RadioandMusic
| 23 Apr 2019
We will focus on strengthening our non-music content, but the core of MTV Beats will purely be music: Ferzad Palia

Since its launch in 2016, MTV Beats has been receiving massive success as they claim to have a successful growth over the past two years and especially in 2018. Over a span of time, the channel has elevated itself with their innovative strategies and proven to be the fastest growing channel in the music space.

To get more insights about the channel, we spoke to Viacom 18 Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment Ferzad Palia.

How has year 2018 been for MTV Beats?

2018 has been an exciting year for MTV Beats with the channel witnessing a 50% growth this year. Leveraging its distinguished offerings, the channel has aggregated 475 mn annual viewers across India. MTV Beats has been able to grow the music entertainment genre also for the broadcast ecosystem, as a result of its own distinguished performance.

We connected with the youth by celebrating different flavours and themes of the month and create our programming around it. We celebrated February as the Month of Love with a hit line-up of iconic romantic songs. April was the month of laughter riots with LOL April and June was dedicated to celebrate the love for music with Musical June. 

Stellar properties such as Sanket Bhosle’s Baba Ki Chowki and Secret Side, hosted by singer Akasa Singh, were able to drive the channel as the fastest growing one in its category.  

What were the challenges faced by the channel?

Addressing the challenge of interactivity on television, we launched India’s first Live Request Show, where users can sit, request and enjoy their favourite songs live. While building a strong connection with the young audience on both TV and digital, this year, we have focussed a lot on Instagram while continuing to engage around one mn fans on Facebook. Apart from pushing TV content on these platforms, we have created a lot of platform led content for Instagram to connect with Indian Youth. This has led to a phenomenal increase in numbers on the platform.

What were the changes, MTV Beats made this year?

We had witnessed an increase in the consumption of retro songs. Hence, the plan was to fill the need gap and cater to that section of the audience, who prefer music from the 90’s era. As a result, we added the slot - Flashback on Weekdays from 9 pm to 12 am and it has been working significantly well for us.

The overall growth of the channel (Agenda which you’ll have set up, did it work as planned)?

The strategy and planning for the overall growth of the channel have fortunately worked really well for us, with an exceptional rise of 50% since last year and 150% since its launch in 2016. With a continued momentum, we now expect a swift jump of 25-30% in our overall growth.

 How well did your marketing strategy work in 2018? What were the promotional strategies (broadcast and digital) implemented ?

This year, we wanted to initiate marketing strategies that helped us in taking MTV Beats Live among the audience. To celebrate the second anniversary of MTV Beats in the month of December, we came up with Swag Nights, a party hosted by us across all the popular clubs in Mumbai and Delhi. It was our initiative to take over the Bollywood nights in town and celebrate all things Bollywood. MTV Beats added its own touch of grandeur and filmy-ness to the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, this year, by organizing a unique street party in Mumbai called The Bappa Beats. We’re glad these initiatives have established a strong connection with the audience and worked in the best interest of the channel. Our focus was driven towards creating customized digital content, in addition to thematic contests on the channel. To further strengthen this, the banners on our OTT platforms have been our promotional shows.

What were the initiatives that were taken by the channel this year? Which one maximized  profit and which one did not work well?

We partnered with NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation to host a special episode of Secret Side with Akasa where singer Raftaar visited the NGO, interacted with as well as performed for school kids from underprivileged communities. MTV Beats added its own touch of grandeur and filmy-ness to the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this year by organizing a unique street party that received a great response. We’re glad these initiatives have established a strong connection with the audience and worked in the best interest of the channel.

What really did not work and simultaneously work in your favour this year?

We have been fortunate to be able to strike a chord with the audience with our varied programming initiatives and it has been a good year.

How did you really revamp your channel- strategies used?

MTV Beats has purely been a music channel since its existence. With our varied and interactive content, we have provided the best of music to all our listeners and brought in the much-needed variety in the category. Now, we would be adding content and character to the channel to reach out to the masses and create an identity for the brand. We will continue to focus on non-music content, however keeping in mind the tracks of music content which is humorous and fun.

If you could give us gist about what are you looking forwarding to do in 2019?

We are looking to explore into new genres of music in 2019 focussed towards the millennials. Apart from this, we are all set to bring back the season 2 of Dil Beats, which garnered an amazing response from our listeners.

How would you picturize MTV Beats in 2019

With the new year coming in, we aim to become the number one contemporary music channel. We will focus on strengthening our non-music content while keeping in mind of not becoming a radio -music TV channel. The core of MTV Beats will purely be music.