Big FM has decided that it’s time to take its content outside of India. For this, the FM major has inked a deal with US-based radio organisation Asian FM that caters to South Asian audiences, wherein Big FM will syndicate content to Asian FM. Big FM has undertaken this initiative to reach out to the Indian Diaspora in the US. Big FM content will air on Asian FM in the US from September 1, 2007.
It is one of the first deals of this kind that one sees in the Indian FM space. The other markets that Big FM is eyeing include Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Big FM has put together a dedicated team for aggregating the content that meets the specific requirements of Asian FM and their audiences for this initiative. Asian FM has lined out the audience requirements based on their research and Big FM is keeping this brief in mind in order to meet the local tastes of the target audience.
Explaining more on what triggered this move, Jayyant Bhokare, Vice-President, Business Development, Big 92.7 FM, said, “Big FM develops tremendous amount of content in-house. It is only natural to be able to use this content to use beyond on our station. The overseas markets have seen television become an integral part of their programming mix, however, when it comes to radio, there is a scarcity of the more recent Bollywood or Indian flavoured content. This poses a great business opportunity since we can reach out to these markets and cater to the local interests from back home.”
Does this translate into any benefits in revenues for Big FM? Bhokare replied, “This is certainly going to be an alternate revenue option for Big 92.7 FM. Non-traditional revenues are a big phenomenon across the globe, where almost 30-40 per cent of the total revenues come from NTR activities, whether through events, content syndication, etc.”
Anand Velayudhan, Chief Liasion Officer – India, ITV Inc, added here, “This is a huge opportunity for Indians in America to get hold of the latest in the world of Indian entertainment. Nothing is more important for the NRI in the US than a daily dose of India. This is a big opportunity for listeners and even bigger for Indian brands to reach NRI listeners.”
Bhokare explained that the synergies between Big FM and Asian FM, matching business requirements of the two players, and Asian FM being a key radio player in the US, led to the finalisation of this deal. Deepak Viswanath, Vice-President, Asian FM, said, “When on the lookout for partners in India, we found philosophical synergies with Big 92.7 FM leading to a comfortable working relationship between the two companies. As Asian FM expands its audience base, we believe that the Big FM content will fit well within our existing programme line-up. I am sure that some of our listeners, who have not been to India for a while, will definitely find the content very progressive with cutting edge humour.”
While this is the first step, Big FM’s target is to reach out to the maximum audiences and secure partners like these, wherever there is a market available for Indian radio content.