. There are also other channels but we give them more coverage.

How is the channel doing on the BARC charts?

We have been kicking a** as far as BARC is concerned. For the last eight weeks, we have been number one. Our competitors are an international brand. They have been in the space for 10 years now, we are five years younger company and we are still holding our own. We have created our channel from scratch, but we are doing well on social, GRPs and people love the channel. So, that’s a great story.

9XO has constantly been innovative in building connect with its audience. Has it helped build the viewership?

We have been innovating for our young viewers. So, the first year we had Tweet Down. It was our Twitter-based countdown show, where we would put 20 songs on Twitter and ask them to tweet their favourite songs. We would then play those songs along with their tweets. The third year we launched Hook –an app that matches you with someone who likes the same songs. We call it match over music. They are connected via music and 9XO shows those hooks on the channel. This year we have launched Insta Top 10. It’s our new countdown via Instagram. You comment on the song you like and we will show that song on-air along with the Instagram profile.

A few years ago we had Snapstars.  Here we asked the viewers to take selfies using one of snapchat filters. Every week we would ask them to face swap with their favourite artist. Then we would put it on-air. Thos are the kind of innovations that we continuously keep doing at 9XO, which we think the viewers like and they keep coming back to us.

Read the full story here:

We have to find ways in which we can differentiate ourselves: 9XO channel head Clyde D'souza

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