Television

&TV eyes growth & increased viewership with ‘The Voice’ launch in June

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MUMBAI: Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) have found a gold mine of sorts in reality shows. For the last decade or so channels have tried and tested almost every kind of reality show to entertain audiences. From dance and singing competitions, quiz contests to youth-centric high octane adventure reality show, all formats have tried to woo the audience and have come back with new seasons year after year.

Adapting to a similar format, the newest entrant in the television GEC space, &TV is all set to launch The Voice in June. The show will see a unique format and have coaches like Himesh Reshammiya, Mika, Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com about the USP of The Voice, &TV business head Rajesh Iyer said, “As a format, the USP is that the coaches don’t see the contestant. There are one or more coaches, who are going to press the buzzer and it will be the singer who will choose the coach and not the other way round. The pressure is not only on the singer but also on the coaches to pick their team mate.”

Divided into three phases, the first phase of The Voice will have blind auditions, followed by the Battles and Live performance. “We have stuck to the original international format that people are familiar with. For me, the main differentiator is that the pressure is on both sides: coaches as well as the singers,” added Iyer.

Come 6 June and The Voice will replace &TV's current show Killer Karaoke on weekends, which is aired in the 9 pm slot. The Voice will begin with 26 episodes over a span of 13 weeks.

Iyer informed, “While India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun achieved the objective of the launch with the weekday programming slot, The Voice is a different property and will take us to the next level both in terms of growth and viewership.”

Speaking to this website on the association with &TV, Endemol India MD & CEO Deepak Dhar said, "Outside of Bigg Boss and Fear Factor, this is the third biggest show that we are doing. We have been wanting to do The Voice for a long time. It had come to us about two or three years back but we didn’t get the deal back then. However, when the opportunity came to us again, we grabbed it.”

He further added, “The Voice is probably the most organic format of choosing talent. This is the first time that the pressure is on the coaches and not only on the singers. It’s different content. Of course the singing is good, the talent is phenomenal and the reality itself is very sticky.”

Dhar further said that this was just the beginning of Endemol India’s association with The Voice and the production house would be keen on associating with it for the future seasons as well. “It’s just the start and it’s such a big format. For us, focus is always to get back to the format.”

The show will adapt a 360 degree marketing approach. While the marketing strategy is still under wraps, the programme has on board Chings as the ‘Powered By’ sponsor and Maruti Alto K10 as ‘Presenting Sponsor.’

Shaan said, “The Voice is an extremely popular format globally. It’s the most sought after show for any singer/musician. If you want to be on television and on a music show it has to be The Voice India! What clicked for me is that every round is exciting – very different and innovative. I am certain that the audience will enjoy the show.”

Mika Singh added, “I was thrilled when I was approached to be the coach on the maiden edition of The Voice in India. It is a big property internationally and I am happy that I got this opportunity to be a part of it. I am thoroughly looking forward to finding a voice that has an exceptional quality.. something real and versatile that will make heads turn.”

Reshammiya said, “The format of this show is exceptional; such a format has never been experimented with, in India. I feel wonderful and I am extremely excited to be a part of the show. The Voice India has no concept of judges. But as a coach you will see me groom my team members mentally and melodiously, thus guiding towards success. As the same suggests the show solely focuses on the voice of the contestant.”

Chauhan, the only female coach on the show asserted, “Nothing before The Voice India triggered any excitement in me. I have followed the international editions especially the US one and I was awestruck with the quality of talent and the fact that they are chosen purely on the basis of their voice through blind auditions where the coaches have no clue about the singers. So, when the format came to India and the makers approached me, I was ecstatic. The Voice India is here to redefine the music reality show space and I am happy to be on board.”

Singing reality shows like Indian Idol and Indian Idol Junior on Multi Screen Media’s Sony Entertainment Television and other such shows have seen considerable success on Indian television. Speaking about a show like The Voice coming to India, MSM president Rohit Gupta told Indiantelevision.com, “The format has been doing very well since its inception. Be it Indian Idol or Indian Idol Junior 2 that we recently launched. Other channels have adopted the format for the simple reason that it has the potential to do well for them too.”

With its unconventional approach and slick set-up, The Voice India is likely to find favour with new-age Indians, who are always yearning for an exclusive and never seen before experience. The coaches on the show will up the ante and raise the bar a notch higher than before. After mentoring and grooming contestants, the final power lies in the hands of the audiences to choose their favourite voice to find the country’s most promising vocalist and the winner of the title – The Voice India.

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