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We will continue to outgrow the industry: Satyanarayana Murthy, Indigo 91.9

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We will continue to outgrow the industry: Satyanarayana Murthy, Indigo 91.9

Indigo 91.9 has aggressive plans for the coming year, which includes a multi-pronged approach towards building up its audience base, says Satyanarayana Murthy, CEO of India Radio Ventures, the parent company of Indigo 91.9, which also includes Indigo Live Music and Indigo Live Events. The operator is looking to increase revenues by 40 per cent over last year and expand to other cities through large format event properties.

Three major things that will be the focus for Indigo 91.9 going forward are: building a relationship with the audience through the terrestrial radio channel, Indigo 91.9, creating experiences for audiences, an example that Murthy gives is organizing binge watching sessions of popular TV shows with RJs and developing large format events.

“We are just not a single medium for consuming international music,” says Murthy, alluding to the three pronged approach that the company takes through Indigo 91.9, the Indigo Live music bar, which it operates in Bangalore and the company’s focus on live events.

Talking about the last, he further added, “We are trying to create festivals like Indigo & Blues, which should take place in August. This will feature international artists and we want to take it to more cities (apart from Bangalore and Goa), including the North-East.”

In fact, given Indigo 91.9’s English and international music focussed programming, the North-East is of particular interest to the operator. Murthy admitted that though there are no plans to expand into other cities by buying spectrum via the upcoming auctions, the company is open to, and considering, expanding to the North-East through possible takeovers or alliances. There are also ongoing talks about content sharing with operators in other metros, he informed us.

In terms of revenues, Murthy informed us that Indigo 91.9 currently accounts for around 18-19 per cent market share in Bangalore.

“The market has been generally good for the industry, which grew at around 21 per cent last year. Our Q1 revenue for 2016 saw a 28 per cent increase. We will continue to outgrow the industry,” he said.

On the digital front, Indigo 91.9 is set to launch its first offering in the coming weeks. The idea, for both digital and terrestrial properties, says Murthy is to create niches which are high on innovation potential. To this end, Radio Indigo has identified 4 categories that it feels would appeal to their target demographic, which is the 18-34 year olds. These include fitness, fashion, lifestyle and music.

It has already launched a dedicated fitness show (7am-8 am) this week, which features content co-created and curated with the help of fitness experts and nutritionists.

When asked whether Indigo 91.9 would consider Bollywood and regional music, Murthy said, “Indigo 91.9 has been present in Bangalore and Goa for 10 years and it has a very strong traction with the urban, youth. There is a strong entrenchment that the brand has built in terms of response, time spent listening and brand recall. We have been fairly successful with international music so we don’t want to move away from it.”

However, he agrees that the emergence of new stations in Bangalore post the first part of the Phase III auctions has “realigned listenership a little bit”, though he feels it is not too much of a cause for concern.

“Listeners are very clear what each brand stands for. I feel it would be risky (for operators) to change formats. Right now it is about building the brand and entrenching it. In the last eight weeks we have seen a 20 per cent increase in overall cumulative audience,” said Murthy.

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