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Monica Nayyar Patnaik

Founder Promoter | 02 Jul 2012

For us, it is ad revenues clubbed with activation. Activation helps us a lot because we are the only player in the state who can do activations in a very short span of time. The revenues have grown in the range of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. Since per second slot selling is not so easy nowadays, one needs to club one’s revenues with activation.

Monica Nayyar Patnaik is the Founder-Promoter of Radio Choklate and also on the governing body of Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI). She is a management professional with 17 years’ experience. She is also the Joint Managing Director of Eastern Media Ltd, which has brands like Oriya daily Sanbad, FM station Radio Choklate, Oriya news channel Kanak TV, EME and Choklate Events. Patnaik shares Radio Choklate’s growth story over the years with exchange4media’s Surbhi Bhasin and how it has captured the Oriya market...

Q. How has the content strategy for Radio Choklate evolved over the years?

The content strategy keeps on changing where it is an advantage or a disadvantage. The advantage we face is that every six months to one year we change the content of the station because we can produce a lot of our stuff ourselves as production is in our hands. Our production captures any small event and airs them. For example, we have our Saturday and Sunday special segments and we are the only radio station in the state that has 24-hour live coverage. Our RJs are live on radio even during night, whereas other stations switch off.

Q. The Government has announced the commencement of e-auctions for FM Phase III from December 2012. Which cities are you looking to expand to?

We are looking to expand to five cities – Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Baripada and Puri.

Q. How is Eastern Media Entertainment panning out? How much is it contributing to the group’s revenues?

Eastern Media has completed four years and it is panning out in a way to provide audio content for FM radio. It produces Oriya songs for Radio Choklate. It put radio content on our TV channels like Kanak TV, which was started one and a half years back. It also feeds the content of Manjari channel, which will be launched in the latter half of this year. The content of the channel will comprise song videos and Oriya movies.

Q. Who are the top advertisers on Radio Choklate?

Our advertisers include telecom providers, beverage brands, Hindi daily Hindustan, and Coca-Cola, as well as local advertisers like retail outlets, jewellers, and builders.

Q. What percentage growth in ad revenues has Radio Choklate witnessed in the last one year? Who have contributed most to this growth?

For us, it is ad revenues clubbed with activation. Activation helps us a lot because we are the only player in the state who can do activations in a very short span of time.

We have two properties:

Orchestra Mahasangram Season 5: An on-air property. Season 5 is for college people.

Auditions for Rubaab 2012 – An off-show property for which we carry out on-air and on-ground activities, which help us generate revenues.

The revenues have grown in the range of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. Since per second slot selling is not so easy nowadays, one needs to club one’s revenues with activation.

Q. What have been the key landmarks in Radio Choklate’s existence in the market so far?

There has been year on year growth acceptance and we are ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds. We have been experimenting with our content and have been providing content that is new and fresh. We extensively play Oriya music which has helped us connect very well with not just the bigger cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela, but also the outskirts. We have great listenership.

Q. What initiatives are you taking to increase listener participation and engagement with the FM station?

We invite listeners to our studio. We also have a show run by young RJs, wherein we interact with school students and invite them to visit our studio and experience the radio medium first hand. We build interactivity in our programmes by way of SMSes, letters from listeners, and replying to listeners’ questions on air. We also conduct a lot of contests, which build greater audience connect.

Q. How big a role does digital play in creating listener engagement for Radio Choklate? How are you leveraging the digital medium?

We have not been able to leverage digital as much as we would want to, although we have a website where users can listen to music and get details about our shows.

Q. Who are your creative and media agencies?

We have our in-house agencies for our creative and media duties, besides since we are vertical we also depend on newspaper and television media. We also use local agencies where the need may arise.

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