MTV aims for 5 bn watch minutes in second half of 2019

In H1 2019, the channel garnered 3.67 billion minutes viewership.

MUMBAI: Viacom18’s youth channel MTV witnessed 700 million views and 3.67 billion minutes viewership in H1 2019, on TV and VOOT respectively. With that achievement in mind, the channel is expecting 5 billion watch minutes on the channel in H2 CY 2019. Viacom 18 head-youth, music and English entertainment Ferzad Palia spoke to on growth drivers for H1, strategy to achieve 5 billion in H2, plans for stronger H2 2019 and impact of NTO on the channel.

“The first half of 2019 has been positive for us. We have seen a good growth in terms of consumption of the content that we create both on TV and VOOT. People are engaged, more people are watching us than ever before and they are watching us for a considerable amount of time as well,” he said.

Speaking on the growth drivers for H1, Palia said, “We experimented with long format and different kinds of content and all these have given us good results. Roadies and Love School’s seasons have done well. We are now launching three more shows, with which we expect to take it a notch higher.”

The channel has announced three shows for the quarter – MTV Hustle, Spitsvilla season 12 and Ace of Space Season 2.

Revealing plans for H2 2019, Palia said, “These three are the shows that we have announced. MTV Hustle is a brand new show with new format that hasn’t been done before. It is a very strong platform for budding talent in the rap and hip hop space because till now there has been no big platform for this genre. There is a lot of talent which is there in the country that doesn’t get a mass platform. So, we are expecting this show to be a big growth driver for the channel in H2.”

Talking about Splitsvilla, Palia said, “Spitsvilla is a unique concept which we have seen growing every season and now in its 12th season we are keeping the format fresh and evolving it as per viewers' choice that is working well for us. We are quite certain that this season will be different from the rest of the seasons.”

He further said that by October the channel will be coming up with more new shows.

In H1 2019 the channel witnessed 3.67 billion minutes of viewership and in H2 it is aiming for 5 billion. Palia shared his plan on achieving the number. He said, “Lot of properties are returning and those properties have significant attraction. Then we have new shows in October and November, so we are strengthening our lineup. In the first half itself we have done close to 4 billion minutes. I see the second half to reach at least 5 billion.”

Palia also shared his views on the impact of NTO on the youth channel. He said, “When the NTO was announced it was expected that the reach for our channel would come down a bit. But we see ourselves in a unique position for two reasons. One is that our content is very different and we are the only guys who are making this kind of content. We are the only content creator making original youth-specific content. Second reason is that the channel has lot of loyal audiences.”

He also added, “Another reason why it didn’t impact us much is that MTV has been there for many years and now it is not just a TV channel and has been consumed on digital too so our base number has also grown. I think we are in quite a strong position.”

Answering the query about difficulties faced in selling the inventory due to economic slow down, Palia said, “The ad market is a bit muted but not only specifically for us but across the board. Things are happening back to back in the economy. NTO happened and the advertisers were waiting for that to settled down. We expect a very strong bump-up starting September.”

He also commented on the landing page debate, “Without getting to any side of the debate we have seen no impact of landing pages on our channel.”

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