For Radio sector demonetisation was de-growth of 15%

Things started picking up for the sector as advertising came in from e-commerce and government

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Nov 9, 2017 8:55 AM

For the radio sector, the impact of demonetisation has been mainly felt by local advertisers who have been most hurt by the paucity of cash in the market. It de-grew by 15% in November-December, 2016. In terms of absolute numbers, advertisers put a hold on their campaigns worth approximately Rs 42 crore. But things started picking up as advertising came in from e-commerce and government with many new launches.

Nisha Narayanan, COO, 93.5, Red FM, agrees to having a‘knee-jerk reaction’ and facing hiccups post demonetisation. But they still managed to close the year in healthy double digits despite missing the target by few margins. She shares, “Demonetisation brought in advertising from e-commerce, government and offers from advertisers' on their openness to accept digital payments. New launches helped get growth and existing stations maintaining their share of business kept topline and bottom line healthy. Some felt that it acted as a speed-breaker, which could be so as market expansion and getting new advertising took a back seat by businesses.”

However, the good news the expert say is that the effect though bad has fortunately phased out now. “Demonetisation has badly disrupted the business of media companies in the first six months since it was implemented last November. There was some remnant impact in Q1 of this financial year as well. However, since then the impact has more or less ended. Several sectors that tanked included FMCG, retail, real estate, jewellery and others," said Prashant Panday MD and CEO of ENIL, who runs Radio Mirchi.

Some say that in the quarter following demonetisation there was a lot of concern from local businesses on leveraging radio as it’s a discretionary expenditure during that time. “So that would have been reflected in the first six months post demonetisation and that would only be shown from a local retailer or advertiser’s perspective. Post six months there was enough clarity. When they saw a revival in their businesses then they came back to advertising,” said Sharad Lunia, Founder, releaseMyAd,

Tanaya Patnaik, Executive Director Kanak News and Radio Choklate 104FM, states that though the first quarter was bad, the New Year looks pretty optimistic despite the massive slowdown faced by the industry. She says, “To be honest business picked up after a quarter or so. The introduction of GST was a bigger blow. We are still recovering. Thank god for the govt ad spend because the retail market has really taken a hit. Everybody is still confused about GST. It's too early to comment now. Let's see how it pans out in the next few months.”
But it is not just demonetisation that radio industry tackled. The combined effect of RERA and GST along with demonetisation caused a bigger blow to the advertising. Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City agrees to this and says, "The cumulative effects of policies like demonetisation, RERA and GST did lead to a slowdown in advertising on radio. While advertising for verticals such as Government, Real Estate and Retail witnessed a slump during this period, advertising for certain categories like Automobile, Finance and Consumer Durables observed reasonable growth. We are noticing a revival in industry and consumer confidence on the back of a good monsoon and with a positive start to the festive season. We expect this upswing to continue for the rest of the year, ” 

The head of a regional station further opines that radio business was down but some radio players took the time to invest in on-ground activities and thus creating new areas of business." "This was also a time to try out innovations," he adds.

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