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Channel [V] sheds Bollywood music to become a youth GEC

MUMBAI: For television viewers in India, nothing can get more ironic than this. On the very next day of the World's Music Day, Channel [V] announced its decision to completely do away with Bollywood music content.

Positioned as a youth channel, the Star network channel has decided to make the paradigm shift by discontinuing all music slots in its programming lineup effective 1 July.

Says Channel [V] EVP and GM Prem Kamath, "This is the last leg of the strategy that we embarked on two-and-a-half years ago when we relaunched the channel (in 2009). We have focussed on targeting youth and Channel [V] has always been identified as a youth channel. I dare to say that we are the only complete youth entertainment channel."

According to Kamath, in the last four weeks Channel [V] has clocked an average of over 50 GRPs (gross rating points) in the 15-34 ABC Hindi speaking markets, on the back of the original content that the channel is airing.

"We are completely moving away from Bollywood music as we have realised that music is a very poor way of targeting the youth audiences. Moreover, we have invested in original content over the last three years and specifically on daily fiction over the last 14 months, which has paid very good dividends in viewership," Kamath emphasises.

Won't the return on investments be tougher as production costs will go up? “Yes, the cost of producing original content is significantly higher. But this content strategy is distinctly more sustainable as well,” Kamath says.

Airing music is ineffective as there are too many channels and Kamath doesn’t want Channel [V] to be a disguised youth channel.

The channel will increase weekly hours of original content starting 1 July. It will convert its weekly teen crime show, Gumrah – End of Innocence, into a daily from Monday to Friday at 8 pm. Currently, Gumrah – End of Innocence airs as a one-hour show every Sunday.

The channel will also launch its fourth fiction show, The Buddy Project, on 23 July that will occupy the Monday- Friday 6 pm slot.

Channel [V]’s current lineup includes three fiction shows - Dil Dostii Dance, Humse Hai Liife and Surveen Guggal.

When asked if the channel will only air fiction content, Kamath clarifies that Channel [V] is genre agnostic and any show that is engaging the youth, be it fiction, non-fiction or chat, will be aired.

At present, Channel [V] airs music only in the morning band. Music accounts for 20 per cent of the channel's current content lineup.


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