How 9xM is Winning the War of Music Channels

12 10 2008


Music channels in India vie for viewership in a segment characterized by very low level of product differentiation. In such a crowded and mature category, 9xM, a late entrant from INX Media, has seized the market leadership in no time. This is no mean feat! How did they do it? 


Well, my take on this matter is short and simple. 9xM has demonstrated boldness by completely doing away with VJs who tend get boring and jaded faster than you can utter ‘shelf  life’. Besides, 9xM’s clever content strategy has gone the whole hog in using humorous, animated characters who will remain the channel’s permanent brand properties unlike the VJs on whom the channels spend millions to build their brand equity only to see them walk out of the doors at the end of their contracts to resurface peddling sundry wares indiscrimanately on TV  including the rival channels.  


Mind you, the basic fare is no different at 9xM. It is the same staple diet of Bollywood hits and remixes. Just like any other music channel! But what makes 9xM’s content different is the way they use witty animated characters in their fillers. 


In a very popular series called Bakwas Bandh Kar, two animation characters, Chhote and Bade crack PJs targeted at kids and teenagers. Another interesting character is a cat called Bheeghi Billi who usually narrates his life as a loser musically. They have a few more of such endearing characters e,g. Tapori and Betelnuts in their stable.


9xM offers prizes for viewers who send jokes which keep the user-generated content pipeline well oiled and together with the exhaustive use of animation characters keep the production cost low. 


It will be interesting though to watch how 9xM sustains this competitive edge as their content strategy is easy to emulate. 


– G. Mohan




One response

15 10 2008

Hi Mohan,
Were u working with TCS at some point of time? I guess I have met you in a BT acumen quiz finals. Am from XIM batch of 2005. Used to work with TCS and now work with CTS. Found the article on ULIPS very good, just wish that you had written about it earlier 🙂 .

Like your trivia section a lot. Am an avid quizzer too. National level runner @ Tata crucible once and Brand equity quiz winner (regionals once). Where are you teaching now?

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