afaqs!

9X Media to launch Hindi music channel 9X Jalwa

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | February 23, 2012
Donning the tagline Koi Shaq, Jalwa will position itself as a timeless hit music channel that will feature content from the period 1965-2000.

9X Media, which already operates the Hindi music channel 9XM, the Punjabi music channel 9X Tashan and the Marathi music channel 9X Jhakaas, is now gearing up to launch its fourth offering. Christened 9X Jalwa, the new channel will have its commercial launch on February 25. Donning the tagline Koi Shaq, Jalwa will position itself as a timeless hit music channel that will feature content from 1965 to 2000.

Punit Pandey

Kunal Jamuar

Anamika Mehta

Speaking to afaqs!, Punit Pandey, senior vice-president and business head, 9X Media Group, says, "Currently, there is no channel in the music space that caters to the 25+ audience set in the Hindi speaking market. Therefore, we decided to tap into this vacant spot."

Like Sony Mix, Jalwa's content, too, will be categorised under time bands such as Melody Zindabad, Dil Se and Blockbuster Beats, which will contend to reflect 'mood mapping'.

Besides playing back-to-back Bollywood music, 9X Jalwa will also feature short format shows, humour-led character interstitials and trivia-based slate shows. Some of the shows on 9X Jalwa include Halkat Sawal, Kassette Kahaniyan and Bolly Brands.

Meanwhile, in a bid to give a beyond-TV push to the content, the music will also be available on mobile TV platforms such as Yupp TV, Zenga TV and Apalaya TV. 9X Jalwa will also have a live streaming facility through its website, www.9xjalwa.in.

While Pandey declined to comment on investments on the free-to-air channel, industry experts state that 9X Media has spent Rs 45-50 crore on content and distribution.

Interestingly, media experts note that the duration of film songs aired across channels from the genre has been increasing over the years, while the telecast of reality shows has been showing a declining ROI. And, while the core audience still remains the younger age segment of 15-24 years, the higher SEC groups indicate decline.

So, will the latest in the Hindi music genre be able to tap into new audiences?

Kunal Jamuar, head, West, MPG India, says, "While launching a music channel has its own advantages since the input costs are low, sustenance of a channel can be suspect if it does not provide anything unique. The television music space is currently much cluttered and distribution is already a cluttered area."

Meanwhile, Anamika Mehta, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal notes that the 25+ audience today is extremely flirtatious and the new channel will have to contend with genres such as GECs, news, cricket and movies.

"While the channel does bring in a novelty factor with the 25+ age group target, the freshness will be only limited to positioning because, at the end of the day, music can cut across all age groups," she adds.

Also, with such content, the channel is expected to charge an ad rate of approximately Rs 200-300 per 10 seconds. Industry experts state that the channel could make anywhere between Rs 25-30 crore in ad revenues.

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