9X Media launches international music channel

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 24, 2012
The international music channel, christened 9XO, will be launched today, April 24. Targeting the age group of 15-21 years, the tagline of the channel is 'I'm On'.

9X Media will launch its sixth music channel, 9XO, today (April 24). Targeting the age group of 15-21 years, the channel will focus on international music content and will carry the tagline, 'I'm On'. 9X Media has offerings in the Hindi as well as regional music space. It launched 9X Jalwa, a Hindi music channel, in February.

9X Media

9XO will air contemporary English and international music. Instead of anchor-based shows, its programming line-up will contain humour-based shows, like the other channels of the bouquet. Two special animated characters, Bunnies and Worms, will be used, where Bunnies resembles the animated bunnies used in hit Hollywood films, along with two Worms living in the sewage pipe, which will deliver critical comments on various issues.

The main programmes on the channel will include O-Vid, Who Dat, Wotta Song, Hot Sh*t and Out There. The channel will also host a talent show, OmeGrown, which will stage performances from Indian bands and will bring to the fore the multi-talented youth who are pursuing English music and its sub-cultures.

Luke Kenny, programming head, 9XO, says, "The show is not a reality show, nor a competition among the bands. It's a simple performance-based show. There are many Indian independent artists who are performing all over the world. At OmeGrown, these artists will record their own songs, perform and talk about their way of music."

Kenny adds, "Till date, there has never been a 100 per cent international music television channel. At 9XO, there will not be any non-music programming whatsoever. Also, the channel's programming is packaged under pop-art influences. We are convinced that we will receive great response from our target group."

For the record, VH1, the sister channel of MTV, is the only international music channel available in India. It also focuses on the lifestyles of celebrities. Some other channels like Channel V have dedicated English music slots.

Punit Pandey

Punit Pandey, senior vice-president and business head, 9X Media, says, "After a series of launches across the regional and Hindi markets, and the launch of 9XM in the United Kingdom, 9XO is our new offering. The urban youth in India clearly feels the need for a platform that delivers international music in a great audio-visual format. With 9XO, we believe that we address this need gap by airing the best of English and international music."

Some of the content of the channel will be available online at www.9XO.in. However, initially, the complete programming will not be streamed online. The mobile telecast will not be started as of now.

To engage consumers and spread the message about its launch, the channel has commenced several online initiatives such as O-Boared and Laugh-O-Rama. O-Board enables the users to sign in and make their own playlist, while the latter deals with the funny videos posted by the viewers on the website. It is based on the American comedies or British sitcoms and allows users to upload videos of their skits and stand-up comedies. The highest voted videos will go on air.

Pandey adds, "We have also empanelled about 150 college students that we worked with in the channel construct stage across key metros. These students will continue to work with us as 9XO's board of advisors on all the upcoming initiatives on the channel, as well as on our digital platform."

The other channels in the bouquet of 9X Media are 9XM (a Bollywood music channel), 9XTashan (Punjabi music channel), 9XJhakaas (Marathi music channel), 9XJalwa (Hindi music channel) and 9XM-UK, which is available on the Sky Digital platform.

9XO will be available across cable and satellite homes in India and across key DTH platforms.

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