It finally happened. 9XM, the home-grown competitor to international music channels like MTV and Channel V, has emerged as the highest viewed music channel over the last six months. A relatively recent addition to our television sets – the channel is ten years old, compared to the almost thirty years that cult channels like MTV and Channel V have been around – it has been a slow and steady growth curve for 9XM. Here’s a look at its journey to the top.
Starting in 2008, the channel targeted the youth audience from the word go. With its irreverent humour, animated ‘VJ’s, and a clear focus on playing music while other players experimented with alternative content, the channel established itself as ‘the’ go-to music channel over the years.
A Ratings Plus study (A distribution and content optimization tool) conducted by Chrome DM in September 2017 reported 76% of the 1200+ sample preferring 9XM over other music channels. This number went up to 81% in a similar study conducted in March 2017. Moreover, 52% of audiences preferred to watch the latest songs on 9XM as compared 59% now. And 21 % of viewers had voted 9XM as their favourite channel in September 2017, which grew to 24% in March ’18. The latest viewership figures seem to back these numbers.
|Parameters||9XM||Avg. of Top 3 Channels (Excluding 9XM)|
|Latest Song Library||3.9||3.8|
|Screen Look & Feel||4.1||3.7|
|Information Display on Screen||4.2||3.8|
|Source: Chrome Ratings Plus, Market: HSM, TG: 15+ Yr, Sample Size: 1214 individuals|
Pradeep Guha, Managing Director at 9XMedia said, “I am extremely proud of the young & vibrant team at 9XM. They took up an uphill challenge and were successful in building a strong foundation for the channel to build on. They have been instrumental in aligning our on-air, distribution and marketing goals and creating incredible experiences for our audience.“
There are multiple On-Air & Off-Air factors that affect a channel’s viewership. While off-air factors such as distribution (availability of a channel in TV Households) and marketing campaigns can land the audience at a channel, On-Air factors such as On-Air Presentation, Break Strategy and Actor/Anchor & Content Affinity as well as others affect viewer ‘stickiness’.
According to Pankaj Krishna, Founder & CEO, Chrome DM,“9XM has consistently ticked off most of these boxes. According to Chrome Ratings Plus, the channel’s content has a strong resonance with the youth. It has always believed in screening innovative content. Their latest achievement is a testament to that.”
Adds Guha, “Strategy partners like Chrome DM help us gain insights into all aspects of running a successful channel, be it distribution or on-screen parameters.”
In terms of its content, 9XM has a decidedly young voice. Apart from airing the latest Bollywood songs, it engages audience with anecdotes and jokes through its now cult animated characters like Bade Chote,Bheegi Billi,and The Betel Nuts. Along with this, key innovations like digital / social media integrations on screen go a long way in holding audience interest. Even its break strategy has been optimized according to its neighbourhood channels, merging distribution and content best practices together.
It has been a slow and steady journey to the top for the music channel. With a strong team in place and a distinct brand identity, it might be here to stay.