Viacom18's Youth, Music and English Entertainment cluster comprises MTV, MTV Beats, Comedy Central, Colors Infinity and...
Viacom18's Youth, Music and English Entertainment cluster is strengthening its 2022 multiplatform content strategy and has launched its maiden short-form video offering Fully Faltoo, with more than a dozen new web shows.
- It has also set up ‘KaanPhod’, a new business division that will provide emerging musical artists an opportunity to showcase their talent.
Anshul Ailawadi, Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18 about the new initiatives and how it will set stage for its future growth.
The unit recently expanded its digital footprint by launching the Fully Faltoo
The brand will also launch its maiden short-form video offering Fully Faltoo, with more than a dozen new web shows and snackable content. ‘KaanPhod’, a brand-new business division will provide emerging musical artists an opportunity to showcase their talent. Season one of ‘Mic Test’ on KaanPhod, will introduce 10 promising new artists and their original tracks, which will also be made available for viewers on television (MTV,
To understand the performance of this division so far, and how they are further expanding on it, we spoke to Anshul Ailawadi, Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18.
Q) After 2 difficult years, things seem to be slowly getting back to normal. How has the cluster's performance been?
We witnessed significant growth on Television as well as digital for the cluster. In an aggregate sense, total viewership is back in every way, and it is similar for revenue. However, from a consumer perspective, a lot has changed. For young people, 2020-21 has been very difficult as they have the longest future ahead of them and therefore we have seen a lot of interesting changes. People want to go back into the world of escapism, they want opportunities and creator economy has become much more powerful now. For MTV India, viewership has grown on TV and digital. We also experimented with sports and that has given us a very different type of audience, especially the non-prime time ones, the early morning entertainment ones. And MTV Beats, our FTA channel, is in No. 1 position again in the space and continues to remain strong. Our social followings, too, have grown substantially across platforms. Our number of followers and subscribers have increased.
Q) While the consumer response to the cluster has been good, how has the advertiser response been?
People who were advertising with us came back. In terms of ad growth and pipeline, it has been very robust. There has been a huge growth in volumes and we have seen both MTV and MTV Beats at the receiving end of this. And specifically for MTV Beats, which is a Free Dish channel, we have seen a significant increment. For the overall cluster, we witnessed a double digit percentage growth.
Q) What are your key focus areas when it comes to your content strategy for the next financial year?
We want to grow every property of our cluster 10x as compared to what it is right now and revamp and rejuvenate it with new insights that we have in terms of new consumer habits. Roadies is the first one with a very different concept. We will dial up our existing properties and also pivot towards digital by launching creator-friendly propositions in the form of Fully Faltoo, Fully Faltoo NFT and KaanPhod. KaanPhod will begin with 10 music videos, 10 artistes and 25 original music tracks; we will further amp it up. These are our priorities. Beyond this, we will come up with new content. We will look at announcing a new IP on MTV in a couple of months. We are also working with a few partners to make our calendars fuller.
Q) What was the thought behind launching the NFT platform? What kind of response has it seen?
While MTV is a media brand, for us, the way we look at ourselves is based on our bond with our audiences. We have to be present in whatever touchpoints our audiences are at. We saw the NFT space growing very rapidly. We felt that there was an opportunity for people to own a piece of our legacy. So with this thinking, we entered into the NFT space and we will continue to do so. We have more collectibles that are scheduled to drop very shortly. There are yet a lot of aspects about NFTs that haven’t been explored in a big way. We want to look at the utility each NFT can give to our audience and provide them with different formats of NFTs. We will look at doing all of this in the next 6-9 months. Within 36 hours, we sold 3000 pieces and eventually sold the 13 rare collectibles too. We received a very promising response.
Q) Tell me a bit about the YouTube channel - Fully Faltoo and the new business division - Kaan Phod that you’re launching. What is your goal with these launches?
We have been the first ones to give creators a voice. We realized that our audiences were everywhere and there is a lot of fragmentation in touchpoints with the audience. Each touchpoint is a different canvas and has a different grammar. So when we make content for mainly TV or OTT, it has a very different view with a certain line of content, grammar, vibes, and aesthetic. A lot of young people are consuming content that’s very different, for instance, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or short format content. And this is an area that we understand very well. We understand creators and short-form content very well. We have been doing it for brands for so many years. And therefore we decided to launch Fully Faltoo and KaanPhod. Fully Faltoo will offer viral content from unique creators. KaanPhod, too, was an equally important choice. We felt that in the music space, there is a lot of asymmetry in opportunities for artists and creators. Fully Faltoo and KaanPhod are two offerings that we are launching where we will give people, who are talented, a chance to be visible on all our platforms and this is a unique spin for us in the coming year.
Q) How are you wooing core advertisers to advertise on your channel?
Today, advertisers also understand that the value of a property is critical. We are the OGs when it comes to branded content. We have been organically building brands. Last year we had