Radio One, the joint venture between Mid-Day and BBC Worldwide, rolled out its seventh station in Kolkata on December 15. The Kolkata launch marks the FM station’s seventh launch, the last one being Pune. Radio One has also announced a sales alliance with Radio Misty for Siliguri and Gangtok as part of its East package, which will be sold jointly. The Kolkata station will be headed by Rajeev Bhandari, Station Head - North and East, and will air Bengali talk and Hindi music.
The FM station will break a TV campaign shortly to announce its launch on all the major channels in Kolkata. Its launch campaign also involves hoardings, conducting local events, and radio campaigns.
Vineet Singh Hukmani, CEO, Radio One, said, “We are positioning ourselves as ‘India’s largest metro-focussed radio network’ as it is quite clear that metros contribute to over 75 per cent of most clients’ businesses. Radio One will allow clients a certain consistency and efficiency in reaching their audiences that exhibit ‘metro city attitude’. We are India’s highest ranked radio company on ‘metro efficiency’, which is a function of listenership and rates charged to reach the SEC AB audience.”
Vehrnon Ibrahim, National Programming Head, Radio One, said, “Our aim is to provide listeners a certain local flavour while at the same time focussing on the metro nature of our brand. This is not easy for other stations who have to contend with being metro and small town all in one breath. That gives the client’s brand experience a certain inconsistency, as the medium is the greatest message in radio, and then there are some stations that just do not reach enough metro cities, making us the best fit metro radio brand.”
Speaking to exchange4media on their marketing plans, Hukmani said, “The year 2008 has been fantastic as Q1 was 85 per cent as compared to last year, Q2 was 92 per cent and Q3 was 89 per cent as compared to last year, although this quarter has been slightly slow, which was expected. However, it is nothing alarming. For 2009, our plan is to establish ourselves as India’s largest metro-focused network, which is a critical part of our strategy.”
On Radio One’s role in the Phase III expansion, Hukmani said, “If the licenses that are left over in Phase II open up, for instance, in Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, etc., which are markets with large SEC AB audience, we can consolidate in the metros and go after those markets, which would help us strengthen our SEC AB TG.”
Radio One operates in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and now in Kolkata.