Prachi Srivastava

MTV Coke Studio ups its musical quotient in Season 3

Coke Studio@MTV Season 3 will witness performances by seven big producers in seven episodes, while giving a chance to six young musicians in the eighth episode.

Who said Bollywood musicians could only create content to help the protagonists run around trees? Come August, Coke Studio@MTV will partner with the biggest Bollywood musicians to establish their talent that goes beyond playing Bollywood songs. A R Rahman, Salim-Sulaiman and Ram Sampath have been signed to produce content for Coke Studio@MTV, which will certainly be a treat to the ears.

MTV Coke Studio ups its musical quotient in Season 3
MTV Coke Studio ups its musical quotient in Season 3
Joining them will be Clinton Cerejo, Hitesh Sonik, Angaraag Mahanta (popularly known as Papon) and Amit Trivedi, who are all set to present diverse musical genres - both vocal and instrumental - from traditional to contemporary, regional and folk.

While the core element of the international format will remain the same in the third season of its Indian version, MTV boasts of a different line-up of producers and much more. Says Aditya Swamy, EVP and business head, MTV India, "This season will have few new producers as well as few producers who have done the earlier season/s of Coke Studio. For the ones who have been on the show earlier too, this season will see them interpreting Coke Studio in a different way. We have built a more modern looking set which shows a more relaxed environment and looks like a musician's jamming room. We are using new cutting-edge technology with a great camera and sound system in place. With this season we want to reinforce the fact that we lead in music expertise. We don't just play music videos but also experiment with music by pushing boundaries."

Coke Studio@MTV will witness seven producers performing in seven episodes and six young musicians performing in the eighth episode of the season. The season will also see the winners of the Leap Frog to Coke Studio@MTV winners, WinitTickoo, a Mumbai based band that will feature in the eighth, multi-producer episode. The season will see 250+ musicians performing on more than 50 songs.

According to Swamy, in Season 1 of Coke Studio, the show was being followed by people who liked independent music, who were already followers of the format outside like Coke Studio Pakistan. Season 2 pulled musicians from the film industry and the audiences who wanted to listen to music presented by them in a different way came along. Talking about the selection of the producers, Swamy adds, "It is the toughest job to choose producers. People who want to experiment, people who are consuming different music at the same time and are enthusiastic to give traditional music a contemporary form are chosen. We have musicians like Sukhwinder (Singh) performing for us and helping us reach out to a larger set of audiences. There is no dearth of young talent and we are privileged to have them."

Like the previous season, Coke Studio@MTV will also be telecast on the channel's sister Hindi GEC Colors, helping the show to reach to the broader audience base. While the core target remains SEC A, B, 18-20-year old people, the 18-25 years age group is a broader audience the show is aiming to cater to.

The channel will distribute the Coke Studio@MTV content on the digital medium, iTunes and Nokia Music store as well. "Wherever you are out, you can listen to the Coke Studio music," Swamy says.

MTV Coke Studio ups its musical quotient in Season 3
MTV Coke Studio ups its musical quotient in Season 3
The channel will kick-start the marketing activities for the show four weeks prior to the launch. While the tentative launch is sometime in August, the show will continue to be a weekend property.

MTV claims that Coke Studio has over the past two seasons got around 70 million viewers on television, 15 million views across YouTube-website-social media, 1.9 million fans on Facebook, over 1 lakh 50 thousand tweets with #cokestudio, 15 million plus downloads, 1 million plus audio streams, 15 live shows, and sold around 35 thousand CDs.

Wasim Basir, director, integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola India, says, "Coke Studio is a one of its kind platform that has made an attempt to unite our diverse country's myriad musical disciplines to create exceptional musical confluences. The response to Season 2 was overwhelming and Season 3 will build on the learnings of the previous two seasons. The youth of today want more than the usual and Coke Studio will endeavour to quench their thirst for original music created by India's most popular. Hardly a surprise because Coca-Cola brings together things that usually does not come together!"

The channel will also organise mini-concerts in various cities and towns after the production of the show is over. The concert is expected to take place in more than 14 cities this year. The channel is still in talks with the other advertising partners and will close the deals soon.

Giving a media agency perspective about the property, Dhirendra Singh, associate vice-president, BPN says, "The property has done well in the earlier two seasons. It's a well-established show for Coke since it's their international property. The name Coke Studio@MTV is a phenomenon now and gels well with the brand, like Close-Up Antakshari and Amul Masterchef India. Targeting the youth, the show will continue to work well for both the client (Coke) and MTV, core audience of which is youth."

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