Music channels: A return to basics

Ravi budhwar

21 Apr 2011
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If 2010 was the year of uncertainty for the music channels, 2011 definitely is a return to basics. The music and youth TV channel genre, which saw major changes last year, now seems to be settling down a bit. While many new players have come in, most of them have upped their music quotient.

The space has got further cluttered with the launch of new players like UTV Stars, MTunes and Sony Mix. The severity of the competition can be gauged by the fact that seven channels have their shares between 10-15 per cent.

To add to the woes of the channel executives, the audience which they cater to are too fickle and the music they have is not exclusive. So what is it that is keeping the channels alive?

A senior channel executive of a newly launched channel said that even among the music/youth genre, there is clear demarcation. There are back-to-back music channels (like 9XM, Mastiii up to certain extent, Music India and now Mix); then so called “youth channels” (MTV, UTV Bindass, Channel [V]) who keep re-looking at their content model and keep increasing or decreasing music content; and Bollywood channels (Zoom, UTV Stars, E24).

"The problem is that everyone is playing music. But when TAM ratings come, they say their audiences are different. Some cater to 15-24 years HSM; some go after only Metros. But music is universal. And one look at TAM data suggests that viewers are looking for pure form of music," the executive said on condition of anonymity.

TAM data from January – August for the 15+ age group in the Hindi speaking markets shows 9XM as the leading channel with an average of over 15 per cent, while MTV and Sri Adhikari Brothers' Mastiii are close followers with just over 14 per cent share of the genre.

After these three channels come B4U Music, Bindass, Zoom and Channel [V] with 11.9 per cent, 11.6 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively.
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