Thursday, October 12, 2006

SS Music : Losing The Spice

Brand : Southern Spice Music
Company: Fortune Media ( Martin Lotteries)

Brand Count : 139

Southern Spice Music (SS Music) is an interesting case study. This unique channel was launched in April 14 2001. The channel was initially conceived to be one to broadcast the daily draw of the lottery . The promoters was primarily lottery dealers ( largest in India ) and had ventured into online lotteries.The channel was conceived to create transparency in the selection of lottery winners. Since the duration of lottery draw is only 30 minutes, music videos were used as fillers. Hence 18-20 hours were devoted to music videos which acted as fillers.

But contrary to the designs of the promoters, the channel had a flying start. The channel had filled a gap in the market. The need was for a south Indian music channel. Indian Music channel industry at that point of time was dominated by MTV and Channel V. As usual these channel disregarded the need of the South Indian consumers. Hence without knowing , SS Music catered to this unsatisfied need.
When I saw this channel, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted as a consumer . The programs were good and the VJ's were bubbly. The channel owners too was surprised at the reception it got and played to the audience. There were blockbuster programmes like Reach Out and Viewer's choice. The brand was slowly becoming MTV of South India. At one point of time SS Music displaced MTV in TAM ratings in Tamil Nadu and was a consistent second in music channels in the south.The cumulative reach of SS Music was 15.99% in 2004. This ensured that lot of ads to flow into this channel. The TV ad spend in Tamilnadu is around Rs350 crore and in Kerala it is Rs 100 crore.Started with a meagre 5 crore, this channel doubled its revenues in no time.The channel plays a wide assortment of music from the 4 southern states.
2006 saw this channel facing intense competition from its home turf TamilNadu. With the market leader Sun TV not letting any competition to gain upperhand in any segment revamped it Sun Music Channel and launched another music channel ( Live ) branded KTV. SS Music is also faced with distribution issues ( My cable provider does not support this channel). Together with the dip in any new blockbuster programmes, SS Music is facing its toughest test in the market.

The brand was positioned in the line of MTV . Youth , Assertive, Stylish, Gennext can be said about this brand personality.
SS Music was a brand that was given a personality and life by the consumers. But later the brand failed to live upto the expectation of the viewers. The brand has to again go back to the customers to find what made it tick . In otherwords the channel lost its spice and the programs no longer was exciting.
SS Music has all to potential to become a profitable niche player in the Southern market. The creative directors should reinvent the channel inorder for it to survive.

Source:southernspice.com,businessline,rediff.com