Whenever I’ve come across the question of ‘what do you do?’ from people outside the industry, the word ‘programming’ is used sparingly and with extreme caution. As previous incidents and episodes have revealed that in today’s extremely computerified age, ‘programming’ is synonymous for communicating with computers and people who hail from the ‘programming’ side of the world generally converse in binary code. Not true.
Contrary to such popular belief, ‘programming’ in our world, is the art of communicating, entertaining and connecting with humans (and some posing as them). This programming tribe (people from this world) has over time created its own systems of understanding and unraveling emotions. These system aren’t documented in any guidebook or youtube ‘how to’ video series. These systems guide members of this tribe through innovations, taking them through the road less traveled, conjuring up sightings never seen before, to finally and hopefully arriving at something ‘new’. These systems form the tribe’s sacred code.
This code is universally relevant and works across the board-irrespective of the medium.
Each of the music offerings from the 9X Media network (9xm, 9x jalwa, 9xo, 9x Tashan, 9x jhakaas, 9xm UK) have already carved their own identity and enjoy a very strong loyalty amongst viewers in a short span of time.
Being a part of the team that put together India’s largest music network was not only a great opportunity but also provided for some fantastic insi
ghts and experiences. There was a clear direction on what we wanted each of the channels to do within its respective space and for the overall network. This made the entire process of conceiving the channels (following the code) a lot simpler – right from the talent and the teams recruited, the type of music licensed, the kind of shows put together and the identity that was created for these channels.
Purely on the music front – We’ve seen the Hindi music scene evolve radically over the last few years with varied music forms and styles coming into mainstream film music and generating mass appeal and awareness too. This has also paved the way for a new breed of talent who are not afraid to experiment with sounds and treatments. This constant innovation in music is paying off and the viewership on music channels has also seen an overall increase.
The regional music scene is also rapidly evolving. Be it Punjabi, Marathi or the likes, what will truly continue defining its growth from a content point of view would be: Film releases, Private album releases from independent artistes, and the appetite for music amongst its audiences. Each of these goes hand-in-hand with the music consumption on these channels. One thing is for sure it’s going to be a fun ride ahead!
To conclude, its not just great back-to-back music put together (yes, that definitely helps) that makes a music channel work but its that ‘special something’, that little extra, which at times may not even be visible on the screen. Finding that ‘special something’ is what drives our tribe to all the amazing places available in our minds. Sometimes we get there. And at times we even go beyond! Here’s to Programming! Here’s to the tribe!
Amar Tidke is Senior Vice President and Content Head, 9X Media Group