Radio Mirchi plans to cut down its ad volumes by 30 per cent as part of a “clean up” of inventory. According to Prashant Panday, MD and CEO of ENIL, which runs Radio Mirchi, the plan is to eventually have ad breaks of 2.5-3 minutes with total ad times not exceeding 12-14 minutes per hour. This cap will be applied across all stations and cities.
Additionally, Ishq FM (which was earlier known as Oye FM) will see an ad cap of 10 minutes per hour. ENIL had signed a sales agreement to sell advertisements on 3 Ishq FM stations, namely Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, last year, while acquiring the stations of Jodhpur, Amritsar, Patiala and Shimla outright in 2015.
“Every research we do with consumers tells us that listeners are fed up with the ad volumes on radio. In fact, it’s one of the major reasons for them to turn away from the FM radio brand, and in some cases the medium itself. Listeners love FM, but they hate the excess ads. Our research tells us that ad breaks of 2.5-3 minutes are fine. This means that total ads should not exceed 12-14 minutes an hour. Mirchi has taken a decision to get there. It will help our listenership. Of course, the travesty of research called RAM doesn’t notice this,” said Panday.
“Our pitch to advertisers is simple and appeals to their common sense. If a print ad comes in a 100-page paper, is it likely to get noticed? Or will it be better noticed if it comes in a 24-page paper? Likewise, it is smarter to ask your radio channel how many minutes of ads they play. Then pay accordingly. They need to buy fewer spots to get better results. We are losing in this “clean up”. But we’re doing it keeping listeners (and consumers for advertisers) in mind,” he further added.
Radio Mirchi did Rs 391 crore in revenues between April and December 2016. Speaking about the projections for 2017, Panday said that Q4 revenues across M&E sector are expected to be muted due to the demonetisation drive.