As Atif Aslam's 'Tajdar-e-Haram', a 10-minute-long song from Coke Studio's eighth season becomes the first song from Pakistan to cross hundred million views on YouTube, we take a quick look at what Coke Studio is.
Coke Studio, described on Wikipedia as '... a Pakistani television series and international music franchise which features live studio-recorded music performances by established and emerging artistes...' is 'the longest-running annual TV music show in Pakistan since 2008.'
In mid-2011, the show came to India as a television series produced by MTV India in partnership with Red Chillies Entertainment. Coke Studio India was officially titled 'Coke Studio@MTV', a brand partnership between Coca-Cola and MTV.
At the time Wasim Basir, then director, integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola India, had said about the show, "We are delighted that the news of Coke Studio's arrival in India has been received with immense eagerness and enthusiasm by the hugely talented and distinctive Indian music fraternity. Music has the power to transcend barriers and bind people together and we believe that the 'happy' energy of Coca-Cola will help teenagers and young people in India come together to find their voice and share it with the world through music. We are sure that Coke Studio will help further strengthen our relationship with consumers, while giving audiences an unforgettable experience of fusion music created by a unique ensemble of artistes."
Around early 2015, when the fourth season of the show was announced, Aditya Swamy (then EVP and Business Head, MTV) had said in an afaqs! article, "Every song will now also be converted into a concept-based music video. We wanted to make the visual unpredictable. People are consuming singles and a wide variety of genres..." The premise was - The world doesn't just listen to music, but also views music.
While Season 1 of Coke Studio was followed by people who liked 'independent music' and existing fans of the format, Season 2 widened the audience base as it pulled in musicians from the film industry as well. Since then the show has been a launch pad for several singers and musicians. There are 10 seasons of the show in Pakistan and four in India.
Coke Studio currently boasts 23,02,865 subscribers on YouTube.