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YME cluster’s new content slate expected to generate about a third of our existing revenue: Anshul Ailawadi of Viacom18

Anshul Ailawadi, Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18 speaks about the future plans and the expectations from the new content slate announced recently

Anshul Ailawadi

Viacom18’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment (YME) cluster is all set to be revamped with a new content slate. According to Anshul Ailawadi, Head –YME, Viacom18, the new content slate is aimed at fulfilling the different demand segments among the young audience and he further said that it is expected to generate about a third of their existing revenue.

He said the new line-up will also focus on exploring digital avenues for the network in bigger ways.

“We have always been very powerful on digital platforms, but we figured that now is the time to go that space in a very dedicated fashion. 2020-21 have been crazy and the current generation has been through a pandemic that their previous generation has not been through. One of the key insights from our research was that entertainment was escapism for them (young audience) and is the fundamental drive for them to watch something. We have taken this as the cornerstone of how we want to pivot,” he said.

Speaking to, about what the new content slate will achieve for the network in terms of viewership and revenue, he said, “We expect the contribution to be significant, it should be around a third of our existing revenue.”

At a media roundtable held on the back of these announcements, he opened up about the network’s advertising and branded content response and said, brands witnessed 9.8 billion impressions on content across TV, social media and Voot in 2021.

He further said they want to ramp up their marquee properties like Roadies and SplitsVilla 10x times. Adding to this, the network is looking to expand its NFT platform, FullyFaltoo by offering another range of diverse digital collectables. They are further pivoting into the digital space with FullyFaltoo which will be functioning as a platform for new snackable video content space.

Asked what kind of response from advertisers is he expecting from 2022 on the back of these properties, Ailawadi said, “We are going to the market with a far wider offering in 2022. On one hand, you have the established properties which will be ramped up by 10x. The interest is already very strong, with our pre-sales as well. Our digital pivot is something we are very excited about. For example, there are conversations with many platforms that are talking to us as publishers for Fully Faltoo.”

He added that the ad pipeline on the music cluster has been strong and MTV and MTVBeats have been benefiting from it.

Ailawadi further spoke about the challenges music channels are experiencing. Upon being asked if the growth of music streaming platforms and video OTT has posed a threat for music and English GEC/Movie channels, he said, “Because labels own music, you take it from them and play them on your channel and make money. However, our cluster also brings to the table the ability to create music and music properties as well. This is a natural advantage that we have. For example, for MTV Unacademy, we have created music that is available everywhere on digital, streaming platforms and on TV. In that sense, we cannot be compared to traditional players in the industry.”

“You can surely have an OTT video offering but there is no real curation that is happening. For English content on OTT, you rely on word of mouth, but on TV we focus and curate on the content that should be seen. That need is very critical. India is too large of a market for us to not segment it into different categories. At the end of the day, OTT comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Assuming that every Indian who knows and can speak English is on OTT is far from true,” he added.

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