Aishwarya Ramesh

Unacademy and Viacom 18’s MTV collaborate for new musical show ‘Unacademy Unwind with MTV’

We caught up with Anshul Ailawadi of Viacom18 and Sonal Mishra of Unacademy, over a call to find out more about the show.

Leading edtech platform Unacademy recently launched a show, titled ‘Unacademy Unwind with MTV’. It is a musical show created in partnership with MTV. The first episode aired on August 13 and, subsequently, new episodes will air every Friday at 7 p.m.

Spanning 10 episodes, ‘Unacademy Unwind with MTV’ features legendary artistes across 10 music genres. The lineup includes musicians like Lucky Ali, Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Badshah, Darshan Raval, Arjun Kanungo, Benny Dayal, Papon, Armaan Malik, and more. The show will include recreations and original compositions, designed to cater to the musical tastes of young audiences. The show will also be available on YouTube.

Anshul Ailawadi – head, youth music and English entertainment at Viacom18, tells us that the show is meant to target students, who’re stressed (in a bid to help them relieve that stress). The show is also designed to appeal to anyone who is interested in music.

“Unacademy has a vast student ecosystem and, right now, the COVID pandemic has been difficult for the students. The insight the show was based on was that when the youngsters are having a difficult time, there is nothing better than music to relieve their stress,” says Ailawadi over a call.

He emphasises on how music is a good stress reliever for students struggling with mental health issues. The nature of the program is a good fit for MTV – considering its focus on different types of music.

“We chose music as a format for this show because frankly, nothing soothes your mind more than music does. When you look at other show formats – such as comedy, it has to stay hyper-relevant to whatever is happening in current times. Music is more timeless in nature and will have relevance, even 10 years from now,” Ailawadi explains.

When asked about how the channel dealt with the surge in video consumption demand, especially in the context of COVID-induced lockdown, he says that it was an opportunity, considering that MTV had a presence, both on streaming platforms as well as DTH television.

Speaking about this partnership in a press release, Mahesh Shetty, head of sales – Viacom18, said, “At MTV, we have always focused on creating properties that connect with the youth of India and providing a great opportunity for brands to engage with our large and diverse audience base. We are extremely happy to partner with Unacademy to create this unique music property that will see India’s best musicians descend on one platform to create musical magic. What better way for the youth to unwind in these stressful times than soulful music.

To shoot the show, the crew had to maintain social distancing norms as well as wear masks and follow COVID-appropriate protocol. Ailawadi mentions that the promotion and marketing efforts of the show will be geared towards digital, social media as well as television.

Sonal Mishra – associate vice president – marketing at Unacademy, stresses that the students have had a difficult time during the pandemic. It caused online learning to take on a whole new dimension.

“We will reach out to our learner base with marketing messages about the show. We also have other initiatives geared towards helping our learners with their mental health (issues). Using our social media, we publish content to inspire and motivate people on a daily basis.”