94.3 Radio One, the brand owned by Next Radio Ltd, (subsidiary of the listed Next Mediaworks Ltd) that operates in 7 cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkota, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad declared its financial results of Q1 2016-17 in the board meeting held on 5thAugust 2016.
Revenue was up from 17.21cr in Q1 2015-16 to 19.82cr in Q1 2016-17 a jump of 15.2%. EBIDTA was up from 2.96cr in Q1 2015-16 to 3.23cr in Q1 2016 – 17 which is a 9.1% increase. (Like to like numbers with elevated annual license fee costs applicable from April 1st 2015 when phase 3 began. The elevated annual license fee imposed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is being challenged as unfair by ALL major radio players in court)
“We are happy with our numbers as these have come on the back of us being the number 1 radio station in Delhi Mumbai and Bangalore, the highest radio revenue markets, with over 1 million LIKES on our Facebook pages in these cities. These are double the likes of the nearest competitor in any of these 3 cities. This shows that we are the real ‘audience engagement leader’ in the upscale (online) educated listener’s space. This is a ‘real audience metric’ as we can ‘see’ who the person listening to us exactly is and how they respond to programming on our stations at any time. This being a new digital age method of measurement far superior in comparison to ‘small sample, dated diary recall methods that are no where close to accurate, being peddled by listenership surveys. Our smaller cities too have performed ahead of our expectations.
What makes things really exciting for us, as compared to large networks in the metros, that have launched new stations and are de-valuing their own on air inventory with lowered pricing, with colossal marketing spends and free value adds like expensive on ground events/activation at highly elevated costs to gather revenues, Our revenue growth has entirely come from ‘pure’ radio air time sale at almost nil expense,” said Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO Next Radio Ltd
“This is the first quarter where new metro phase 3 stations have become operational and an important quarter therefore to measure the efficiency of growth of the various players. ENIL, the ‘market leader’ in the radio sector reported an increase of 9% in topline revenue in Q1 15-16, but fell 17% in operating profit and fell 42% in profit after tax compared to the same quarter last year. It seems the radio sector has to balance out growth as ‘careful growth’ in metros where huge amounts were paid as license fees. The industry needs to find ways to improve pricing, enhance value of inventory and reduce expenditure that is being used to ‘buy topline’ to ensure margins are brought back to pre-phase 3 levels” added Hukmani.