afaqs!

The song remains the same as MTV rebrands

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 25, 2007
The iconic music channel is re-packaging itself with variety in programming, but the verdict is still out in an age of multiple music platforms

Ten years & #BANNER1 & # ago, the Indian youth in the metros was called the MTV or Channel [V] generation. But not any more. At the risk of stating the obvious, today's youth is different. And they have many other sources of music, be it radio, MP3 players or iPods.

This has led to a situation where music channels need to revamp. As media observer Chandradeep Mitra, president, OMS, says, "Any youth channel needs to constantly revamp and reposition itself as the definition of youth changes more often, as also their viewership preferences."

Well, better late than never. The music channel MTV, which primarily caters to the youth, has decided to revamp and reposition itself. The channel has changed its positioning from "MTV Enjoy" to "It's My MTV", thus indicating the music channel's need to connect with today's youth.

The channel has added a slew of new shows, which include reality programmes, a few lifestyle shows and short format shows such as 'Crazysexycool.com', 'MTV Wear Their Skin', 'MTV It Sucks!', 'MTV Eat This' and 'MTV Love Bytes'. A new reality series called 'MTV iSuperstar' will be introduced, along with two new music blocks, 'Saturday Shuffle' and 'Daily Download'.

So, should we call MTV a music channel at all? Perhaps we can, because music is still 70 per cent of its content. Divya Radhakrishnan, senior vice-president, The Mediaedge (TME), feels that people do not watch a television channel just for music. They need variety in their programming, thus the need for such shows and the revamp.

Mitra of OMS agrees. He feels that such shows on a music channel actually act as a differentiator. Besides, such shows are an indication of the trends followed by today's youth.

Finally, Manish Porwal, managing director, India West and South, Starcom, is of the opinion that "these music channels have been left behind because they failed to understand the aspirations of the youth and tried to be trend setters without actually identifying the trends". Porwal says the channels keep on experimenting with their programmes, and it is too early to predict their success.

Old song with a new label? Or the way forward for a genre under pressure? Tune in.