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MTV increases ad rates by 35% on the back of strong ratings

The channel has seen its viewership grow by 45% from January - July, 2014 and the MTV website also enjoys a monthly viewership of 11 million

MTV increases ad rates by 35% on the back of strong ratings

The channel has seen its viewership grow by 45% from January - July, 2014 and the MTV website also enjoys a monthly viewership of 11 million

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | July 24, 2014

mtvMTV India, the popular youth channel, has increased its ad rates by 35 per cent on the back of viewership data and new insights into the channel’s programming. The channel is on a roll and has been enjoying strong viewership in all the mediums over the last six months.

According to TAM data, MTV has seen its viewership leap by 45 per cent, from 10.9 million viewers in January to 15.8 million in July 2014. The website, which is like the face of the company, and is popularly referred as the ‘screen age’, enjoys a monthly viewership of 11 million. The MTV Facebook page also has more than 30 million fans. Therefore, riding on the back of these good numbers, the channel took the call recently to increase its ad rates.

Commenting on the hike, Aditya Swamy, EVP, Viacom 18, and Head, said, “When we go to our advertisers, we offer them a package. Our sponsors enjoy a multi-screen benefit, and with our viewership increasing on all the platforms, we thought it was the right time and also a fair call to increase our ad rates. We decided to go with a 35 per cent ad rate hike in spite of a 50 per cent rise in viewership because we want to be seen as the most effective medium by the advertisers.”

“It is like a two-way process – the money which we get will be used for making good original content. Over the last six months, the weekly original content has also increased from two hours in January to seven hours in July. We are asking for the ad hike because it has been a consistent growth throughout and not a sudden spurt. So we want to tell our advertisers that it will be mutually beneficial for both of us,” explained Swamy.

The ‘Curious Mind’ insights

It all started with MTV bringing out an extensive research report, ‘Curious Mind’, and then applying the insights on the business. The three key findings, which were considered the backbone of the research and were also used in the channel’s programming, are that young India has never been happier. Their world is not boring and filled with black and grey colours, but infused with vibrancy and cheerfulness. The second was ‘Thirteen is the new Eighteen’, which meant the youth is becoming younger. And the third was that the youth today are continuously absorbing and they are extremely curious.

Based on these insights, the formats of many shows on the channel were changed, all with the core motive of keeping the youth in focus. First, ‘Vote Out’ was removed from Roadies X1. “It was a huge risk, because ‘Vote Out’ was the peak of Roadies and we were really worried, but when we took it out, it really worked well for the show. A lot of people who really like Roadies, told that this is what the show should be – it is not about fighting, but about real performance. A lot of the participants also told us that they don’t want a show where others can pull them out, but performance should be the key. We therefore renamed the tagline of this show as ‘Ride for Respect’. Others can think you to be useless, but if you are good at what you do, then nobody can actually stop you from achieving what you want,” said Swamy.

After tasting success with Roadies, MTV decided to apply it to their next show, ‘Webbed’. The show targeted first-time internet users who were unaware of the dark side of this interesting world. In order to make it younger, the channel adopted a change in the format in its second season by roping in a TV actress for the first time as its VJ. It worked well and the show managed to not only create awareness among the youth by showing real life incidents, but also, with the help of cyber experts, showed them how to surf smart and stay safe in the internet age.

The third MTV property which saw a revamp in the format was ‘MTV Splitsvilla 7’. A very competitive atmosphere was created, with twenty contestants fighting for seven known male faces. Swamy said, “By roping in Sunny Leone, not only did the hotness quotient rise, but Splitsvilla which was all about ‘catfights’ changed to people suddenly coming to the show in order to find real love. I believe that most girls are still fond of the fairy tale romance and this season of Splitsvilla did justice to it. The fact that it is being liked is reflected in the ratings and the show opened at the highest ratings for a reality show on MTV.”

Other than all these, there is a lot happening on the channel itself. Two new shows – ‘Fanaah’ and ‘Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan – in different genres have just been launched. There is a lot of synergy happening with Bollywood and MTV. The unique part of this channel which was and which will always remain is that it maintains a great relationship with all the labels.

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