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45% of radio advertising is by local & regional players: Sharad Lunia

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45% of radio advertising is by local & regional players: Sharad Lunia

In 2009, Kolkata-based start-up releaseMyAd launched, an online portal for newspaper advertisers, and has followed up with, an online platform for brands wanting to advertise on radio. Through this platform, advertisers can create customised campaigns across major radio stations choosing from options like city, the length of the campaign, the time of the day as well as the day of the week the campaign should run. Furthermore, also provides creative services like jingles and voice-over ad compositions.

In an interaction with exchange4media’s Abhinn Shreshtha, releaseMyAd’s Founder and Business Head, Sharad Lunia, spoke about the reasoning behind and future plans for the start-up.

What was the idea behind
We started in 2009 as an online ad agency focussing on newspaper advertising and we have seen nearly 1 lakh advertisers since then. We also realised that businesses want additional opportunities to explore new mediums for promotions, thus radio seemed the next logical medium for us to enter into. It is a viable medium for local and regional advertisers. There is a big market for people who want to advertise on radio but don’t know how. We have been beta testing the platform for the past couple of months and launched it for the public this month.

Currently, the focus is on local advertisers. Are there plans to expand to national level advertisers?
We made a conscious decision to stay local since we found that 90 per cent of our queries come from local advertisers. By having multiple city or radio station options on the website, the process also becomes too complicated. Our target audience will be smaller advertisers and local/regional brands.

Are you also assisting advertisers on the creative front?
We have a tie-up with Jingles India, a creative agency that customers can use to create jingles or voice-over ads. There is a detailed form that customers can fill-up stating their needs and we deliver the jingle or voice-over ad to them within 48 hours.

Are the ad rates as per the radio station’s card rate?
They are actually average prices, so a little lower than the card rate. In case of bulk volumes, we can further negotiate the rate with the customer and the radio station.

How do you see the radio advertising market developing in the future?
The radio advertising industry is currently worth about Rs 15,000 crore and is expected to grow at 14 per cent per annum, according to PWC. Our own studies suggest that 45 per cent of radio advertising is done by regional or local brands. So this is a huge market. Also, once the Phase III auctions occur, we will have even more cities opening up for FM expansion. The industry is in for a big boom in the coming years.

What’s next for releaseMyAd?
We are evaluating other mediums like cinema advertising and digital. The focus is again on regional and local advertisers and helping them to make sense of the medium. Eventually, we might have a planning tool for advertisers to manage their spends across all these media. On the radio side, we are looking to tie up with radio stations to help in promoting the platform. We have tie-ups with newspapers where we manage their online inventory sales and we could do the same with radio too.

Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

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The OOH sector is among the fastest growing, globally. Brands and marketers have realized its potential and impact and begun to craft medium-specific adverts. Self-regulation is not only necessary but also essential to growth of the sector. The industry needs to exercise a certain level of this self-restraint to prove its commitment to maintaining the best standards in advertising.

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