RadioandMusic
| 14 Jun 2021
Information and interaction core of 9XO's roadmap: Luke Kenny

Standing true to its claims of delivering the best of English and international music from across the globe, 9X Media’s international music channel, 9XO has completed a year with flair in a competitive and highly cluttered music environment.

In a free-wheeling chat with Radioandmusic.com, 9XO programming head Luke Kenny, shares the challenges of launching a music channel in the internet age, high-points and future plans of 9XO.

Excerpts:-

How was a dedicated music channel like 9XO launched?

We wanted to launch a channel that was 100 percent music with no distractions either by video jockeys (VJs) or reality concepts. Before we launched 9XO we did a survey on what kind of music and artists would the audience like to listen to. Through our research we found that a large majority was not partial to any particular category of music- new/ classic. Viewers/ consumers were directed towards a particular music genre and in this scenario we saw ourselves as a filtering process whereby consumers/ audience can decide on what they want to watch and listen.

How has the industry reacted to the channel?

We have a very proactive relationship with the music labels. Very often, we inform them about an artist or a song from their roster which they are not aware of through our playlist or audience feedback/ requests. They get into the process of making them available to our audiences.

What has been the feedback from the audience?

A lot of the feedback has been the discovery and re-discovering of artists. It is encouraging to see that there is an audience who still wants to put their feet up and listen to music. Today, the youth audience has two-three streams to entertain themselves- chatting and streaming of content with TV channels like 9XO rounding it off by providing good sound. And going by the fact that 50-60 percent of India is under 30 years old, there is a huge potential for 9XO.

Who is your target audience (TG)?

Our TG is anyone who is interested in international music. From that large and spread out, we break it down: Many are working professionals spread across the country beyond the metros and not all can listen to music all the time. Our core audience is the college- institution youth from 18-25 years old. We follow international trends even when it’s not a trend here. In the 21st century, 30 years after the first dedicated music channel was launched (MTV), it is again getting acceptance from the youth who feel the internet is saturated.

What is your roadmap for the channel?

We would like to work on making the channel more informative and interactive. We have started a ‘Tweetdown’ where audiences can Tweet for their favourite songs or artists which then moves up and down the chart accordingly. We also have a real time feedback on our content which is very useful. Although we do not disregard Television Audience Measurement (TAM) data, the instant feedback on our channel is important. We are also increasing our interactivity with the artists and are working on the second season of India music talent.

We are also looking to expanding our label, but that would be in a little distant future. We have been involved in live music platform and have tied up with a lot of partners. We are looking at prioritizing our brand on the ground- the timeline for this is shorter and could materialize within this year. The audience has liked us and we have not allowed any interference to the programming. Our only battle is that of visibility and connectivity.