If initial dipsticks are any indicator, Radio Mirchi has made a strong claim for leadership in Mumbai radio listnership market. Research conducted by IMRB and a few advertising agencies puts them ahead of other 3 players. Farid Kureshi, National Sales Head, Radio Mirchi, is emphatic about their leadership. “A study, which IMRB conducted for us in the last week of May at traffic signals, showed that Radio Mirchi has recorded the highest 65% share of audience,” says Kureshi. Why then is Radio Mirchi changing their programming strategy and going ‘all Hindi’?
Perhaps because, as a leader, they are in a position to take risks! As put forth by a top executive at Mirchi, the logic is simple – ‘While an SEC A listener may read English language paper, he will perhaps like listening popular Hindi music most of the time. So Mirchi remains relevant to SEC A listeners. It of course, by going Hindi, will attract more listeners and grow the base.’ “Radio Mirchi cuts across all strata. We play contemporary hit Hindi music which is liked by everyone,” says Prashant Panday, COO, Radio Mirchi.
While going predominantly Hindi (like competing Radio City) may help Mirchi get more audiences, competitors point out that Mirchi may actually be catering to lowest common denominator. Win and Radio Mid-Day’s GO have a strong orientation to English programming. “We are a predominantly English station targeting only the SEC A and B+. If Mumbai today has 6 million radio listeners, I want to target only 1 million of those listeners. These listeners are attractive targets for advertisers,” says Rajesh Tahil, Station Director reinforcing the station objectives.
With two stations, Mirchi and City, playing a large dose of Hindi music and two, GO and Win, having a strong English music orientation, it will be interesting to so what Radio Today’s station RED comes up with. Indications are that they’ll be closer to GO and Win blend of programming. Says Nischint Chawla, COO, Radio Today, “Our brand RED signifies energy and passion. We’ll connect with cosmopolitan, intelligent listeners who don’t like to be talked down to.”
So at the moment the visible differentiators appear to the language of programming and the scale of marketing. As listnership matures, and listeners make up their mind on their favorite station, Stations will have to keep their ears to the ground and keep evolving.
First run on the website,www.exchange4media.com on Monday,June 24, '02 at 12:15 PM