MTV viewership has doubled in last 12 months: Ferzad Palia

Youth, Music and English Entertainment of Viacom18, shares more about MTV’s journey, programming strategy and plans for its English GEC Colors Infinity

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Oct 8, 2018 9:39 AM

In 2016 when MTV Indies was replaced by MTV Beats, MTV shifted focus to fiction and non-fiction shows. Now, MTV India is all set to significantly step up the game and shape the youth entertainment space with its unscripted content.


In conversation with exchange4media, FerzadPalia, Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment of Viacom18, shares more about MTV’s journey, programming strategy and plans for its English GECColors Infinity:


On MTV India’s journey


The journey has been fantastic so far. The first half of the year and the second half of the financial year has been good for us. We introduced a lot more content. From being a two show channel to now close to 10 shows, MTV India has come a long way.  We launched some interesting formats in the non-scripted space and put out several kinds of shows.


The good news is that all of them worked and there is scope to do so much more. Our ratings doubled in the last 12 months, which is unprecedented for a channel of this size and scale. We have seen a lot more audience coming to our channel and the time spent on the channel has increased by 50 percent in the last 10 months. The more content you put out the happier is the audience, which also leads to growth in advertising. We are also creating a lot of branded content, which is a big need for advertisers.


On shift from scripted to non-scripted space


One and half year back, we took a call that focus will be on unscripted content, which is our strength. There are enough daily fiction shows on a plethora of GECs. There are stories to be told which are scripted as well but currently, our focus is to ramp up our unscripted content. That's what makes us the country’s largest unscripted content creator because nobody else is really playing in this space. Also, there is a big need gap from the consumer's point of view. Nobody is really creating content for the youth on television.


On dominating the youth content space


Being the only channel in the space puts pressure to deliver more quality content. It also allows us to lead and shape the space. It's a space where other players tried to get in and didn’t really succeed and converted back to being a music channel. We have a separate channel, MTV Beats, which is the music specialist for us. MTV is the one brand name that defines youth entertainment in the country. We take responsibility of developing this genre. This is an exciting time to be in this space.


On Advertisers Interest


From the time we started, we always had the lion’s share of all the revenues in the youth and music business. Our year-on-year growth is very encouraging. We are a largely youth related brand. There is a certain rub off of brand MTV onto the other brands, lot of brands come to us to create stuff in order to give their brand a slightly younger feel.


On Plans for Colors Infinity


We are launching 14 new shows in the end of October. There will be a lot of local content that we will be putting out. The second half of the year is going to be a heavily loaded Colors Infinity.  You will see the channel in a brand new look. We will also be available multiplatform.


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