If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are that music channels formed a major part of your entertainment. But as one of the two biggest players in the field — Channel [V] — announced a change in content strategy, it marks the end of an era. Marking a paradigm shift, [V] will officially change into a youth entertainment channel from July 1.
Why the move
For the last three years, the channel has been reducing the music content, while daily fiction shows have gone up in viewership. Prem Kamath, executive VP and GM of [V] states, “We always considered ourselves a youth entertainment channel rather than just a music channel. Due to the success of our shows, we feel confident about the decision. The youth’s tastes have expanded beyond music and they need programming that caters to their interests.”
What to expect now
As of now, the channel airs daily fiction shows from Monday to Friday in the 6.30 pm to 8 pm slot. The shows Dil Dosti Dance (launched on April 11, 2011), Humse Hai Life (launched on September 5, 2011) and Suvreen Guggal - Topper of The Year (launched on March 19, 2012) have done well, and there’s a fourth fiction show in the queue — The Buddy Project (July 23 onwards); the weekly teen crime show Gumraah will also be turned into a daily. They channel is keen to add other fiction, non-fiction and reality shows, but isn’t divulging future strategy at this point.
What you will miss
Channel [V] launched in 1994 as a music channel, and soon added music-based reality shows like Launch Pad, while experimenting with other genres. With the new step, the channel will not air any music videos at all and the era of VJs as we knew it will be over. Kamath says, “Today, music is available on the Internet and you don’t need to wait for your favourite song or video to be aired as you can find it on YouTube.” He adds, “We will, however, continue our music-based on-ground and on-air properties.”
VJ Manish Anand, who has been the face of [V] for the last few years, says, “The channel is looking to widen its focus and do more youth-based shows. The focus will be on reality shows as well as fiction formats, though they might retain some studio-based music shows.”
Manish himself is looking to break away to explore a career in film at this point. “I will no longer be with [V] full-time. I want to focus on films now. I will maintain a relationship with them, however, I just won’t be needing their permission to sign movies or other assignments,” he says.