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MTV to practice multi-screen experience to entice today's youth

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | April 13, 2011
Limited by the single genre music market that India exhibits, youth channels today are experimenting hard with their programming strategy to grab the ever-elusive attention of the youth.

Channel [V] recently established the fiction genre within its programming line-up to expand its content horizons. Now, MTV, the youth channel from the Viacom18 stable, is launching a fresh reality format that will be uncensored and exposed to the youth through a multi-screen experience.

Christened MTV Crunch, the show will have 10 rooms with 10 pairs locked in for four weeks, with the walls physically closing in on them to make the living space progressively smaller. While the show will be telecast every day at 8 pm, it will be streamed live on the mobile and online platforms 24x7. The show will hit the television screens on April 18.

Aditya Swamy, channel head, MTV, says, "Crunch is a completely home-grown format. The show will not have any host. Neither will the contestants vote each other out. They will be voted out directly by the online community."

Meanwhile, the channel is also introducing the docu-reality genre to its programming line-up with its new property, True Life.

Docu-reality, informs Swamy, is a large genre for MTV globally and now the channel is bringing it in India with a local flavour.

True Life makes an attempt to capture the dichotomy in the lives of 10 young people who have two sides to their personalities. "For example, one protagonist is a small town girl during the day and an escort by night -- and she is happy with her choice," explains Swamy.

MTV's The Grind will also adorn a new avatar customised for the Indian youth, to be rolled out in May.

But, why the need for such non-music formats?

The youth category today is changing dramatically and there is always a continuous fatigue ailing the segment.

"Also, India is a single genre music market - Bollywood, which is available to everybody. Consequently, there is a need to create differentiation in the content line-up, as music is very limited," avers Swamy. MTV currently airs nine hours of music content and nine hours of non-music content.

The channel also plans to increase the ratio of experimental music within the category line-up. It will launch a new show called MTV Roots in mid-May. The show will look at exploring the diversity of music genres within this country.

Additionally, it will also launch a fusion-themed music show in June.

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