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Harshad Jain

Business Head, Radio & Entertainment | 08 Jul 2013

I am not sure about an overlap between radio and digital. Yes, there are certain advertisers who go to digital or might be more digitally inclined. However, the ratio of listeners on radio for tuning into music is far higher as compared to digital. Besides, radio is a free medium for listeners and does not have woes such as internet plans and speed and hence, garners a lot more traction and attracts a lot of advertisers.

Harshad Jain, Business Head, Radio & Entertainment, HT Media has around 19 years of experience. He commenced his radio journey as the Chief Marketing Officer at World Space. He has spearheaded various verticals in his career across brands, including Pepsi Lipton JV and Bharti Airtel, among others.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Saloni Surti, Jain speaks about the differentiation strategy at Fever, AdEx across radio in 2013 and expansion plans for Fever FM.

Q. Fever has been seen trying a number of different content formats. How have these been received so far?

We have tried a lot of formats and they have managed to receive quite a lot of traction. We have tried shows such as ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Ramayan’ in the past. These kinds of shows worked for us at two levels – on the content front and also helped us establish shows that cater to the human nature and habits. We recently started a new show, ‘Friends in a Metro’, which narrates the story of five friends who live in Mumbai and come from various walks of life. The show is a situational comedy and looks at friendship and human relations, which are very important. We wanted listeners to log in not only on our terrestrial station, but also tune in to our digital space. We have brands such Olx on board for the show.

Q. How has ‘Friends in a Metro’ been received so far?

We think it has picked up well. In conversations with our listeners through e-mails, social media, contests and other interactions, they seem to be in sync with show. They like the show and have mentioned it on a number of occasions.

Q. What is Fever’s content strategy across tier II and III cities?

We have a tie-up with My FM across 17 of their stations and it has been working well for us. It is mainly an advertising tie-up and thus, works really well for our clients. My FM leverages from our strength in the metros and we leverage from their strong network in tier II and III markets. Apart from this tie-up, we have no expansion plans in tier II and III cities as of now.

Q. Does Fever have any expansion plans on digital?

We don’t have any such plans for the near future. We have our content available to mobile subscribers through various services, and also a lot of our terrestrial content is available for our listeners across the digital space as podcast. For instance, all our ‘Friends in Metro’ episodes are available on our website as podcasts.

Q. Do you think there is an overlap between digital and radio in terms of advertising share?

I am not sure about an overlap between radio and digital. Yes, there are certain advertisers who go to digital or might be more digitally inclined. However, the ratio of listeners on radio for tuning into music is far higher as compared to digital. Besides, radio is a free medium for listeners and does not have woes such as internet plans and speed and hence, garners a lot more traction and attracts a lot of advertisers.

Q. How has the advertising activity been across radio in 2013 so far?

The advertising activity in 2013 has been fine. It did not take off in a very big manner in terms of advertising expenditure across radio. There is still a little sluggishness. Hopefully, it shall get better as the year progresses.

Q. Are there any other innovative content strategies in the pipeline?

There are a lot of things in the pipeline. We shall come out with a lot more content formats. Top film stars will be on Fever for various programmes.

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