9XO will always be ON: Luke Kenny

14 Jan,2013

By Johnson Napier


The recently concluded 12-O-thon initiative undertaken by music brand 9XO ended up being a satisfactory experience for the channel. While it worked its way in generating huge traction on the social media platform, the initiative also aided in ramping up viewership and time spent on the channel, thereby doubling the numbers with regards to similar channels in the market.


Luke Kenny, Head of Programming, 9XO responds to queries from MxMIndia on the initiative and what’s in store from the channel going forward.


1. What was unique about the 9XO 12-O-thon initiative that was organised by your channel? How would you describe the end response to the initiative?


The 12-O-thon was a collation of the best popular songs of the year that were classified into 12 distinct genres for easy reckoning for the audiences. With a singular viewing of the genres one would be brought abreast with all that was popular in international music for the year 2012. Creatively it offered a great peg on the number ’12’ as well.


The response was extremely positive, generating huge traction on all our social media and for the week of its run, it ramped up viewership and time spent on the channel, doubling our numbers with regards to similar channels in the market.


2. How do initiatives such as these help a channel gain viewership traction and merit favour from advertisers too?

Initiatives such as these and many others that have rolled out in the past year have resonated well with the audiences as they see a welcome return to the simplistic experience of music viewing with programming surprises thrown in from time to time… they see that we go beyond wallpaper programming and are creatively shaping and moulding the music viewing experience with such programming curations, which in turn resonates with advertisers as well, because those very advertisers are our consumers as well! So it works as a dual purpose, they see the possibilities which have potential as their respective brands are also targeting the youth database which is in an international space.


3. How do you ensure that an offline promotional activity (as and when you engage in them) works seamlessly and gets in the desired result as with on-air? Any successful examples that come to mind…?

Since the time we have launched, everything that has happened on air, has been simultaneously plotted in the offline space. Be it on ground via campus festivals, concerts to the social media properties that engage feedback and participation. The very recent example is of the ‘Shoot The Music’ activity done in association with Instagram. This is a music photography contest where contestants are supposed to take a pic related to music and nightlife and upload it on Instagram and hashtag it with #9XOmusic. The winners stand a chance to win iPhone 5 and Sony headphones. We launched the Contest at IIT Bombay’s youth fest – Mood I and was activated at all the recent 9XO on ground events such as New year parties at Shiro, Canvas, Ghost, Liv, Chival, Tryst, Baroke. The contest was promoted through On Air Astons / promos / digital media (FB / Twitter / website).


Besides this we have been regularly associating with prominent youth festivals including Malhar (St. Xavier’s College), IIT Delhi cultural festival, Neev (Pune Symbiosis College), etc.


4. What are some of the new programming strategies that have been drawn up by your channel for 2013?

Three things that we are definitely committed to are, is the constant discovery of new music, the breaking of non-English language international hits, and the prolific support to Indian Independent musicians who sing in English. You will be seeing some new initiatives that will roll out in the course of 2013.


5. How do you see the Indian music channel market panning out in the next one year? Where do you see yourself in the leadership mix?

Well I would like to think that a lot more investment will be made in the live music space. It has already begun in some ways but it has yet to achieve business logic. With regards to 9XO, I believe when it comes to a viewer who is looking for a complete music experience and if the viewer also happens to be a musician, then we will be a singularly complete support system for his/her art.


6. What is your take on brands that tend to get complacent once they attain leadership status? How do you ensure that you remain a cut above the rest without leaning too much on celebrities or marketing wizardry to do the job for you?

With India being a dynamic and volatile market anyway, I doubt any brand is anything but complacent. Similarly I look at the music world, where there is always something new happening in every way and all of that is led by the consumers and the creators, they are the true celebrities and wizards, and as long as I remain in their minds… 9XO will always be on!!


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