RadioandMusic
| 16 Sep 2019
The expectations are really high with 'The Voice India' says Rajesh Iyer

The first episode of the Indian version of the known international singing competition format 'The Voice' was recently aired on Zee Network’s &TV. Auditions for the show had begun in April and shortlisted candidates above the age of 16. &TV, which was launched on 2 March this year, has managed to programme a variety on the channel as compared to other GECs in the country. ‘The Voice India' is part of their varied programming, based on which &TV business head Rajesh Iyer spoke to Radioandmusic.com.

Excerpts:

How did the association happen with Endemol for ‘The Voice India’?

The format is owned by John De Mol’s Talpa Media. With this format, we went to Endemol, because I think, Endemol is one of the leading non-fiction programme producers in the country. They have the understanding required to develop formats of this genre. We had been speaking to Endemol about developing this format for quite some time; and finally, our negotiations have borne fruit.

How did you get this format, after being earlier sold in 2011?

Quite honestly, I do not know what happened in 2011, but the format was available in the market and we thought it was an amazing format to be developed.

Given the fact that ‘The Voice India’ was previously bought, did you have to pay a large sum this time around?

I do not know about the financials that were constructed back in 2011, but, in my opinion, we thought we had paid a fair price for the show.

Would Indian adaptations of other international singing reality shows be developed on the Zee Network?

Zee already has ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, and now through ZEEL’s &TV, we have ‘The Voice India’. That is why I do not think Zee will develop any more singing-based reality programmes, original or adaptations of international formats.

Tell us about your marketing plans for ‘The Voice India’?

You will see an entire gamut as far as the marketing strategy is concerned for ‘The Voice India’ with on-air promos, promotions across the network and outside. We are also looking at other mediums such as radio, outdoor, mobile and some more interesting activation. It is a big property and we will go to all big markets with this.

Why did you opt for voting through only telephone and not through social networks?

We do not have Facebook as much in India as they do in the US, so we are going to stick to the telephone, which is going to be our primary mode of voting. We will not be incorporating social media sites as a medium of voting in season one, but who know, maybe in future seasons.

Now, that you mentioned future seasons, is it safe to assume that it will be back for more seasons?

I cannot speak on that, but is it a commercial deal that we have made with Endemol Shine and Talpa Media. We have bought the show and are the primary broadcasters for it.

Why did you choose these four judges?

Shaan, Sunidhi (Chauhan), Mika (Singh) and Himesh (Reshammiya) are leading singers and music composes in their respective genres of music. You might have seen them individually, but the combination is really good; bringing them together is just unparalleled.

What is your expectation from ‘The Voice India’?

The expectations are really high, especially given that almost everyone knows ‘The Voice’. I have seen the first few episodes, and let me tell you, it looks really good. I am proud of how it has turned out.