Youth and English Ent industry is at the cusp of new-age innovations: Anshul Ailawadi

MTV achieved a cumulative reach of 145 million and annual impressions of over 1,100 million in 2022 on linear TV. This was shared by Anshul Ailawadi, Head - Youth, Music, and English Entertainment, Viacom18, in an interaction with Adgully. He claimed that Viacom18’s English Entertainment Channels – Comedy Central and Colors Infinity – have been the No. 1 and No. 2 channels in the genre. Meanwhile “Vh1, India’s leading English music channel, has a massive weekly cumulative reach of over 10 million,” Ailawadi said, adding that MTV Beats, too, has cemented its position as the No. 1 contemporary Urban Hindi Music channel. 

Viacom18’s YouTube channels – FullyFaltoo and KaanPhodMusic – have launched original content and their own Music IPs. FullyFaltoo YouTube Channel has garnered over 65 million views and 3 million hours of watch time on an average month-on-month since January 2022 and KaanPhod Music YouTube channel garnered over 155 million views and 4 million hours of watch time on an average month-on-month since its launch in March 2022. Viacom18 has also partnered with platforms such as Snap, Glance – and traction has been strong on all these fronts.

Speaking about the media and entertainment industry in India, Ailawadi noted that it has been evolving only to become more exciting with each passing year. “The past few years witnessed the critical role COVID-19 played in the media and entertainment space. It showcased the resilience of the industry, which grappled with the unprecedented effects of the pandemic. Jump to 2022, the media and entertainment industry made a good comeback from the lows,” he added. 

Looking into 2023, Ailawadi said that it is remarkable to see how much progress has been made. “While there have been impediments, I believe that the industry altogether has demonstrated that we can rise to the occasion and work together to improve the experience for all our stakeholders. Brands pursued newer avenues and strategies to successfully connect with their consumers to grab their attention and drive engagement,” he pointed out.

Ailawadi also observed that the Youth and English Entertainment industry is at the cusp of new-age innovations indulged with 360-degree storytelling that is audience-oriented. The youth entertainment space witnessed a trend of tech-first innovations, given the tech-savvy nature of the target demography, who are always searching for newer avenues of engagement.

“In 2022, the pandemic-led proliferation of Internet adoption and growing access to affordable smartphones gave rise to the next wave of content creators, largely driving the boom in India’s creator-led entertainment economy,” he noted.

He further said that 2022 particularly was a year of firsts for Viacom18’s Youth, Music, and English Entertainment Cluster. “We kickstarted the year with the launch of Fully Faltoo NFTs and sold 3,000 tokens within the first 48 hours, followed by the Roadies Moto edition drop. We also launched the Fully Faltoo and KaanPhod Music label as digital channels, which garnered 2.3 million and 3.3 million subscribers, respectively,” he added.

Ailawadi further noted that given how Gen Z chooses to express themselves and believes that consumption of content is an expression of individual identity, Viacom18’2 tentpole property MTV Hustle, elevated this connection by bringing nuanced and relatable rap music to viewers and music lovers across the nation.

“Given our creative approach, our audiences have always appreciated and rewarded our knack for innovations and experiments – across content, media, and platforms. To drive consumer engagement, we collaborated with DDB Mudra for building a unique, tech-first creative approach, devising India’s first virtual rapper ‘BotHard’. This innovation offered viewers and users an interactive medium to draw recall to our tentpole property, ‘MTV Hustle 2.0’. We also dialled up excitement levels by offering our viewers access to Sports IPs, including La Liga and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” he added.

In addition to this, on the content front, the new season of MTV Roadies, Season 18 in South Africa was full throttle on innovation with Sonu Sood. “We also had an exciting season of ‘MTV Splitsvilla Season 14’ with Sunny Leone and Arjun Bijlani as hosts. Both formats saw significant, innovative changes that have been received well by our consumers,” Ailawadi concluded.


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