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Radio's imagination-sensitive, needs innovative formats

16-March-2004
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Radio's imagination-sensitive, needs innovative formats

We can't succeed if we are just consumer-led, said Sumantra Dutta, CEO, Radio City, in the session on 'Radio Active: Unraveling the mystery of effective radio communication'. "In a world full of change, consumers can't anticipate the next big change," he asserted.

The session began with Ravi Kiran, MD, West & South, Starcom, describing the radio as "an extremely personal medium, imagination-sensitive and completely live".

"Over time," he said, "A lot had changed for radio but certain fundamentals remain the same. For instance, radio spots are still 20-30 seconders and it is questionable whether you can do full justice to your communication within that duration. You require a lot more than 30 seconds to state your case because the listener needs to be actively involved with the entire process of communication."

Speaking on the subject, A P Parigi, CEO, Radio Mirchi, said there is no other medium like radio. "It evokes a powerful bond with the consumer," Parigi observed, adding that, "Listener loyalty comprises four major elements, namely, music, jocks, content and marketing. Loyalty amongst listeners can be achieved only by ensuring that the music format is well and sharply defined. Today, the stationality aspect gets sidelined on account of the fact that we are struggling to survive. With settlement of regulatory issues and adequate growth, niches will come about. There will be greater differentiation and new and innovative formats will emerge"

B Venkatraman, Head, Media Planning, Unilver, stated his case in a few simple words. In his talk on 'Accountability and ROI: The media planner's perspective', he said, "We would like a robust measurement system and adequate listenership studies to lend backbone to the same. Firstly, who are the listeners? Their definition (in terms of M, F, Sec), the kind of programmes they listen to (station and daypart), when and where do they tune into radio (time of the day, at home, out of home, etc), the extent of listenership and the level of participation. Broadcasters need to be accountable for audience delivery."

Anish Trivedi, Managing Director, Banyan Tree Communications chaired the session. Nishchint Chawla, CEO, Red FM., was also on the panel of speakers.

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