"Music builds pride, music brings love. Everything else is just transactional", says Aditya Swamy, channel head, MTV India. Starting with bringing Coke Studio in India in June 2011, the channel is supposed to have kickstarted the fad of introducing unique format music shows on TV. The other two unique format music shows aired on the channel are MTV Unplugged and MTV Roots. Another unique format music show that has assumed a near cult status of late is The Dewarists aired on Star World. The aforementioned shows appeal to different set of audience and target groups.
However, one thing that's common amongst all is their uniqueness of format which differentiates them from the conventional music shows like MTV Big Bang Mornings, MTV Music Xpress, Channel V Mind Blasting Mornings, Channel V Zabardast Hits, et al.
It is interesting to note that strictly by dint of cumulative reach on TV, the conventional shows garner far more traction than any of the unique format shows. According to data shared by TAM Media Research for the period 2 October to 19 November (Market: HSM CS 15+ years), shows like MTV Big Bang Mornings and MTV Music Xpress gathered 41,258,000 and 44,800,000 as cumulative reach on an average basis. These numbers are far more as compared to the average cumulative reach of MTV Roots (5,555,000) or MTV Unplugged (18,754,000) for the same period.Even the much talked about Coke Studio could register 22,186,000 as its cumulative reach in the period of 12 June to 1 October 2011.
But MTV's Swamy explains, "If you look at the reach of the unique format shows purely through the television platform, that would be incomplete. Today, young people are consuming content across screens. You need a measure. If you are putting money on my channel or on its show, you need to know what it's delivering. But to weigh its efficiency you have to take into account other important mediums where our content is largely consumed. You need to see how many people watched the video on YouTube, how many times the show was trending on twitter, how many people downloaded the video on their mobile phones, how many gigs you did, how much money you collected from that, how many CDs were sold, all of that today is the measure of success."
Swamy added that Lodestar UM won on its entry of Coke Studio because they put faith in the show's proposition of not just being a TV show but a youth engagement programme and they are happy that it's the single winning entry at the Festival of Media this year from India. The show was a success because apart from the ratings, the show enabled sale of 10,000 CDs and garnered one and a half million hits on YouTube.
Swamy highlights that bollywood music programme that runs for four hours every morning is getting them 20 GRPs every week but is it being followed on social media or trending on twitter? The answer is a no-brainer. "It's always commodity vs brand. We've to be a bit of everything."
On the question of what's more profitable, a regular show versus an experimental show like Coke Studio or MTV Unplugged or MTV Roots, Swamy adds, "Today we are lucky that we have found a few brands who believe in us. So the bottomline for the channel is still the same. The challenge is how does one tap the larger revenue stream. With Coke Studio we could tap revenues from the mobile medium as well. For such shows, there are more opportunities to make money from but at the same time there are fewer people you can reach out to. The regular shows give you the ratings which lets the media planner see that MTV is still there as a channel and provides them a negotiation tool in the name of ratings. Ratings, at the end of the day, is an efficieny tool for the client and a negotiation tool for the broadcaster.You have to run a business at the end of the day so you can't ignore ratings."
Looking at the whole scenario from a brand's perspective, one has to take note of what Arvind Krishanan, director, marketing, Bacardi, has to say.(Bacardi is the producer of The Dewarists aired on Star World).Star World caters to a different set of audience as compared to an MTV or a Channel[V]. TAM data for 2 October to 19 November for All India market, target group CS 25+ years, shows that the show gathered a cumulative reach of 1,052,000 only. But if these numbers come across as relatively marginal, you have to check their channel views on YouTube (282,145) and the total upload views (1,315,876). Krishnan says, " It's been a complete exploration for us and the feedback we've got on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is just amazing. We have been able to get a brand message out there. The brand gains conversation."
And as they say, the more conversation you get for your brand (positive preferably) the more it(your brand) stays in the consumer's mind which increases the chances of him ultimately buying your brand.