| 25 Jun 2022
For a brand to succeed over nine years with changing interest patterns takes a lot of effort: Kapil Sharma

MUMBAI: 9XM recently turned ‘9’ and celebrated by running a month long campaign that included giving away some expensive goodies to viewers. The campaign was the brainchild of its marketing team that has been pushing the envelope for 9XM year after year.

In conversation with, 9X Media SVP marketing Kapil Sharma says the channel promises nothing new but assures good music and audience connect. Excerpts.

9XM pumped in a lot of money in the month-long campaign titled #9XMturns9.

It was meant for 9XM fans and as a part of the contest, 9XM fans and viewers had to spot and click the number ‘9’ whenever they saw it and upload those pictures on 9XM’s social media and digital platforms. We thought they would send pictures of their cars, flat number, etc. but they put in a lot of effort. We received 15,000 entries from all our social media accounts. We gave out grand prizes like the iPhone 7, Smart TVs and Laptops. Three lucky winners also got to meet their favourite stars. We have 12 million fans on social media and to celebrate these nine years we thought what would be better than a social connect.

How is 9XM looking at attracting more eyeballs? Will new techniques be applied?

Won’t say that things will change. When we had launched we had promised to play hit music and not bore them with non-music content. We have continued to do that over the years and we will continue to do that. We have made efforts to get interactive with the audience and in the coming quarter we will launch some more interactive shows.

9XM has expanded its self as a brand. How has that worked?

We created 9XM Stardum under which we created songs like ‘Daru on the House’ and ‘Jimmy Choo’. We also collaborated with Ponds on their recent campaign featuring Armaan Malik and Monali Thakur. The ad received 1.5 million views in less than a week. It’s a good thing as it helps us connect with the viewers.

Audience connect is one of the major reasons for any channels success. Did 9XM do an extensive research to understand what would work and what would not?

Interactivity is the key so we went to the consumer to understand what he wants. We understood that there were music channels that were offering more shows than music. They wanted music. So we mixed music with humour that came with our animated characters – Bade Chotte – and they loved it. Next, we realised that a cell phone has become one of the most important part of our body. This is when we thought of engaging the audience. They could tweet while watching TV and we were also showing their name on-air. This has led to huge growth for the channel and the engagement level has shot up.

What has been the biggest challenge for 9XM?

Our audience is of 16 to 24 age group and their likes and dislikes keep changing. Their liking for a song, restaurant, night club or a movie will continue to change rapidly. What’s hot today will not be of any interest tomorrow. For a brand to succeed over nine years with changing interest pattern takes a lot of effort. The credit for the same goes to the entire team for they have worked on staying relevant. The most important aspect of the people in this (16 to 24) bracket is that it keeps changing. The ones who were 10-year-old when we launched are today our audience. So we have to constantly be on our toes.

9XM hasn’t managed to rule the BARC charts yet. What’s holding it back?

BARC collects data from TV whereas we take various other factors into consideration. Where we stand in social media space plays a very important role in engaging with them and staying relevant. We just have to figure out more ways to offer better to our viewers. Ratings are one of those parameters and it’s not important to win every match one has to win the tournament.