RadioandMusic
| 20 Feb 2020
Aditya Swamy: "2013 will be a year of corrections"

MTV India EVP and business head Aditya Swamy

MTV 2012:

2012 strengthened our belief that we are on the right path of exploring the music space in the country. It made us believe that we can sell music content, not only with our passion but also from a business point of view. When we started the buildup, we realized that young India is hungry for new songs and this want directed us to explore the genre beyond bollywood. This is when we started ‘Coke Studio@MTV’ and ‘MTV Roots’. In one day, we had launched two shows. At that point of time, we were on high risk considering the efficiency in the music- based content as well as how would we rake in moolah from the advertisers on board.

Coke believed in the idea and it was two of us that embarked on the idea and took the journey. On the sets of Coke Studio, we did Unplugged India and Unplugged was launched. Then we decided let’s change the way we do Coke Studio so we recorded with multiple producers and more artists. In the end we had 500 artistes. All the good work we did was there, we got Rahman to do ‘Unplugged’ and asked International artist to do block party. Overall, it has been raining music for last 12 months.

Every year has been challenging for us and I think that is what makes work interesting. Our philosophy is to innovate and learn from our mistakes. I will be the first one to admit that in Coke Studio 1, we made many mistakes. We received really good feedbacks for Coke Studio 2 being perfect but again I would disagree. As a producer, I can say that things can improve in Coke Studio 3. I want every season to be better and our learning process to continue.

If you have good content then people will consume it. There is space for everything; Channel [V] has come up with serials and we have decided to play with music. It is important to know what we want as if you do a bit of everything it would not work that well. Our name is MTV and music is in our DNA, how we do different things with music is what you need to think. It’s a challenge. 9XM is India’s top bollywood music channel and they have taken that position. It’s on you what you chose to be. People are experimenting with comedy, music, technology, regional etc. It’s a year were everyone has tried something new.

Music trend in 2012:

Undoubtedly, bollywood music is the biggest and the most popular but I think there is a strong sub-culture coming up. Vishal Dadlani, who is the better half of famous bollywood music composer duo Vishal-Shekar, Amit Trivedi and Sneha Khanwalkar amongst others have all been featured in Coke Studio and I think we were able to showcase the other side of their musical talent.

I believe by venturing into a space which we believed in was risk but we did it. I think it’s great that non-film music scene is becoming bigger and better in India. Last year, we did almost 50 live shows in 2012 with music in Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged. We were able to pull a large crowd (20,000 people in Delhi) and it worked very well for us.

Revenue:

From a business point of view, it has been an interesting year  primarily, because a large part of the revenue has come from the non-advertisement side. We became a brand beyond television because revenues were mostly beyond television. It has been an interesting and exciting year and this allows us to take more risk and launch new talent, thus helping the music industry.

Digital platform space:

For us, digital has been huge. We have been very aggressive on facebook and YouTube. New digital platforms are coming in so we have to go where the audience is. I think digital has been the biggest success apart from music.

Mobile apps for Coke Studio was quiet popular and we had a very good experience. 25, 000 CDs have been sold now and about 10 million downloads have taken place for Coke Studio music. This album is considered as the most sold and pre-booked album in Flipkart.

We have also launched a brand new website and have crossed three and half million visits in a month. We are expected to grow more significantly. MTV is made up of TV, digital and live events and we have experimented and diversified our footprints.

Year 2013

This year will be a year of corrections. Set and growth  story will start but we look at growth only from 2014

The music industry is predicated to grow hugely till 2015 apart from the broadcast. Physical CD sales are down, but downloads are increasing. We will get more content; bollywood and non-film. So consumers will increase as the content increases. India has lots of genres like classical, devotional, bollywood, English, independent out of which independent and English are growing buckets and regional and films are big buckets.