Hindi music is one of those genres, where the brand matters the most. It is not easy to replace the MTVs of the world in the minds of the youth audiences, which are the core TG for this genre. But ratings have their role, and the youngest player in the genre – 9X M – entered the category hitting leadership spot in three weeks, and has stayed there for a year now. MTV India follows as a clear second player in the genre, followed by Channel [v] and Music India. Media observers state that 9X M is an example where 'differentiation', and not necessarily 'innovation', was a reason that the channel was able to attract large audiences.
9X M, from INX Media, was supported by a very selective marketing campaign at the time of its launch on October 19, 2007. The channel was not seen in any mass media advertising. INX officials had explained at the time that the thought was to let the youth "spot the brand themselves than it be shown to them through hoardings put by a corporate house". The differentiation from the channel was to show complete songs and no video jockeys that otherwise were the signatures of music channels. The channel began with no advertising but was added within a few months' time.
9X M did not make any change in this proposition and maintained a significant high on numbers in comparison to its competition.
As opposed to this, both MTV and Channel [v] were busy with different kinds of shows, fresh faces on the channels and, in the case of MTV, even the Fully Faltoo movies.
In the course of the year, all music channels have lost their ground to some extent. Perhaps the only one whose graph has shown any positive trend is Zee Music, but the channel continues to be one of the bottom players in the genre.
A senior media analyst explained on the genre, "Music genre is not something that you would buy on the basis of ratings. For instance, there are some associations that brands like Hero Honda and Pepsi would only do with brands like MTV. 'Roadies', now even 'Splitsvilla', are properties that prove to be excellent brand fits and even play a role in communicating the characteristics of a brand. These properties would always be a part of the media plan that is targeting the cutting edge youth audience. Plain ratings cannot replace these things."