The first music channel to broadcast music television in Asia was the American music channel MTV. It entered the Indian market in 1991 via Star TV's satellite. But two years later, over a disagreement regarding the amount of local programming it left the scene and a new player emerged in the form of Star TV's own Channel V. this was after Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation acquired Star TV. Since the MTV's approach to the market was global, channel V emphasis on local artistes and VJs and for a while enjoyed a monopoly position in the market. But this monopoly was not for long, MTV reentered the Asian market in 1995 with new strategies to gain competitive advantage and brand image. Since then the growth of MTV in the region has been tremendous.

In 1999, the rivalry manifested itself in an escalating war of words between Steve Smith of Channel V and Frank Brown of MTV with each alleging that the other was misrepresenting distribution figures. The case documents this feud and its effect on advertisers in the context of the emerging Asian market for televised music.

The Music Television Channel, MTV was created in collaboration of Media Company Warner Communication and Credit Card Company American Express on 1st August 1981. Within the next 10 years MTV had become a popular culture icon among the youth. It became a launch platform for artists and became a whole lifestyle in itself. MTV popularized music and changed the way audience conceived it before.

Whereas Channel V, an international music channel chain, owned by Star TV network and is aired in many countries around Australia, Asia and the Middle East , played both mainstream and alternative music. There approach was local. Their target was the 15-24-age set, where it currently trails with its competitor, MTV. This funky channel is a craze among music loves and the young generation.

The case also talks about the initial success of channel V which lead to a shift in MTV's programming mix and the various steps adopted by MTV that enabled it to become the market leader at the cost of channel V.


Target Age Group 15-34 yrs old 12-29 yrs old
Positioning More international Pan -Asian
Flavor More global/foreign More local
Image Cool& hip Trend - setting modern youth
Sex Appeal Lower Higher
Advertising Appeal Higher Lower
Brand Equity Higher Lower
Potential For Brand Extension High Minimal
Variety Of Content Higher Lower
Indian Image Mass Market Appeal Youth Channel With Lifestyle Programming
Greater China Image International Flavor Heavy Taiwanees Flavor
Other Asia Mix of Country Specific Shows + Western Music 100% Western Music
Operating Cost Higher Lower
Investment Cost $150 M %100 M


Porter's Five Forces Model
Based on the porters Five force model :-


A supplier's influence is defined by its ability to bargain price and influence availability of materials. Other strengths of the supplier include their ability to

1. increase prices without suffering from a decrease in volume,
2. reduce the quantity supplied,
3. organize in a formal or informal manner,
4. compete in an environment with relatively few substitutes,
5. provide a product/material that is a critical part of the end product or service,
6. impose switching costs on their customers when they depart,
7. integrate downstream by purchasing or controlling the distribution channels.

As such, every company that depends on the services and materials from key suppliers need to be sensitive on the variables that are highly important and considered by the suppliers.


- Medium to high for record companies, music producers, and movie companies. The supplier is the music industry which provides content and programming. The decision-makers of the company should have a clear understanding of the business dynamics in which suppliers are directly involved in. These include the suppliers' concentration or their focus and core business interests, variety of products and design offered, and the alternative resources that are available. In this light, it is most appropriate to build win-win relationships with suppliers or arrange the use multiple suppliers in order to protect the interests of both ends.


It describes the impact customers have on an industry. Stronger the buying power stronger is the influence in determining the price. The bargaining power of buyers increases when they have the ability to

1. make agreements with other companies providing similar products and services,
2. purchase a product that represents a significant fraction of the expenses incurred by the company,
3. purchase of a product that is undifferentiated,
4. incur low changes in costs when they change vendors,
5. be price sensitive by bearing in mind the options available, and
6. Integration to purchase the goods of the suppliers.

MTV and CHANNEL V- Teenagers to young adults, advertisers, satellite Cos, TV channels

Barganing Power of Buyers - High for advertisers, satellite/TV channels especially due to the fierce competition between the two.

New Entrants

The competition is determined by the number of new companies entering the industry. Success can be determined by evaluating the methods of entry and exit for a new player. Although any company should be able to enter and exit the sector, each industry presents different levels of difficulty influenced by economics. These unique characteristics of the each industry are referred to as barriers to entry which may come from different aspects of the business ranging from supplies to technology. They seek to reduce the rate of entry of new entrants which leads to maintenance of a level of profits for the existing players.

MTV and CHANNEL V -To enter in music TV channel industry needs huge investments to set up a TV channel. There are also strict government regulations especially in Asia on TV content. indeed the barriers to entry are low as more music channels are beginning to emerge. Several companies are pitching in with all the new digital platforms widely propagating in the entertainment industries. MTV's competitors can only multiply through substitute platforms that will attempt to topple down MTV due to viewing alternatives. Cheaper means to present music has since multiplied thanks to wireless solutions.

As barrier to entry is low, MTV and channel V can definitely expect threats from other competing channels from all over the world. The government also will get in the way by regulating the channels entering their countries.


“Substitute products” as those that are available in other industries that meet an identical or similar need for the end user. Due to the availability and affordability of more substitutes, the demand becomes more elastic since customers have more alternatives. Other concerns in assessing the threat of substitutes include the presence of new technologies that can contribute to competition though more diverse and economical substitute products and services. A segment is unattractive when there are actual or potential substitutes for a product.

MTV and CHANNEL V- Medium to high, people can enjoy music from other means like DVD, CD, and Radio etc. New cable networks had been fast emerging ever since the 1980s. Cable networks would enjoy enormous growth during the 90s to the dawn of the 21st century and they provide viewers, audience and markets other viewing options.

Industry Competitors

Firms strive to secure a competitive advantage over their rivals. The intensity of rivalry varies within each industry and these differences can be important in the development of strategy. Industries that are “concentrated,” versus “fragmented,” often display the highest level of rivalry. In pursuing an advantage over its rivals, a firm can choose from several competitive moves:

1. changing prices,
2. improving product differentiation,
3. creatively using channels of distribution,
4. exploiting relationships with suppliers.

MTV and Channel V- Duopolistic competition among MTV and Channel V.

Globalization has opened competition especially in the case of local channels. There is new technology to be exploited that will expand broadcasting capabilities. Locally produced material has become the goals of every TV channel in order to truly suit the personal tastes and sensibilities of the viewers. Governments also encourage local materials. Globalization has opened the doors for other entities internationally to join the competition as they are able to access new markets. Competition will perceivably become stiffer in the growth of new competition and rivals all around the world.


MTV came up with a loyalty concept, a slogan that targeted the 12-34 age segments. The idea of "want" and "my" gives off the idea of a personalized desire that can be met by MTV. It's the individuality of this segment that wants them to declare it proudly. Therefore consumers seek for this distinctiveness and want to take part of the MTV revolution. Cable networks and advertisers alike can't help but to include MTV among its ranks.


MTV can possibly capture a wider market share even beyond their 12-34 demographics, by forming more spin offs such as MTV dance and through channels like VH1 and Nickelodeon. Through VH1 they can reach out to the market older than 34 , they are reportedly a group of loyal consumers at the same time they can win the appeal of those younger than 12 through the Nickelodeon channel and the online game called Neopets. To achieve all this, they can work towards mergers, alliances and acquisitions which leads to the next strategy.


Channel V had already established itself quite well by the time MTV re-entered Indian market. Commenting on Channel [V] becoming popular in MTV's absence, Peter Jamison, the then in-charge of MTV Asia commented, "I feel like the father who went to war and has come back to discover that his place in the family has been taken by another man."

In 1997, MTV was forced to announce a strategic shift in its programming mix and started airing Hindi film songs by the Channel [V]'s growing popularity. However the MTV sources refused to accept this.

MTV cashed well its more focused approach by understanding the pulse of the Indian music market in terms of programming mix whereas Channel V lost its focus and failed to do so. But we cannot hold the channel solely responsible for it. There were certain problems inherent in the organizational structure. The channel had a centralized structure, wherein almost all the programming decisions were made at the headquarters in Hong Kong. As a result, the channel found it difficult to track the latest popular songs and modify its programming mix accordingly.

Channel V's image as a music channel become so popular that it acted as a barrier while projecting its new image as a channel for youth and to change this perception by offering non-music programs was a big task. They had adopted this new concept but had no benchmark to judge its programs. MTV's programs attracted audience across all segments whereas Channel V's programs appealed only to one section of the audience at a time.

The 'Back to Basics' strategy was initiated by the Star TV network which had a majority stake in Channel [V]. According to this strategy, the channel decided to take off all non-music programs off the air, as producing them was very costly compared to the music-based programs. Moreover, advertising time on Channel [V] was sold as a package along with other Star TV channels at a discount. For instance, an advertiser advertising on channel(s) under the Star TV network was offered spots on Channel [V] at concessional rates. As Star's channels such as Star Plus and Star Movies were very popular, Channel [V] hoped to cash in on their popularity.



• MTV joined hands with CBS Corporation and was able to reach exposure through CBS's advantage in news, sports and distribution.
• The Multi-domestic strategy- MTV Asia associated with National Broadcasting Company of the Philippines in order to establish a terrestrial channel on the country. In doing so, NBC is able to impart their mastery in distribution and operational expertise in the Southeast Asian country.
• Through its Music awards it is also able to attract big time sponsors such as PepsiCo and Ford Motors. This would even attract more market. In PepsiCo's case, its food and drink consumers and through Ford, car consumers.
• It has also been endorsing the channel through political and social causes for poverty and AIDS.

Multi-domestic Strategy

MTV expanded by telecasting local contents which also allowed them to divide and reach individual markets who will want a music channel who knows not only their music interests but also their locale. MTV then acknowledges its slogan "I want my MTV" as it is able to give consumers the MTV they really want based on their culture and not merely western or European. The consumers are clearly interested to a channel that knows them enough to speak their own language and sensibilities.

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