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Being J&K’s sole private FM station, Big FM goes beyond entertainment

09-March-2010
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Being J&K’s sole private FM station, Big FM goes beyond entertainment

Not much entertainment options are available in Jammu and Kashmir. Being the state’s sole private FM station, Big FM has been adding some entertainment value to the airwaves, along with Government-owned All India Radio (AIR). exchange4media takes a look at the FM radio scenario in the J&K market and the challenges and opportunities.

Only recently, Big FM celebrated the festival of Lohri, where it had hosted a folk song contest at the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in various parts of Jammu. Similarly, the FM player is undertaking several local CSR initiatives – for instance, environmental campaigns addressing the issue of global warming, partnerships with Government bodies, traffic police, even the Indian Army, etc. In addition to this, Big FM also hosts college festivals and conducts government and corporate events.

The music mix is dominated by Bollywood and local music, mostly in Kashmiri and Dogri languages and the RJs interact in Hindi and Urdu. In Jammu, Big FM plays both Bollywood and Dogri music, while in Srinagar, the RJs interact in Hindi, Urdu and Kashmiri and play Hindi and Sufi music.

Speaking on FM radio scenario in J&K, Siddharth Bhardwaj, Associate Vice President – North1, Reliance Media World Ltd, said, “The radio station survives on two sources of revenue – local advertisers and national/regional advertisers. Over the last three years, we have been successful in creating an integral place for radio in the marketing mix of these advertisers and have a clientele list that ranges from automobiles, educational institutions, telecom players and more. Government advertising is also a huge source of revenue in the state and we are working closely to create value for them through our station.”

On the opportunities that this market provides, Bhardwaj said, “We are the only private FM players in the region and our reach is way above any advertising medium available in the state. More players coming in will work excellently for both listeners and category growth, which we are in complete favour of. The J&K market is unique in the sense that it is turmoil-prone. It needs great commitment on part of the radio operator to seamlessly serve the listeners of the state with quality content, and this is the biggest barrier for any operator to enter the state. We at Big FM look at it as an excellent opportunity to reach out to a local market with audiences that love radio, and build ourselves as the biggest advertising medium available in the state for local, regional and national advertisers.”

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