RadioandMusic
| 22 Nov 2017
International Music Feed president Andy Schuon - We are targeting 12 to 24 year olds - the Google /Ipod generation

Andy Schuon, former top programming executive for MTV and VH1, is now president of Vivendi/Universal's new TV network IMF: The International Music Feed, the only music TV channel owned by a record label - Universal Music Group.
In an email interview, Schuon outlines his plans for the new channel.

Excerpts:

What is the target audience of International Music Feed? Is it a youth channel or a mix - for both young and older audiences?

The channel is targeted at 12 to 24 year olds.


Is it by subscription or does it have a different revenue model?

IMF'S TV Channel is available to cable and satellite subscribers and subscribers to the new Verizon FIOs and AT&T U-Verse television services just like other channels viewers get as part of their subscription packages. On the phone, Sprint Powervision customers in the US can get IMF on demand and Sky Mobile/Vodafone customers in the UK and Ireland can get IMF channels as part of a music subscription package.

People can go to IMF.com and also watch one of our 17 IMF channels on Joost at Joost.com.

What kind of a programming mix does IMF have?

IMF plays the world's best music, the biggest hit videos from the US and other countries. We also have programmes by genre and territory. There really is no other place that spans the globe highlighting the best of what's out there around the world in music.


Why has a special show like Passage to India been included? Does it target the non resident indian population or does it indicate a growing interest in Indian music?

All of IMF's programs are targeted at 12 to 24 year olds that love music. This is the Google /Ipod generation! They have access to everything. On TV, no other channel gives them the variety that we offer.

Music channels aimed at young people everywhere are becoming more of youth channels - with music as the backbone but fleshed out with programming that talks about gadgets, style, trends etc, and having a lot of synergy with their online presence. Does IMF think the same way?

IMF is dedicated to being 100 per cent music. It's a big world out there, and if we all we did was feature the top videos from around the world, we would have an incredibly exciting and dynamic business. We go beyond that to contextualise the music, and the culture around the music.

How integrated is its online presence with the television offering?

You can get a good introduction to IMF via IMF.com and you can really see what we're all about in places like Joost.com. I think we're probably the largest provider of music on Joost right now. As we grow, we will continue to develop meaningful ways for our various platforms to intersect.

Does the channel have back to back music, or is hosted by video jockeys? Or does it sport a completely different format?

We package the music we play in a lot of different ways. That means on screen graphics, our hosts in places like our feed center segments and in the various music shows on IMF like Journey to the Center of the Rock, Hello World, Hip Hop Society and the Bridge, Latin America.

Being the largest in the business, should Universal Music Group not have launched a music TV channel earlier? Or was it a matter of timing?

Universal backs IMF, but we play the music from many record labels including the labels of Sony/BMG, and EMI, and a lot of independent companies. If you look at the lack of music on television, you can't blame Universal for firing up IMF.

The cable companies seem to think people in the US especially, don't want music on television. The truth is they are not competitive with other content providers out there. Hopefully through IMF and others, cable will catch up.

I can say that satellite and IPTV (Verizon and AT&T) get it.

What does the library consist of? Which are the different genres that are being played?

We are a'pop' music channel in that we define our playlist by playing the most popular hit music from the rock, pop, hip hop, alternative, R&B genres from the US and other countries.

What is the current footprint of IMF? Are there plans to expand? Are there plans to tie up with other players elsewhere or to get on to a platform in other regions?

Our 24/7 channel and VOD offering are available in the US today. On mobile, you can see a few IMF channels in the UK and Ireland. Soon we will be offering the channel 24/7 in other territories.

In a market cluttered with established music channels, how does IMF aim to stand out? How much of market share it hopes to grab in, say, a year's time?

We are the one playing music! All the time. If you consider that there are a couple hundred satellite radio channels, a world of choices on the Internet, and even 100 radio stations in cities like LA or San Francisco, having a channel or two on cable doesn't seem like a cluttered market.