| 28 Feb 2024
LIVE Viacom to bring back MTV Xtreme and MTV Video Music Awards this year

MUMBAI: From debuting Pepsi MTV Indies' first festival – Spiro earlier this year, to having Vh1 Supersonic Arcades at frequent intervals, expanding MTV Bollyland to various cities, and creating quite a buzz around its upcoming Emerge festival which will feature British indie rock band Alt-J, LIVE Viacom already has quite a lot on its plate. However, that will not stop it from offering more to music lovers. Viacom18, INS, SVP and Business Head, Jaideep Singh revealed that LIVE Viacom has many more events planned for the remainder of the year.

Amongst those in development are MTV Xtreme, MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), Kids Choice Awards, MTV Bollyland, Comedy Central Chuckle Festival and Vh1 Supersonic. On Xtreme and VMA, Singh said, "Xtreme is definitely going to come back this year and MTV VMAs is also something we are keenly looking at bringing back this year."

Speaking about the increase of events Singh added, "In 2014, we scaled up all of these properties, which means, from 10 – 12 events, we have gone up to 210 events summing all of the events of these properties. And in 2015, we plan to push that to 300+ events."

He further added, "LIVE Viacom is one of the few institutions in the country with a large number of intellectual properties. And this puts quite the pressure on us, which is why this year, our focus is scaling our existing properties, building more experiences and getting bigger and better acts. This year is more about consolidating what we have and building it from there. We are not focusing on venturing into the international market with our properties right now, but plan to enter the markets of Middle East, South-East Asia and other international markets in our peripheral vision."

The plan to scale up existing LIVE Viacom properties can be seen with the upcoming Emerge festival. This year, for Emerge, LIVE Viacom has more than 20 shows spanning five different genres of music at various well known venues in various cities, all leading up to Alt-J's performance in Gurgaon and Mumbai on 21 and 22 May, respectively. The entire schedule has been called ‘Road to Emerge'.

Speaking about ‘Road to Emerge', Singh said, "After finishing Alt-J and Rudimental in February earlier this year, we contemplated on how to create a higher amount of buzz, which is more than what we have already been doing, including that on digital, social media, TV and other places. So, we thought of creating an interesting concept which would help us to create the mega-buzz we had been planning. Through this concept, we decided to bring together artists that we have worked with across most of our live properties."

Singh revealed that this has helped them in two ways. Firstly, it has helped LIVE Viacom activate all the touch-points through different venues across cities which is familiar with Emerge and its artists. And secondly, it has helped it move the audiences of these different venues to the main Alt-J Emerge concert.

June will also see the return of British drum and bass band- Rudimental headlining Emerge. It will be followed by the three-city Chuckle festival tour. Singh said, "Almost, all the properties are being activated in this quarter itself."

When asked about a possibility of an Emerge mobile application on the likes of Vh1 Supersonic, Singh stated, "Our current focus is to scale up existing properties and their respective presence on digital and TV. However, that said, we will go into having mobile applications for all our properties soon as we move forward. Right now, Emerge is in its second/third phase of scaling up. So, Emerge is going to have a mobile application, for sure."

In the next couple of days, Singh said that Comedy Central would announce the line-up of the comedians scheduled for this year's upcoming Chuckle Festival, one of the country's biggest international comedy festivals. The festival will conclude LIVE Viacom's association with Vivo Electronics, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. On that Singh opined, "It was launched in November last year, and will end with Chuckle Festival in 2015. We did an end-to-end campaign with Vivo as a major broadcast network helping an upcoming brand venturing into the market."