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You can’t make a brand by spending 100 crores: Ferzad Palia, Head-Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom 18

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You can’t make a brand by spending 100 crores: Ferzad Palia, Head-Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom 18

MTV and Musiconcepts have joined hands to launch the first ever MTV India Music Summit in Jaipur. The event will be held from 27-29 October 2017. We spoke to Ferzad Palia, Head-Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom 18, to know more about the summit and the marketing strategies they believe in.

What is the vision for MTV India Music Summit?

Musiconcepts came to us and we saw an opportunity to create something different in the music space. Today, music events, festivals and concepts happen frequently but there is no single real music summit that brings the entire industry together.

MTV has been developing music for 20 years and are always taking the lead in music. Now there is independent, commercial and Bollywood music with MTV beats. We have always gone one step ahead. MTV India Music Summit will bring the entire industry together and we are confident it’s going to be phenomenal in the first year itself.

Could you share some insight on MTV’s partnership with Musiconcepts?

Our collaboration will be the multi-year collaboration. Most of the things we do are always with a long-term vision and all of this has been put together very quickly. Musiconcepts has done a fantastic job and the event is already sold out. We are hoping for a miraculous experience in Jaipur and wish to continue our partnership YoY. We want to make the event bigger and better as we go along.

MTV is synonymous with youth, lifestyle, fashion and music. What is MTV doing to maintain these brand signifiers?

We are evolving as music changers. In some cases, we bring or introduce concepts, which transforms the music. When we introduced unplugged, everyone noticed and the same happened with Coke Studio and Sound Trippin. We always keep expanding and it’s not just only music that we make, it is the music events we organise or the music events we partner with. We keep pushing the envelope as much as we can, as that is really in the DNA of MTV.

What was the need for a separate 24/7 Hindi music channel?

About a year and a half back, the question often asked to me was where is the music on MTV. The fact of the matter is that MTV had 12 hours of music and we thought why don’t we setup a 24-hour dedicated music channel.

MTV is a universe of the young. So, we don’t just do music but have also moved into reality, fashion, adventure and various other things.

Now MTV as the mother channel will be doing a lot of youth content and MTV beats is our music facing brand.

How difficult is it to maintain brand identity today ?

The good part is that when you bring the revolution, you’re remembered for it. Competition is very good. Right from the time when we launched in mid 1990s, we always had competition but retained our leadership in leaps and bounds. In fact, we don’t have competitors in many areas that we work in.

The other thing is we are a combination of creator and platform. The concept of competition is going away because everything is about collaboration. Today, you name someone as a competitor for MTV, we play their music or we make music for them. Now, it’s more about collaboration as long as the entire genre is growing.

What marketing strategy do you follow?

MTV as a brand is unique. We always do everything with a twist. We don’t do it in a tried and tested manner. Every promo and ad of ours always has twists and we keep evolving every time.

How much do you spend on the digital and TV fronts?

We spend very little as far as marketing is concerned. The kind of loyal audience we have, we believe in spreading the word to them and breaking the clutter. The activities that we do get us the marketing buzz every time.

Brands can spend 100 of crores of rupees but even then, you’re not sure they can make it because that’s not how you make a brand. Otherwise, the most successful brands should have been the brands that actually spent the most. In conclusion, we really don’t believe in spending big on media. We believe in making a mark and how to achieve it.

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