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Sony Rox HD targets 15-21 year olds with contemporary music

The network aims at differentiating the new channels based on a few unique selling points like dayparting of content, presentation, packaging of content, new types of content, music lessons and artiste of the month

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | January 17, 2017


With an aim to expand its presence in the Hindi music genre, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has launched a high definition (HD) only contemporary music channel -- Sony Rox HD. The network has positioned it as a premium channel targeted at the 15-21 year olds primarily in the urban markets. Slowly, as the digitisation expands to cover the complete footprint of the country, the channel will also be relevant to the other markets.

Naming it as a contemporary Hindi music channel, Neeraj Vyas, Senior EVP and Business Head, Sony Rox HD, said that the main focus will be on music from the last decade. He mentioned how the 2006 and 2007 tracks have been quite memorable. “While our TG might also be interested in the music from the 1990s, the reason for keeping that away from the channel is that the content is not available in HD quality. The logistics issues forced us to keep that content out of Sony Rox HD.”

The channel will showcase content in HD format of 1080i resolution, enhanced by Dolby Audio. The network has partnered with Dolby Audio for a long-term partnership. Its tagline ‘Music Melody Madhoshi’ captures the approach of taking the core ingredient of the genre, i.e. Music, curating and treating it through the perspective of beautiful music, i.e. Melody, to transcend the music experience on the channel to a high of Madhoshi.

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NP Singh, CEO, SPN, said, “We are very strong in the Hindi Movies market, more in the Hindi music market with Sony Rox and shortly, we will be also including Ten channels in the SPN brand umbrella and our sports genre will also gain a lot of strength. When we launched Sony Mix some time back, we were criticised for launching yet another Bollywood channel in a genre that already had about 15 players, but the channel got to No. 1 in six months. We took the decision of launching Sony Rox when we saw the stability and growth of Sony Mix.”

In this highly crowded genre, the network aims at differentiating the new channels on the basis of a few unique selling points (USPs) which include dayparting of content, presentation, packaging of content, new type of content like gigs, music lessons and artiste of the month. “Even Sony Mix was scheduled as a dayparted programming and it has worked for the channel.”

The channel has a slot for original music and independent artists -- Rox Original artiste of the Month -- a platform for upcoming Indie artistes on national television. The other shows on the channel will be Rox School of Music (ABC to Z of making music), Rox Recommends (coolest hits, every week) and Gigs in your Town (musical events around you). The channel has a music content acquisition strategy with the tie-ups with all the leading labels in contemporary music -- T-series, Zee music, Sony Music, YRF, Eros Music, UTV-Disney and Tips.

While digitisation Phase IV is round the corner, the scope and reach of HD channels will only increase with more digitised homes. Vyas agrees, “Yes. Digitisation will help but Phase III has been thrown into a tizzy and now we have all eyes on the March 31 deadline. Currently, there are about nine million HD homes in the country and the music genre is about six per cent of the total viewership. I am sure that Rox HD will make its mark soon.”

The channel was launched on January 15 across key direct-to-home (DTH) and digital cable platforms such as Tata Sky, Fastway, In Cable and UCN among others. The channel will be promoted extensively across all Sony Pictures Networks’ HD channels, carrier platforms, coupled with print, a robust digital and social media presence to engage with audiences at different touch points. There are five idents (video identification of a channel) shot by the channel, which are currently running on all the network HD channels.

The channel will have high focus on digital marketing too considering its TG, which is very active on that medium. The launch event was broadcast live on the SPN network channels’ Facebook pages via a simulcast Facebook Live broadcast.

The channel has started looking for advertisers and sponsors and is expecting a high premium, compared to its elder sibling Sony Mix.

Singh, said, “Building on the gratifying experience of Sony Mix, we decided to launch Sony Rox HD. And now, with this launch, we are geared to take a leadership position in the broadcast of music entertainment by curating an incredible experience for music lovers. While Mix will cater to SD households, Rox HD shall set itself as the premium contemporary music channel for the youth in HD households.”

Pankaj Kedia, Senior Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories, said, “Great sound is essential for a complete cinematic entertainment experience and Dolby is excited to work with Sony Rox HD to unveil a dynamic audio experience for consumers. Together with Sony Rox HD, we aim to transform the way music is consumed in the country.”


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