The launch of Radio Today’s FM station ‘Red’ in Mumbai today, has sparked off more excitement in the media circles. Headed by Rupali Arte and Vehrnon Ibrahim, Red is the fifth entrant in Mumbai. It defines its target audience as- listeners in the age group of 18-35, SEC A&B and promises a 24-hour programming structure that would comprise all music (Hindi, English and any other language) that emanates high energy and fast beats. Says Nischint Chawla, COO, Radio Today, “We, as a new station are not differentiating ourselves from the competition. We have recognized a set of target audience, whom we want to reach via our programming. Our programming is hence our selling point.”
However, with 4 other stations already set to take on the radio industry, and Radio Mirchi going totally Hindi, thus catering to a mass audience, the situation seems to be getting more and more competitive. But will the market be able to sustain so many players?
Says Chawla, “All the players are trying to expand the market. And I certainly believe that once everything settles down, there would be enough space for all of us. We are not competing, but are trying to cater to the needs of our target audience.”
But the present situation seems to be a confusing one, at least for media buyers and planners. Also differentiation seems to be a little far off for each of the players, they feel. Says Punitha Arumugam, COO, Madison Media, “With so many players, the market is already flooded. In a scenario like this, confusion usually prevails for us. In the absence of any third party data, we take all media decisions looking at the qualitative aspects of the stations. If one were to understand the competitive scenario, one can compare the same to music channels on TV. All of them have different programming strategies. But at the end of the day, all are music channels.”
If, at the end of the day, that is what they are going to be viewed as- music stations, it may be a tough game for the radio players. Sure, expansion in terms of listenership is certainly happening, but differentiation is the need of the hour for the radio stations, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of advertisers and not to forget, the listeners.