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Big scope seen in growth of radio, music industries

31-March-2001
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Big scope seen in growth of radio, music industries

‘Frames 2001’ organised by Ficci brought in light the opportunities that exist in radio advertising. While radio in India covered 99 per cent of the population and 93 per cent of the geographical area, yet it attracted merely 2 per cent of the total ad spend. The world over radio has been growing ahead of all other mediums. In the US, radio grew at a rate of 14.2 per cent ahead of newspapers (5.5%), magazines (8.2%) and TV (2.1%). The fact that India's share in the world's radio advertising revenues today was a mere 0.005 per cent, showed that the medium could only move upwards in the country.

In an era where privatisiation in radio was yet to take off, radio suffered from a problem of poor content. It was thus little surprise that the number of TV sets in the country exceeded the number of FM radio sets. This itself presented an opportunity of growth since there is nothing "more local than radio," said A T Parigi, Managing Director Entertainment Networks.

Speaking on the regulatory framework, Paragi said that the licence fees had put an extreme burden on players in the field. Giving the example of Entertainment Networks, he said for 12 FM stations, his company had to face a reserve price of Rs eight crore and in the bidding it had risen to Rs 24 crore.

The number of FM players were currently committed to a licence fee alone of Rs 160 crore for an industry that currently drew just Rs 100 crore in ad revenues.

Gautam Radia, CEO of Millenium Broadcast, predicted that once privatisation unfolded the full way, India by 2006 would have 10,000 radio stations, while the medium would create an investment of Rs 15,000 crore and employ as many as two million people.

In another module on the music industry, V J Lazarus, president and managing director of Universal Music said "the key drivers are decrease in piracy rates, increase in music cost, the retail shelf line and number of music channels".

Over the years, the industry has seen increase in consumption of non-film music and improving ratio of CD:MC (music cassettes). However, film music dominates 68 per cent of the industry and this ratio is not likely to reverse in the near future.

The non-film music genre is expected to grow between 15-25 per cent in the coming years. According to Shashi Gopal, CMD, Magnasound, "A&R (artist & repertoire) focus, long-term commitment, marketing and infrastructure are its key essentials."

International music is only 5 per cent of the Indian music industry as against the world market of $40 billion. Suresh Thomas, MD, BMG Cresendo expects that this genre have tremendous opportunity. However, International music does not have enough exposure on television or radio as against the film genre, which is over exposed.

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