It has been a season of clear, positive signals for the radio industry which has seen a hike in ad spends since early August this year. The actual festive fever is yet to set in and projections peg the spends at 30 per cent higher than last year.
“The Raksha Bandhan-Independence day period gave an indication of what we can expect in the coming months. Most operators were full up on advertising volumes in this period,” said Mahesh Shetty, Chief Operating Officer, ENIL, which operates Radio Mirchi. He added that this trend was expected to continue with major festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas around the corner.
Some radio operators we spoke to said that the ad inventories were running full earlier than last year. Ashwin Padmanabhan, National Head - 92.7 BIG FM pointed out that this year brands have been launching new products as a build up to the festive season. “The communications last year were mostly promotion-based. This year sectors like FMCG, mobile phones and consumer durables have launched a gamut of new products. There are only 45 days between Navratri and Diwali, but we expect a lot of ad spends and campaigns in this short period,” he said, adding that several major radio campaigns are expected to go on air by next week.
“Every year there is a natural surge in revenues during festivals. This year, an overall 20-25 per cent increase in revenue is expected as compared to the last two years, but with a much wider base,” said Ashit Kukian, President & COO, Radio City 91.1 FM.
Some operators we spoke to, observed that there has been an increase in ad spends from non-traditional sectors, such as retail, e-commerce, automobile and mobile manufacturers.
“The good thing about radio is that there is no one category that dominates the medium. This year has seen a lot of action in the M&E sector with the launch of new TV channels and shows, resulting in upsides on radio investment from the sectors. Government spends have dropped in the first half, but we expect that to get corrected in the coming months. We also expect retail, both online and offline, to be very active this season,” said Shetty.
Padmanabhan also agreed that retail would be a big spender. According to him, this year the online retail sector has widened its communication from the top 10-15 cities to tier II and III cities. “In the last couple of years, retail has been overtaken by organised retail. We are seeing more brands with multiple stores as well as the big retail chains spending a lot of money on radio advertising,” he said.
Evidently, the celebrations are already On Air.