MTV launches new rap reality show, strengthens slate for young audiences

  • Flagship shows like Roadies, Splitsvilla and Ace of Space have also been renewed
  • The rap battle show called Hustle will not see any of its participants do cover versions but come up with entirely original content

In an effort to strengthen its original content slate for young Indian audiences, MTV, the music and youth channel owned by Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd, has announced a line-up of shows for the coming quarter. The offerings are led by MTV Hustle, India’s first rap reality show, which goes on air this weekend. A couple of other new shows will also be launched, which will be complemented by new seasons of flagship shows like Roadies, Splitsvilla and Ace of Space.

“Hustle is a concept dear to us that we have been exploring for the past two to three years," said Ferzad Palia, head – youth, music and English entertainment, Viacom18. “The idea is to provide a massive platform to this hip-hop and rap genre and take it to a wider audience in India."

Hustle, which will have Raftaar, Nucleya and Raja Kumari as judges, will not see any of its participants do cover versions but come up with entirely original content. Though the show goes on air this Saturday, it has already shot much of the content and finalized its top 15 contestants.

“Incorporating the learnings from our Youth Insights report, we are introducing unique concepts such as Hustle and imbibing novelties in successful properties like Splitsvilla and Ace of Space. Experimenting with the time-slot, it’s also the first time that a marquee property like Hustle will be aired bi-weekly instead of once over the weekend," Palia said.

He added that the boost to original content stems from MTV’s strong performance across the television and digital streaming platforms— the channel has garnered 700 million views and 3.67 billion minutes of viewership in the first half of 2019 across TV and VOOT, the video streaming app owned by Viacom18. It expects 5 billion minutes of watch time for the second half of the year.

“Acting on the back of MTV Beats, which is our full-blown music channel launched in 2016, we have been trying to ramp up our original Indian content over the past 18 months. It’s a very exciting time for us," Palia said.