If one may have thought that like the music label industry, the music genre does not have much to offer, then it is time to rethink, according to ratings data. The genre at present has old players like MTV and Channel [V], along with Zee Music and B4U Music, and there are also the likes of low key stations like Sur Sangeet. MTV also has an international music channel VH1, targetted at the SEC A+ that the channel describes as alpha consumers.
Last year, Music India was added to the genre and earlier this year, it was Lemon. INX Media has already promised that one of the first channels that the organisation will launch is a music channel. With the exception of VH1, all channels’ content at present are largely focussed on Hindi music, and as is known, music channels are targetted at the youth TG.
TAM Media Research shows that for the C&S 15+ in the Hindi speaking markets, MTV is on a growth spree and that has allowed the channel to maintain a leadership position in the genre. The next set of competition is between Channel [V], B4U Music, Zee Music and now Music India.
Where the first two months of the year see MTV dipping, the other channels have maintained their status. On the other hand, March and April have seen a growth for MTV. Competition in the second rung has toughened and there is no one clear leader here. Where in some weeks,
Channel [V] leads, some weeks belong to B4U Music, and the last few weeks have been Music India’s.
Sur Sangeet and Lemon are on the third rung of channels and in the recent weeks, Lemon has been competing with Sur Sangeet. On being questioned, Manoj Malkani, Business Director, Carat, said, “MTV surely is doing well in the genre, but I really don’t think it is too much about loyalty to a channel when it comes to music genre. People come on to the channel while casually surfing, they like a song or something interesting, and they hang on till such time that they like that bit, and then they will move on, may be to another music channel. In the case of MTV, the channel has concentrated on other non-music kind of properties as well. The show ‘Roadies’ has worked well for the channel and shows like that brings back audiences.”
Starcom’s Dinesh Rathore agreed with him, further stating, “Music channels really are also about perception. Channels like MTV are an international brand and that works in favour of the channel. They have to be perceived as a cool youth brand for audiences to be on the channel and for the channel to be attractive in a media plan.”
Nonetheless, Music India’s performance will surely prove to be encouraging for other channels, especially the expected new entrants in the genre. Of late, MTV, too, has made it clear that even as music is at its core, the idea is to develop properties that connect with the youth at various levels, like style, new technologies -- thus be a youth hang-out joint than just a music channel. At least as far as data goes, the idea is working.