In a bid to reposition itself as a youth entertainment channel, Channel [v] will discontinue music slots in its programming effective 1 July 2012. The change is part of a new positioning strategy initiated three years ago.
The channel currently has a three hours of music slots. The effort is to increase weekly hours of original content. Some of the channel's weekend shows will become daily shows. The channel will also launch a new fiction show, again on weekdays. Campaign India spoke to Prem Kamath, executive vice president and general manager, Channel [v], to understand the shifts.
Campaign India (CI): What prompted this shift - from a music channel to a youth entertainment destination?
Prem Kamath (PK): It is a journey we embarked three years back when we decided to broadbase ourselves beyond music and explore a host of other areas of entertainment. We realised that youth entertainment has a lot beyond music and therefore our programming mix has to reflect that. Over the last three years, over 25 per cent of our programming mix comprised of shows, which has given us good numbers and helped us gain viewership. And now we feel the time has come where we felt that it is the right time to make the channel air 100 per cent proprietary content.
CI: Being in the youth entertainment space, how would you define youth?
PK: We define youth as a life-stage. For us, it is from the moment you left your childhood till the time you become economically independent. If you were to put a TAM definition to it, our audience is centered from 10 to 24 years of age.
CI: How does this transition affect the monetisation of the channel?
PK: That is precisely the reason we went through the change on a step-by-step basis, where we populated one slot after the other and monetisation has kept pace with it. We always had an eye on what investments were we making and what targets we were achieving and that has helped.
CI: What about the advertisers? How are they reacting to the change?
PK: Absolutely great. I think, for a long time music channels have been masquerading as youth channels. There is nothing anymore youth about music channels or movie channels or news channels. The programming that goes on-air has to be customised for youth, which we are offering.
CI: What kind of shows can we expect on Channel [v] from now on?
PK: All our shows will be very rooted in youth issues - things they can identify with very strongly. Plus it is critical to any show that we create that the central theme revolves around the youth life-stage.
CI: What kind of a marketing plan do you have in place for this change?
PK: We are really communicating the two shows. There will be a complete 360-degree marketing plan, which will mainly involve promotions on our channel and network. The focus will be on the new shows.