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DTH News : Channel [V] plans to increase ad rates by 30-40 per cent
The channel aims to tap the youth segment with more non-music original programming as well.

In an attempt to augment its youth viewership, Channel [V] plans to further increase its non-music original programming lineup, wherein the thrust will be to push up the fraction of fiction content in the programming mix. Additionally, the channel is also looking at increasing its ad rates "while providing clients with its expertise across all platforms to deliver value, wherein the return on investments is evident and visible".

Speaking to afaqs!, Prem Kamath, general manager , Channel [V], says, "While we will be looking at increasing the proportion of our original content in the lineup, we will also look at upping the fiction genre because our current fiction property, Roomies, has helped garner good youth viewership for the channel. Fiction also has a certain measure of storytelling, can talk about a specific aspect of the youth and the final product can be controlled. If it is successful in its appeal to the audience, revenues automatically flow in."

Speaking to afaqs!, Kevin Vaz, president, sales, STAR India, remarks, "While the ad rate pricing will vary from client to client, we are looking at increasing our ad rates by 30-40 per cent. This is because Channel [V]'s performance since its launch has increased consistently. We have grown from a 0.2-0.3 per cent market share during the re-launch period to a 0.81 per cent market share today. This has helped in creating a demand for the channel amongst advertisers. Clients are seeking value for their money and we are trying to provide them with holistic brand solutions."

The channel's plans seem ambitious as it still has to catch up with its competitors on the viewership front. According to the latest TAM data for Week 45 (C&S, 15+, HSM), the recently launched music channel, Mastiii, leads the genre with 15.3 per cent market share, followed by 9XM, with 14.5 per cent.

MTV, now positioned as a youth channel, is at 13.1 per cent, while Bindass is at 11.7 per cent. B4U Music has a share of 11.4 per cent. Lower in the list is Channel [V] at 8.7 per cent, E24 at 8 per cent and Zoom at 6.4 per cent. Amongst others, Music India is at 4.7 per cent, Imagine Showbiz is at 2.2 per cent, Zing is at 1.8 per cent, while VH1 and ETC stand at 1.1 per cent each.

Channel [V] currently runs seven format shows, of which six are reality (Axe Ur Ex, Deadly Dus, Bollywood Love Diaries, Love Net, Madam vs Adam, Dare 2 Date-2), while one is fiction (Roomies).

In the last 14 months, the channel launched 24 shows, an average of two shows a month, which helped keep its programming lineup extremely fresh. "This attracted the advertisers on board very well. Also, since we target the youth who act on the novelty factor with a very short attention span, the channel strategy is to replace any particular show once in 13 weeks irrespective of the success. This, too, has paid rich dividends to the channel revenues," Kamath informs.

The channel will add two fiction shows to its original programming in January. "While one will be a new addition altogether, the other will be a new replacement to Roomies," Kamath says.

The channel also plans to come up with new seasons of its flagship properties. The new season of Truth Love Cash will be rolled out on December 5, while the new seasons of Axe Ur Ex and Love Net will be launched after March 2011. The channel has already launched the second season of Dare 2 Date.

Currently, in the youth content genre, the shows that have had repeat seasons include Roadies and Splitsvilla on on MTV and Emotional Atyachar on UTV Bindaas.

In August 2009, when Channel [V] decided to up its ante and dress up as an absolute youth brand, it slashed its music content to about 40 per cent, dedicating the remaining 60 per cent to a slew of new format shows.

It's more than 14 months since the re-launch and the channel has already increased its format show programming line up to about 76 per cent, while 24 per cent content still comprises music.

When Channel [V] was re-launched, its primary focus was to build viewership across the seven metros.

"Today, we have broadened our audience base as we look at the entire HSM market, wherein our target is the 15-24 years age group in SEC A, B and C," says Kamath.

Meanwhile, the channel claims that while the increase in the non-music original content helped it to increase its market share from 0.25 per cent (during re-launch) to 0.81 per cent (Week 45), its advertising revenues have also witnessed a threefold growth.

The other factor that has helped in attracting advertisers on board is the strategy of providing complete and holistic brand solutions to clients, which include online, television and on-ground activities, Kamath informs. The categories that contributed most to the ad sales revenues are two wheelers, cosmetics, soft drinks and deodorants.

"Our annual deals with Unilever and various telecom brands also make important contribution to the channel revenues," Kamath says.

Elaborating, he adds, "We sell package deals to our client. Now, with the spending power increasing, advertisers are willing to spend more - provided they witness returns. With our expertise, we hope to double our ad revenue in the next one year."

Source: Afaqs!

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