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Radio One out to woo English speaking Indians

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Radio One out to woo English speaking Indians

In its bid to go international, Radio One is changing.

The focus is on being content-driven. In conversation with exchange4media, Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD, Radio One Ltd, stressed, “It is content first, held together by great music.” This change is not happening overnight, but is backed extensive research, which threw up the fact that all radio stations sounded the same and also sounded “dumb to an educated audience”. Radio One is addressing this two-fold issue by suitably modifying its content in its stations in Pune, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. The revamped content would now be highly audible in Mumbai and Delhi. “We want Radio One to be different, intelligent, international and involving to English speaking Indians who have a global outlook,” said Hukmani.

Citing data from the research carried out, he added that it was found that radio reached all, but did not engage a certain profile of the audience. With its content-driven strategy, Radio One will now address a clear and well-profiled audience, the kind of person who reads an English newspaper every day front page to the last page.

Leading this change would be the RJs of the FM player. As Hukmani divulged, “We will not call them RJs anymore. Our new ‘hosts’ reflect our values of different, intelligent, international and involving. They bring a maturity to the dialogue with a listener, who has a global outlook.” He further said that these hosts would invite the audience to discover how global they were. “We will engage the English speaking Indian homes and allow advertisers to take advantage of the excitement of change in the radio space,” Hukmani added.

The programming would engage listeners repeatedly across different time bands and the hosts would be ‘perfect reflection’ of the listener, “unlike in other radio stations, where up-market jocks are forced to cater to lower SECs”, Hukmani pointed out.

Meanwhile, listener engagement would be further extended via on air and off air promotions such as quizzes, debates, essay writing competitions for kids on weekends and so on.

When asked about what impact this move would have on the revenues and the advertisers already on board, Hukmani replied, “We are more confident than ever that business will go up from our current levels. We have already experienced this in Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad.” He further said, “Every client we have spoken to wants a differentiated product in radio so that they can target and engage better. They already do this in print, TV and the Internet, but not in radio. So, this is not rocket science for them. Every client in local retail too wants to shun the competitive herd in his local market and wants to cater to a higher value audience. We are already showing them how not to commoditise their local retail brands and move up and not down. The economic environment is demanding a much better ROI and a highly targeted on-air and on-ground engagement. We are poised much more superiorly on this than any other radio station.”

Regarding additional benefits to advertisers, Hukmani informed that the three prime shows during the day were well segmented and offered a strong “engagement product” to the show presenter, that is the advertiser. “The non-music content will be of the highest quality and will stand on its own as will the international music content,” Hukmani concluded.

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