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Sanjay Ahmed

Programme Director | 25 Mar 2004

“Aamar 106.2 FM is positioned as Kolkata's best music station. It serves the best music mix for its targeted demography. The USP is definitely the best music mix where the listener gets consistent good music of his/her taste.”

In a conversation with Jasmin Duggal from exchange4media.com, Sanjay Ahmed, Programme Director, Aamar Radio 106.2 FM, discusses his approach to win the hearts of the people of Bengal, the roadmap to a successful brand building and the role of marketing vis-à-vis music mix.

Q. You are a veteran in the radio game. What are the differences in the response to radio then and now?

It was in 1994 when private FM broadcast started in Kolkata. Then, I was with HMV FM and we had only 2 hours of private broadcasting time. That time also, FM was very popular, mainly because of smart presentation, good stereo music and interactions with listeners.

This time round, private FM stations have 24-hour slot. During the launch-phase all the stations put a lot of effort to increase awareness through press, TV and billboards. All these activities create high awareness among listeners and the response is overwhelming.

Q. How are you competing with the other players in Kolkata?

Aamar 106.2 FM is the only private Bengali FM station and, this makes us very different from the other three FM radio stations. We play music from the ’70's till today’s. Our music mix is 70 per cent Bengali and 30 per cent Hindi. And, the on-air presentation is 100 per cent Bengali.

Q. How does Aamar Radio differentiate in programming?

Radio has been an integral part of the life in West Bengal. By habit people are avid radio listeners. They get closely attached to their favourite stations and are very passionate about it.

Aamar 106.2 FM has many fan clubs and we are also on our way to establish a Listeners Advisory Board. The involvement and interaction with the listeners are very important for us.

Q. How would you describe the audience in Kolkata? Are they any different compared to audiences in other metros?

They have received it very well. In fact, through calls and mails we came to know that they were waiting for a station like Aamar 106.2 FM, which has given Bengali music a new dimension.

Q. How have you positioned Aamar Radio? What is the USP of the station?

Aamar 106.2 FM is positioned as Kolkata's best music station. It serves the best music mix for its targeted demography. The USP is definitely the best music mix where the listener gets consistent good music of his/her taste.

It is different from the other three private FM radio stations in terms of music mix and presentation, and with strong marketing, I think we are on the right track.

Q. Now that radio has firmly established itself, are local advertisers looking at radio as a part of the regular media plan? And, are they accepting radio as a reminder medium or a brand-building medium? What is the trend in Kolkata?

Radio is a reminder medium but, with creative contests and exciting on-ground promotions/events, advertisers are looking at Radio as a brand-building medium as well.

Q. Tell us about some of the on-ground and on-air promotions you've lined up to promote the channel?

We will organise "Spot the New Song" contest for the Bengali New Year. We have some very popular on-going contests like thousand rupee minute, Aamar Music Challenge, Laser Mouth, Who am I, Song Riddle etc.

We had a stall at the Kolkata Book Fair, which we turned into a mock on-air studio from where our announcers chatted with celebrities and visitors, which were aired, live. It was a great success with thousands queuing up in front of the Aamar FM stall everyday.

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