Ajita Shashidhar

Mumbai, Jan. 11

AFTER completing one year of operations in India, international music channel from the MTV stable, Vh1, is looking at positioning itself as a music and lifestyle channel.

The channel has recently launched two new lifestyle shows,

Driven

and

Fabulous Life

. While the former looks into the early years of celebrities' lives and the struggles they underwent to make it to the top, the latter delves into the present lifestyle of the rich and the famous.

Mr Keertan Adyanthaya, Vice-President and General Manager, Vh1, said, that the lifestyle positioning is meant to drive appointment viewing. "People need something to talk about with their friends and family," he said.

The channel's programming strategy for the year, said Mr Adyanthaya, would include 80 per cent of music and 20 per cent of lifestyle and long format programmes.

While in the first year, the channel did a lot of on-ground programmes such as doing connect programmes with gyms and coffee shops, this year would see a lot of mass media campaigns. It is also looking at associating itself with concerts and getting celebrity singers to perform in India. "We are the associate sponsors of the Bryan Adams concert, and would be doing a series of activities on the channel to promote it."

Mr Adyanthaya said that while Vh1 in the US, is meant for the more evolved viewers who have grown out of the MTV style of programming, in India, they have positioned themselves as a niche channel meant for audiences with an international taste.

Even when it comes to attracting advertising revenue, Mr Adyanthaya said that the channel would continue to have a premium price list, which he said, has worked well for the channel.

On the distribution side, Mr Adynathaya admitted that the channel did have problems initially.

"It has been sorted out now, and we are available in 16.5 million homes."

Mr Adyanthaya also said that the company would look at launching Vh1 merchandise next year.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 12, 2006)
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