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9X Media set to launch international music channel 9XO

Targeted at upscale urban youth, the new channel will air English and International Music from across the globe, and will not have any non-music content

Ananya Saha | Delhi | April 24, 2012

After having launched five channels – 9XM, 9X Tashan, 9X Jhakaas, 9X Jalwa and 9XM UK – 9X Media Pvt Ltd is adding another channel to its kitty. The international music channel, 9XO, aims to bring the music video experience back full circle with no non-music programming whatsoever. Targeted at the upscale urban youth, 9XO will air English and International Music from across the globe.

Luke Kenny, the well-known actor-musician-writer, is heading the programming of the channel. When asked about the ‘O’ in the channel’s name, Kenny said, “One of the questions that came up when we were ideating for a channel title was ‘where is the music?’ This is because most so-called music channels were playing a lot of non-music content. Our aim is to bring back international music in a way that it was meant to be – all music all the time – which basically meant bringing back the music watching and listening experience full circle. Hence the O, to signify the rotary nature of all that is pop culture. What goes around comes around.”

Talking of the current channels, Kenny said, “I think the focus to date has been blurry, which is why taking from the youth’s interest in Popular International music, ‘O’ will make that focus much more clear, bringing in to play what the youth likes to listen, see and consume.”

9XO’s channel packaging has been designed using pop-art influences and elements with a layer of humour and attitude to delight the target group.

Comparing the no-non-music approach with 9XM, which introduced characters as a breather in the channel, Kenny informed, “While ‘O’ does not have any specific characters per se, in keeping with the pop art and irreverent attitude of the channel, we have a section called ‘OnimaToons’ that will showcase satirical and humourous takes on pop culture elements that are familiar to the target audience. For instance, we have something called ‘Bunnies’, which is a funny take on a Hollywood blockbuster, in 30 seconds, as enacted by Bunny Rabbits.”

With the tagline ‘I’m On’, the channel boasts of innovative segments such as O-Vid, Who Dat, Wotta Song, Hot Sh*t & Out There, among many others, which will showcase hit international music cutting across genres, themes and artists. The programming on the channel would include contemporary top 40 hits from the US and the UK and also a special focus on hits from around the world – Korean Pop, EuroDance, French Rap, etc., a huge support for EDM (electronic dance music) and a platform for Indian Independent musicians via the OmeGrown platform.

Punit Pandey, Senior VP and Business Head, 9X Media, said, “Post a series of

successful launches across the regional and Hindi markets and the launch of 9XM in the UK, we are pleased to present 9XO as an international music channel. The urban youth in India clearly feels the need for a platform that delivers International music in a great audio-visual format. With 9XO we believe that we will address this need gap by airing the best of English and International music.”

Pandey added, “We have also empanelled about 150 college students across key metros

who we had worked with at the channel construct stage. These students would continue to work with us as 9XO Board of Advisors on all the upcoming initiatives on the channel as well as on our digital platform.”

9XO will also launch its official website – – on the same day of the channel’s on-air launch. The website will engage users with a series of innovative sections such As O-Board, Laugh-O-Rama, etc. Since music is largely consumed by youth online, O-Board will encourage them to create their own playlists and share it with other users. There will also be a special college playlist section, where students from various colleges all over the country can create their own college playlists and publish the same on the website. These playlists will be closely monitored and updated regularly by the student consultants on board of 9XO. Laugh-O-Rama will provide a great platform to Indian comedians to showcase their talent and get Internet users to rank them.

The channel would look at a 360-degree marketing campaign at a later stage comprising ATL and BTL activities targeting multiple touch points. Positive about making an impact in the Indian television space, the channel has shared the 9XO showreel with advertisers and says it has received encouraging response considering that 60 per cent of the big brands are targeting the same core TG as that of 9XO.

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