MTV to launch a web series in a TV+ strategy to gain subscribers

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on August 06, 2019 Published on August 06, 2019

Youth entertainment channel MTV is working on creating web series to supplement its TV content as it looks at a TV+ strategy to capture its target audience on every platform.

The move to go beyond television came about as MTV saw a dip in subscriber numbers post TRAI’s tariff order. While MTV said the move did not impact its advertising revenues, a drop in subscriber numbers remains a hard reality.

A part of the Viacom 18 group, MTV will soon have its own set of web series on Viacom’s OTT platform Voot. Currently, MTV’s entire content is already available on Voot in a catch-up TV format. “The non-linear format allows us to create a lot more content for the viewers of a show,” Ferzad Palia, Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18, told BusinessLine.

“Besides what we have on television, there’s behind-the-scenes content that we are able to do. We are also working on creating original series on Voot, which would be exclusively online. Currently, we are getting to know the audience better in the digital space. But you could see something within three-six months,” said Palia.

Voot has helped MTV reach out to a larger set of audience, which so far couldn’t spend much time on MTV because of a single TV household.

Personalised consumption

“We are not losing out to anyone but gaining on every front. While TV is growing, so is our digital platform Voot. As a brand, we’ve given the youth a place to consume content. OTTs have increased our reach to much smaller markets than we thought of. Personalised consumption is on the rise,” Palia said.

Similar to the likes of TVF, MTV has also been working on creating branded content with several advertisers such as AirBnB, LinkedIn and Jockey, that’s helping the brand increase its revenue at a time when advertising revenues are linked to subscriber and viewership numbers, which have been on the decline for most channels.

“Channels like us are bought very differently,” Palia said. “For us its always been about youth-centric brands. We do a lot of customisation around branded content space. Seeing good growth there along with sponsorship — there’s a lot of integration we do with brands. Branded content is growing faster than regular advertising albeit on a smaller base.”

MTV expects the watch time to cross 5 billion minutes in the second half of the year with the help of increased online content presence.

Published on August 06, 2019
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