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News |  30 Apr 2013 19:04 |  By RnMTeam

Matrubhumi's music channel 'Kappa' to strengthen foothold

MUMBAI: Being the second television venture of print major Matrubhumi Group, Kappa music was launched amidst big plans with a focus on specific music based shows. While the channel has witnessed a fairly positive response after two months of its launch, it’s also trying to gain a foothold in Kerala to understand the viewers mind.

The channel did face initial hiccups as the programming took sometime for the audiences to understand and grow towards. But on the other hand, many segments are also doing well on the channel which includes shows like Music Mojo, Film Lounge and more.

While Music Mojo aims at giving upcoming singers a unique opportunity to showcase their talent on television screens, Film Lounge talks about the recent releases in each language that the channel caters to including Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.

Film Lounge is another show which has garnered a positive response for them. It airs thrice a day and each time the content and language is different for each block.

Speaking with, Kappa music channel CEO Mohan Nair said, “The channel has been doing pretty ok even though the programming took a while to set in. There are some blocks which have been specifically liked by the youth. Largely, I think the format has been accepted by the audiences and we are promoting it quite heavily on social media platforms.”

Amongst the many challenges the channel faced in terms of programming, one of them was that Music Mojo is mainly a 30 minute show while the rest feature as 5-10 minute capsules. Initially, audiences were not very receptive to it as the format did not engage them, but now the channel has started garnering mixed responses for its programming structure as it plays around eight hours of original content.

“We have got a good and bad response. Younger people have liked it, while the older generation has not given us a very positive feedback. But I would like to say that the experiment has been worth the while,” he added.

Many have termed it as very initial stages to judge the impact of the channel in the market, but it can also be highlighted that with a large number of players present and already offering similar content, it might be difficult to establish itself in a fiercely competitive market.

Amongst the music channels present in the space are Kiran TV which is a Malayalam music and movie channel owned by Sun Network, SS Music or Southern Spice Music a multi-lingual channel playing music in English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi, Sun Music airing Tamil film songs, MTV, B4U Music, Jukebox by Asianet and Raj Musix amongst others.

Inspite of that, Nair mentioned that Malayalam and Tamil are the genres that work really well as the quality of songs is very good and is popular amongst the audiences. Moreover with a large number of films releasing in the genre, it becomes easier to get content.

On the other hand, international music was stated to be the genre witnessing the least amount of traction. Kappa states that they have less international content due to copyright issues and they cannot afford the content right now and hope to change that as they move along.

Kappa Music is currently available across Kerala and Gulf countries which mainly give it stiff competition as the content aired is mostly similar across multiple music genres. They have attained a mediocre share of returns with people still shifting and sampling the content, also making it difficult for them to plan out a future strategy.

Nair stated, “Our returns are fairly ok as people are still getting used to it, but we have succeeded in building a curiosity value amongst them. We are not yet on the DTH, as the market in Kerala is not right for paid. Maybe after digitization, we will see a whole new opportunity opening up.”

The channel now plans to expand its content by getting radio properties from its network’s radio station, Club FM, onto television screens. Amongst the new launches is a show called ‘Love Bite’ that has been taken from the radio player. Based on an interactive format, it will feature viewers calling and getting relationship advice on various issues.

With Kappa still trying to establish itself, they are very firm on the rates they have set up for the advertisers. They commenced with a total of eight advertisers, and within the two months the number has almost doubled. “We need to push rates up; lower rates will clutter the channel. We are not facing a problem there as we have premium advertisers on-board with the price we are asking for,” he expressed.

As part of the second phase which will commence in May-June, the channel will give a push to all of the initiatives that haven’t yet witnessed the light of day. Some of these include the album music festival, a reality show and a standup comedy show in Malayalam it had planned at the time of launch.

Nair revealed, “We are happy with the progress and are mainly focused on distribution currently. Phase II will see a lot of new things from us in terms of content and we will also try to enter into the digital market in some way.”