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Sony Mix finds success in short format

MUMBAI:  Sony Mix has found its recipe for success in its short-format musical properties which have lent it a brand appeal and differentiation.

sony mixThe channel now plans to carry forward the formula by launching more such properties to engage with audiences.

Constant ideation by the team has resulted in the launch of various popular properties like ‘Mix Solos’, ‘Mix Voices’, ‘Tippani’, ‘Sentimeter’ in addition to music-based programmes like ‘Yuh Bana Ye Song’ and ‘TV Ka Pehla Radio Show’.

Taking the innovation a step ahead, the channel is now all set to launch a new short-format musical property titled ‘Music Room with Javed Ali’. Launching on 12 May, the show will feature popular singer Javed Ali revealing interesting trivia about a song and doling out information on the various instruments used.

The speciality of the show consists in Ali inviting the artist who had played that particular instrument in the song, and having him reprise the same in the studio. The show will air as two-to-five-minute interstitials that will bring out something interesting in each song.

neeraj vyasSpeaking to TelevisionPost.com, Sony Mix EVP and business head Neeraj Vyas says, “We have got artists who had played an instrument in a song years back to recreate a small piece for our viewers. Our aim is to highlight the unknown facts of an evergreen song. Whatever new we do will be within the realm of music.”

Additionally, another instalment of short-format shows like ‘Mix Solos’, ‘TV Ka Pehla Radio Show’ Season 2 with Fever FM’s RJ Siddhu and ‘Mixipedia’, giving trivia about films and music, have recently hit the airwaves based on the success of the previous seasons.

Short-format music-based innovations have indeed helped the channel to distinguish itself from others in a space that is getting increasingly competitive and cluttered. Vyas claims that before reaching the No. 1 spot, the channel was under a lot of pressure to up the ratings through chat shows, movies, etc.

“However, we did not compromise on what we stood for and upped the music content instead. Yes, it was difficult to sustain at times, but we did not do free plays unlike other channels. Luckily, digitisation came at the right time and gave us more shelf space, opening new windows for us,” he states.

But the challenge is far from over. Vyas believes that with the same content, a channel can never be a consistent No. 1 or 2 in the TV space, and thus continuous ideation is essential. It is this thought that prompts the channel to refresh its content every three to four months.

Mix is now constantly developing musical shows and will keep launching them in short intervals. It aims to have around three to four short-format properties in an hour of programming along with music. For Vyas, in the music space planning in advance is not needed. You need just to be ready all the time.

“Most of what we do now will be snacky. Our aim is not to deviate from our strategy and have two-three more ideas which we are working on,” he adds.

Apart from content, the channel is also working on strengthening its distribution and investing in marketing to create a ‘language’ for the brand. The result is apparent: Mix is now more visible on digital through initiatives on Facebook and Twitter.

Vyas says that music channels these days have become more of trade channels by running more advertisements and back-to-back music videos. To grow the genre, there is a need to have more energy in scheduling and mood mapping.

On the advertising front too, channels will eventually have to follow the ad cap regulation, because when it is enforced, the available inventory will go down by 20–25 per cent and every broadcaster will have to hike their ad rates.

“This is a genre which delivers beautifully but is undersold and commoditised. The music and news genres have used up more inventory than any other genre, but regulations will help things to come into play and bring out quality content from channels,” observes Vyas.