According to the Radio Audience Measurement (RAM), the radio listenership service from TAM Media Research, Big 92.7 FM is the clear leader in the Bangalore market. In the past 12 weeks, it has maintained a steady position of the leader and with every passing week it has also managed to widen the gap with its competitor, Radio Mirchi, which has been in the market for a longer time. In fact, in week 42 the ratings of Big FM stands at an impressive 26 vis-à-vis Mirchi's 15 (All people: 12 plus).
As per the RAM figures, AIR FM1 is in the third position though, there is tough fight for this slot with Radio One. Radio City and Fever FM closely follow, while Radio Indigo, which plays only English music, has a listenership rating between 2 and 3.
Talking of their winning formula, Sunil Kumaran, Cluster Head, Big FM, said, "We have been true to our strategy of being the Kannada music station and have not veered from that. We had set out to be a station that will be relevant to the people of Bangalore and there has been no change in our personality since our launch. Also we focus a lot on our programming and stick strictly to providing content that will be relevant yet witty and smart to our listeners. Together, I believe these things have worked for us."
Vineet Singh Hukmani, CEO, Radio One, is pretty satisfied by the way the station is moving in Bangalore. He said, "Today, clients look at the fit with their TG and returns that they would get rather than focusing on mere reach in terms of listenership. Radio One's positioning as the only Bollwood station in Bangalore has worked very well for us. We target a TG of 18-34 SEC A and B and see that due to our positioning we have been able to get premium listeners whom clients want to reach too."
While numbers suggest a part of the story, it must be remembered that Bangalore is a unique market in terms of listenership. There are a total of seven private players of which five have taken the platform of playing only Kannada music, Indigo plays only international music, while Radio One has its own positioning of being the only Bollywood radio station in Bangalore though its RJs speak in Kannada.
Ratan Singh Rathore, Head - Radio Cluster, South, GroupM, explained that while markets like Mumbai and Delhi had their uniqueness, in Bangalore there was a clear differentiation where Kannada was a popular medium, which many of the stations were trying to cash in, but with the advent of Radio Indigo and Radio One in the market was offering new options for brands to reach to its TG. He said, "While planning the media, we do look at reach, which comes from the Kannada music station, but we try to bring in a different market segments, which these two stations offer. An ideal media plan would include two Kannada stations and either both or one of the two stations (Indigo / Radio One) depending on the clients need."
Joydeep Raha, VP, Lintas Media Bangalore Collective, is of the opinion that content is the only differentiating factor that help in driving the numbers. He said, "Radio One plays Hindi numbers, but they have RJs who speak in Kannada, which probably is to create a connect. But I feel what works for any station is innovative and interactive content, which will drive a listener into tuning into the station again. So, while both Big 92.7 and Mirchi are using the Kannada platform now, what is probably working in favour of the former is that it has taken on-air activities to on ground, which is connecting with the listeners."
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