RadioandMusic
| 27 May 2022
Ferzad Palia: "EDM music is a staple diet of our current programming"

Growing trends in music has lead many music channels to revamp their programming but this has not limited the channels from moving ahead and facing the change. Adding more and more properties and ventures to make their channels a stronger brand, is working well for them.

To understand the changes in music channel programming and importance of new ventures, Radioandmusic.com approached Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd English Entertainment SVP and GM Ferzad Palia who has been with Vh1 since the channel entered in 2005. Palia is looking forward to strengthen its hold in India with Vh1’s off-air reach so that Vh1 would grow beyond metro.

Excerpts:

What is the vision for Vh1 this year?

The vision is to move beyond being a television channel. We will enhance the live entertainment space, synergize and ramp up our digital assets and move beyond metros.

What change will be there content wise?

This year we are enhancing our music properties by launching never seen before documentaries, concerts and festivals. In depth shows on artistes/celebrities and marquee live award shows.

Which new programmes have gained popularity in India last year?

There have been multiple shows in the last year that have gained popularity with the audience. Pop Up Videos, Buried Life Season 2, Michael Jackson Bad 25, Beavis & Butt Head, Absolut Liquid TV, Metal Evolution, Dance 101 and Pop Profiles.

How positive is the growth of music in India?

There has been a significant growth in music in India.

International artists have realized the potential of live events in India and have made India a ‘must tour’ country in their calendars, which wasn’t the case couple of years back. There are major concerts, events and festivals happening every month. The consumer is more accepting to multiple genres of music and not restricted to Bollywood only. There are quality Indian artist that have come up in the last couple of years. More live events and the fact that there is a structure in place for digital sales (albeit still nascent) are helping artists/labels to monetize their trade. This bores well for the future of non Bollywood music.

What are the new trends in music that needs to be implemented by channels?

The crossover of EDM or dance music into mainstream popular music is the biggest global trend. We have identified this trend a year ago and have created multiple music blocks dedicated solely to EDM. Revamped Dance 101, launched EDM Up Close and showcasing Dance Festivals. EDM music is now a staple diet of our current music programming.

Along with this, there is a growing rise of ‘indie’ musicians in India and hence the launch of Contrabands.

What is Vh1’s role in ‘Contraband’?

Vh1 will formulate a creatively conceptualized music video that will have an international look and feel for the artists. This video will give the bands enormous exposure by finding its way to the television screens of 70 million viewers across India. Also, apart from being integrally involved with the selection and grooming process, Vh1 will also actively monetize Contrabands through its sponsor base.

Venturing into new properties like this, how demanding is it?

Vh1 has always supported Indian artists since its inception in India. This partnership with Universal Music and HRC takes our platform 360 degrees and is sure to spot and develop some of the best hidden jewels. We're extremely excited to take these musicians to the next level.

What are the other properties Vh1 is venturing into or planning to launch?

We are planning to launch a ‘partnership campaign’ which details brand Vh1’s off-air reach.

This is to show Vh1’s strengthen off-air, ie on-ground presence in all the major metros in the country. Vh1 tries to tap into various facets of its core T.G.’s (target audience) daily life and this has been achieved by partnering with various entities across the board. From multiplexes to coffee shops to retails such as Book stores, hang-outs and night clubs; Vh1 has a prominent on-ground presence.

Vh1 has planned initiatives such as ‘Fab Nights’, ‘Fab Campus Fests’, ’Fab Hang-outs’. Vh1 plans to promote these initiatives to both the consumer and trade community and gratifying them with various ‘Vh1 customised’ entitlements.