| 24 Mar 2023
Viacom18 to launch Bollywood music channel MTV Beats, MTV Indies to go off air

MUMBAI: Viacom will soon launch a 24X7 music brand 'MTV Beats'.

MTV Beats is an initiative to redesign Viacom18's youth and music portfolio, and to take brand MTV into sharply segmented content buckets within the genre. MTV Beats, while catering to all eclectic music tastes, 'will predominantly focus on Bollywood music'. The company has not yet announced the date of launch of the new channel.While it will be Viacom18's first 24X7 Hindi music channel, MTV Beats will replace MTV Indies on air, with an eye to take the MTV brand to a more mass audience. MTV Indies which was launched in April 2006, will continue to cater to the indie subculture, but on the digital platform. In all likelihood, MTV Indies may henceforth be available only on Voot, Viacom18's OTT platform which launched in March 2016, and the channel's official website.

The company's flagship channel will continue its focus on youth and branded content. MTV, the brand that changed the way music was consumed in India, has given unforgettable shows such as MTV Unplugged, Coke Studio@MTV, Dewarists and MTV Spoken Word. Elaborating on the portfolio redesign, Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats said, “MTV initiated India into the experience of pop culture, making it a socially and commercially successful phenomenon. Today the brand is synonymous with being reflective of the country’s youth - their preferences, beliefs, opinions, desires et al. This presents us with the unique opportunity to redesign our Youth and Music portfolio to take brand MTV into sharply segmented content buckets within the genre."

Bollywood music content continues to perform a major role in the inception and restructuring on several music channels in India. Viacom18's latest development - MTV Beats - will cater to the mass appeal and the content would focus on the music for the youth.

MTV Indies will continue to exist as a Viacom 18 brand. However, the channel would only operate on the digital platform. The move comes as a surprise considering the impressive growth of the channel (according to BARC India ratings) and the recognition it received for catering to a niche audience through the discovery of underground artists or musicians from the alternative (non-film) music space.

Giving a deeper insight into MTV Beats, Viacom18 youth and English entertainment business head Ferzad Palia said, “India loves its music, especially Bollywood music. With MTV BEATS, we aim to give our audience a 24x7 music companion who fulfils all their music needs through the day. This is a channel aimed at 15 – 30 year olds across urban and rural India, people who love music and often imagine their day having a sound track of sorts. To give our audience’s life a unique beat, we’re working on defining the week into mood based themes and curating our playlists accordingly, thereby making music viewing a more relatable experience.”