The meaning of a music channel for most of us translates into generic entertainment. Given that it’s a Bollywood music channel, yes, its purpose will be to serve you the quintessential platter of the masala-fied glitzy specimen that we all are too familiar with.
With the plethora of Bollywood music channels out there it is easy to get lost in this sea of popular culture; however, there are some players in this field that are playing the game quite differently and 9XM is one of them.
The channel launched in 2007 is the flagship Hindi music channel of 9X Media, an Indian Television broadcaster owned by an association of private equity investors. In a short time since its launch it climbed its way to the top 3 music and entertainment channels and consistently managed its position there. However, this channel spells music, entertainment and much more. It’s constant endeavour to break the shackles of stereotypical entertainment pushed it forward into the sphere where it stands today. Starting from a channel and growing into a brand has been an adventurous ride for them and their success has grabbed more supporters than ever before.
So, how did they do it?
Concerts, Big and Small!
9X M as an organisation has been extremely competent in recognising entertainment trends like song patterns, consumer preference, rising artists, comebacks, etc. By mapping the movement of all these factors together, they have strategically created a platform to make available whatever is in demand currently. One of their ways of doing so is by organising concerts under their banner. One of their popular concerts to garner a huge amount of footfall, starred the “Tum Hi Ho” singer Arijit Singh and was named “Musically Yours, Arijit”. Their plan is to host one such concert every quarter across cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. Apart from large formats with a 5000+ audience, they also create smaller formats for night clubs and pubs. These smaller formats, in turn, act as good platforms for new and established artists to promote their work. The ticketing revenue from each such small concert is about 1.7 core. Therefore, this strategy of creating different types of shows has worked well for the channel and they plan to expand on it further by fitting these shows into 30 minute TV formats.
The E-Commerce Debut
In the world of everything online, 9XM too ventured into the E-commerce category. Their channel mascots like Bade Chhote, Bheegi Billi, The Beetle Nuts that were made popular by their quirky jokes and anecdotes now found a platform to come to life. The e- commerce was mostly aimed at youngsters, who are the driving force behind the success of these characters. With products across various categories like accessories, apparels, crockery, the site had youth-centric and quirky designs inspired by the popular nuances of Bollywood. Despite the site not seeing the light of the coming years, Mezza9X was a good attempt by the channel to capitalize on their brand name.
Innovation Around Content
9XM has always found new territory to base their content on. It is their appealing programs that have guaranteed their top position in the music category. One of their latest shows “Highway” was created along the same lines of originality and entertainment. By providing latest Bollywood hits for 45 minutes at a stretch, the goal of the show was to get viewers hooked and grooving. By rounding up the entire entertainment quotient, the channel decided to mainly air songs of A-list actors like Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, etc. 9XM, by sampling different combinations of what works and what doesn’t, is pretty adept in formulating shows that resonate with their viewership.
Creativity in Digital Platform
#AskTrack launched by 9XM is a live playlist where viewers can request their track through social media- Facebook and Twitter. It is the first ever crowdsourced digital playlist to be launched in India and airs Monday- Friday, 5.30 PM. For this 9XM powered with Askme.com. This venture, the channel believes will be beneficial for both the companies and so far has received a tremendous response.
9 XM has also powered with AYI, one of India’s largest dating sites where singles can connect and meet over their love for the channel. However, the catch is that you have to be a fan of the channel to be eligible to meet singles in your area and from there on bond over your common interests, 9XM, being one of them.
9XM has followed various tricks of the trades to come out as a strong contender among entertainment channels. By adopting a favourable mix and by maximising on its operation, today the channel has come a long way from what it started out as, just another music channel.