Adgully Exclusive | Meet 9XM's complete man, Amar Tidke
Backed with experience in the creative departments at Mobile2win, Radio City as well as Fever FM, Tidke created a niche himself in the society and not surprisingly he was roped in by Music television channel 9XM as its programming head. Tidke will be responsible for driving the creative and programming functions of the Bollywood music channel.
A B. Com graduate from the from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, University of Mumbai, Tidke started his career with contests2win.com as creative director in 2000 and was associated with the company for about three years.
Later, he moved to Radio City as creative head and was responsible for station imaging, on-air promotions, non-music programming and branded shows.
He has worked with youth channels for TV and has also written for the Indian Express and the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier. He has also worked with Mobile2win in China as creative director for about three years. From there, he moved to the company's India office as creative and business head, mobile games.
And his road to success was scripted right from his college days. "My journey has been across various media, starting with print domain "The Afternoon Dispatching Courier ". When I was in my college, I along with my friend Amit Akali helped them launch a youth supplement called "in Touch"," he recalls.
"We use to write for Afternoon Dispatch Courier and the Indian express. After that I started writing for television channel, then I went to write online. After my stint at online medium, I worked with the Radio City as music was my passion.
"That's how I moved to Fever and now am rocking in 9XM," he quips.
With channels like MTV, Channel V and Zoom TV, heading towards the fiction, Tidke feels that 9XM is in cruise control.
"We are right now on cruise control, there is no steering required. The direction in which we are heading is something that we have worked upon for quite a while not, and quite frankly, other channels are replicating our format," he says.
"So there would be innovations within this format. For example, the Waka Waka and the FIFA initiative, we did during the World Cup, then the Bheegi Billi news, which was a first of its kind initiative again. We are constantly trying something new, which would make us different," he adds.
And with new channels launching like Mastiii, Tidke feels it's just like broadening their format. "We have an ape in 9XM called Badshah Bhai. So everybody is trying to ape us .The format of music and humour really works and just to reinforce the fact that the Mastiii channel is just broadening our format," he explains.
"It's like people are using certain products for a long time and another product comes with same preposition but people are always going to remember the original with its essence and purity. The attachment with the original will always be something different. Original will always be original," he adds.
When quizzed about the content strategy of the channel, Tidke says the channel already has some larger than life characters in it. "In terms of growth we already have characters which have become larger than life. For example, today you see Shah Rukh Khan endorsing a Lux Cozi and our Bheegi Billi is also endorsing the same in 9XM. Bheegi Billi has become a brand ambassador.
"Brands come up and say we want our brand endorsed by Bheegi Billi or by Betel Nut. Now they are a well know figure and the idea is to how to leverage these personalities across ' be it be on a ground space, mobile space or on an online domain," he says.
"If you look at our website, we are just a music channel, wherein we have online streaming as well. So with the 360 approach online, on ground, mobile, we will be able to score with our viewers. Again for example, we are coming up with concept were People can interact with Bakwas Band Kar on twitter, have a Bheegi Billi moment on Facebook, where you can tag a funny photo of your friend as a Bheegi Billi," he explains.
As for launching new channels in the future, 9XM believes in waiting to see the success and then act accordingly. But for that brand integration is required and Tidke strongly believes that it's vital from the revenue aspect. "There are brands coming up who wants 9XM characters to endorse their products. Then there would be brand integrations, which will be on ground, online and on air space. Brand integration will be our vital component of our revenue mix," he says.
With most of the TV channels associating themselves with some award function or the other, 9XM plans to adopt a wait and watch policy rather than jumping in the sack.
"If we do get involve it as to get blended in tee programming, it shouldn't stick out as a sour thumb. Because we are in a format in which animated heroes are our fundamentals. So if any award function comes, what part our heroes are going to play in it. Therefore first there has to be a blend with idea and content," he says.