Youth and music channels today are trying to increase their reach through various initiatives in the digital space. Channels today are focusing on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube as well as developing applications and games to broaden their viewer base.
MTV recently undertook a promotional initiative for their show ‘MTV Rush’ with a flash mob. This initiative was taken to the digital domain by the channel by putting up pictures on Twitter on a real-time basis and links on its Facebook page. The response saw the hash tag ‘givesmerush’ trending for more than 12 hours in the city and more than 70,000 plus views in the digital space. The channel on a whole has 144 million viewers on television, 11 million fans on Facebook, 550000 plus followers, 5.6 million members in its mobile community and around 50 live gigs.
9XM’s Facebook page has over 1.2 million fans. 9XM’s handle has regular updates on Bollywood. Also, the channel has around eight gaming applications that were launched under the 9X Play platform.
Commenting on importance of digital, Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV India said, “We target the younger generation and hence the focus on the digital space. We have a strong Facebook community and we stress on activities across the entire web space.”
As shared by the channel, ‘Coke studio@MTV’ has 41 million plus viewers on television, 3.4 million plus YouTube views, 940000 plus Facebook likes, along with gigs across 12 cities. The ‘Tata Nano Drive’ has 20-million outreach on Facebook and 3.2 million plus outreach on Twitter.
Channel V launched new show, ‘The Buddy Project’ in the last week of July. For the digital initiatives, the focus was on real-time content sharing and exclusive interactions. This was done though a fan page and pushing the same on the existing digital assets. The initiative garnered around 70,000 fans in 10 days and almost all of them were engaging with the content at the same time which showcased the reach and versatility of the digital medium.
The channel bindass objectifies engagement through digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. bindass has 24,578 subscribers and 25.8 million views on YouTube and its Facebook page has more than 1.3 million likes.
bindass launched an original content series for the youth called ‘AXE Chickipedia’. ‘AXE Chickipedia’ has received over 0.7 million views till date.
Stressing on the criticality of the digital platform, Sameer Pitalwalla, Director, Video and Celebrity, Disney, UTV stated, “The aim of marketing and communication is building reach and keep on communicating with the TG. Our budget allocation depends on the show and the objective. We believe in creating original content for the viewers and reaching out to a wider audience through digital platforms.”
Prem Kamath, Executive VP and GM, Channel V believes that the digital space is a great way to make a connection with the youth and build loyalty. Functionally, each show has its own fan page and they are all connected to the main Channel V page. This way they are able to build on 1.5 million odd fans from the main page with each new show and the new fans that they bring.
Elaborating further on the media mix, Kamath shared that the channel allocates 20 to 30 per cent of their tent pole campaign budgets on digital. “As with our broadcast strategy, on digital too we are trying to reach the youth across the country, across city tiers. We realise that content is the strongest draw, regardless of the medium. We strive to engage the youth through exclusive content and interactions with their stars.”
The lure of digital marketing is very evident with 9XM allocating around 40 per cent of its marketing budget to digital. 9XM has a live streaming facility which is now also available across 9X Jhakaas, 9X Tashan & 9X Jalwa. 9XM, 9X Jalwa, 9X Tashan and 9X Jhakaas are also available across mobile platforms including Zenga, Apalya TV, Yupp TV, Mundu TV. The channel launched a WAP store in association with Hungama, to download songs, wallpapers of Bollywood stars, etc.
Vibha Gosher, Sr VP, Digital, 9X Media stated, “Digital is the only interactive medium which can help engage the audience. We have launched India’s first talking application called the Silly Chicken Application for Android and IOS users. This was followed by the Bade-Chote talking application. Apart from the digital initiatives, 9XM also has undertaken out of home activations such as the music wall on the world music day.”
With all the innovative activities being pursued in the digital space by youth channels, we can conclude that the digital space gives channels a unique opportunity to create a captive audience base – an audience that will discuss the channel’s content and would in turn give it a chance to engage with them.