With the onslaught of sufficient channels within the music space, the emphasis for MTV has increasingly been the 360-degree experience. Whether its shows, concerts, roadshows, hunts or summits, the channel feels that it's done it all. The major initiatives include MTV Youth Icon, MTV & Hero Honda Roadies, Lycra MTV Style Awards, MTV Immies, Kitni Mast Hain Zindagi and CNBC Budget Fundas. The intention has been to propel variety and the integrated viewing experience.
Said Vikram Raizada, VP, Marketing, Mobile, Online, MTV Networks India, "The reason brands like to associate themselves with MTV events/shows is on account of the 360-degree nature of the proposition. So not only do the associated brands get on-air mileage, but they also get off-air (print, outdoor), on-ground (event, roadshow), on-line (mtvindia.com), on-mobile (6882), and btl (posters, flyers), and VJ plugs etc."
He said, "MTV India did its first big-ticket event in 1997, i.e. the Colgate & MTV VJ Hunt. This was pretty much the first organised talent hunt in the country. Incidentally, the VJ Hunt has since been done by MTV across many continents. Since then we have done many Model Missions, Video Ga Ga's, VJ Hunts, The MTV Star Hunt (where we cast an entire film off the channel), and a number of national auditions including two Hero Honda & MTV Roadies Hunts and the MTV Kitne Mast Hai Zindagi Auditions apart from three MTV Music Summit for Aids and a host of concerts."
Does the 360-degree support really bring in multiple revenues? How big are events on the priority list of music channels in the current day?
Raizada said, "We do it for a variety of objectives, revenue being only one of them, the others being interactivity and buzz. But clearly all the above events/shows are delivering as a multiple revenue proposition. Otherwise we wouldn't be betting as much on them."
As for the second part of the question, he answered, "While events and music channels are in my opinion not directly inter-linked, they are a great way for viewers to get to interact with the properties and actually be part of the property/initiative. Apart from that they are also a great way to create buzz around the property. Having said this, I must add that constant innovation is almost the hallmark of leadership in youth television so we have had to constantly evolve and change the sorts of events/shows we have executed. The youth expect it of us."
Which have been the important ones for 2004? What's in line for this year? Raizada said, "For us an event means any property that involves 360-degree initiatives. So for 2004 this would include the MTV Youth Icon, MTV & Hero Honda Roadies, Lycra MTV Style Awards, MTV Immies, the national casting call for MTV Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi serial and a couple of MTV Sessions. Also this year we have already done the MTV & CNBC Budget Fundas show and another MTV Sessions. While all of these are annual shows/events that will come back this year, we will also be launching some new ones this year."
Meanwhile, rival channels are doing a great deal in the promotions and events arena. ETC recently conducted the biggest Baisakhi blast which saw a great many takers. Other such initiatives for ETC have been Sarhadon Ki Jugalbandi (In Delhi), Mekaal Hasan Event, Abhijit 'Starry Nights'(Mumbai) on Hindi channel, while on Punjabi channel events like Pepsi Ban Ja Satara Yaara, Punjabi Music Awards and Miss Punjaban. The initiatives evidently lend a great deal of opportunities for advertisers, which already invest a lot on television. In addition, it brings small advertisers also into the fold.
For enhanced decibels, Channel V has in the recent past taken up V Nights, Get Gorgeous 1&2- the hunt for India's super model, Nokia V Launch Pad (search for best upcoming bands) and finally the biggest of them all Samsung V Super Singer.