My fav RJ: Renu, Club FM

RJ Renu’s style of presentation, voice modulation & music selection helps me relax, says Anil Cheriyedath of Maxus

Saloni Surti 28-September-2012

My fav RJ: Renu, Club FM

Narrating a story with every song and helping your listeners relax are the traits of a good RJ, according to Anil Cheriyedath, Business Director, Maxus.

While a lot of people emphasise on entertainment and keeping it lively and crisp, Cheriyedath says that creating the feel of what you say matters more. His all time favourite is RJ Renu, who hosts a show named ‘Love Bytes’ on Club FM.

Renu is known for the way she creates a romantic atmosphere and the feel good factor for her listeners.

In conversation with exchange4media, Cheriyedath talks about his favourite RJ and how she has won the hearts of listeners in Kerala.

Who is your favourite RJ?
I like RJ Renu. She hosts the late night show on Club FM. I also like RJ Shaan, he hosts the weekend show Star Jam on the same station. Renu would be my favourite.

What do you like about RJ Renu?
Renu lives up to the character of the show. Her style of presentation, her voice modulation and music selection put me into a mood of relaxation. The way she rolls the show is different and I enjoy.

When do you listen to radio the most?
I listen to radio while travelling and late at night when I want to sit back and relax. In morning it is more like a background music playing while I travel, while at night I am a little more relaxed and enjoy radio more.

Do you think RJs these days have managed to create a connect with their listeners?
RJs have a celebrity kind of status for fans. Speaking to their favorite RJ is like speaking to their hero for them. Everybody may not call but those who call really love the RJ and have a very good rapport with them. RJs have few loyal fans who really look up to them.

How does RJ – listener rapport benefit the channel?
RJs are the channel and its positioning. He or she frontends the channel and thus a good rapport with audience help tremendously. Mainly music drives listeners, but if the RJ is not good enough, listeners start switching channels. I see some RJs are doing really well and are driving the entire station because of their show’s popularity. An RJ is crucial, without RJ the experience is incomplete.

Where do you place more importance – the format of the show or popularity of the RJ?
It’s a blend of both. If the combination is not right, it is very difficult for a show to succeed. Music and show format are no doubt the main elements, but if the music is not good the listeners will start switching stations or simply listen to their MP3 player. At the same time, if the RJs are not really good to interact, they cannot keep the listeners tuned in. Only a good RJ or only a good show format cannot create a good programme.

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RAM Week 39: Fever FM leads in Mumbai and Delhi again

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively

exchange4media Staff 3 days ago

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 39 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its leadership position in Mumbai and Delhi. Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained their top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled with 17.5 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 14.6 per cent. Big FM climbed up to third spot with 13.2 per cent. Early morning followed by mid-morning and afternoon time band observed highest listenership on total radio.                                                                                                                                        

Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with 19.5 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City and Radio Mirchi maintained their second and third spots with 12.8 and 12.5 per cent, respectively. Early morning followed by evening and mid-morning observed highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with 25.7 per cent share, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both held on to their spots with 18.9 and 16.8 per cent share, respectively. Mid-morning followed by afternoon and evening observed highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi, Fever FM and Big FM retained the top three spots in Kolkata in a universe of 9.5 million listeners, with a share of 19.6 per cent, 18.4 per cent and 17.7 per cent, respectively. Morning followed by mid-morning and afternoon observed the highest listenership on total radio.

 

 

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Festive cheer: Radio industry looks at double-digit growth

The growth is driven by interest from new category of advertisers such as e-commerce, OTT, BFSI, besides the regular FMCG, consumer durables and automobile players

Madhuwanti Saha 3 days ago

festivallogo

After passing through economic hurdles in the form of demonetisation and GST, 2018 has been a moderately better year for the radio broadcasting industry as most players have shown signs of a healthy growth. And the festive time, it seems, is only adding to this positive mood, with the industry looking at double-digit growth in the season, driven by renewed interest from advertisers beyond just FCT.


Cautious optimism

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO of South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network -Aegis Group, too expects better growth during festivals this year compared to last year. He, however, choses to define the mood as “cautiously optimistic”.

“This festive season, I am expecting a 10-12 per cent increase over last year for radio. Generally, the year is better compared to previous year as economic conditions look better,” he says.

Preeti Nihalani, National Revenue Head, Radio Mirchi, is also of the opinion that the festive season looks “moderately optimistic”, though she declines to put a number to it.

Nihalani says, “Radio should report reasonable growth in the festive quarter of October-December, with segments like FMCG, e-commerce and Media & Entertainment growing their spends. Also, political advertising will add to the growth with five states going in for elections in this quarter."

However Nihalani also cautions, “The rising dollar may act as a dampener to this growth. Increased cost pressure on companies may lead them to adjust their marketing spends. This may impact sectors like auto, handsets, consumer durables etc.”

Mirchi, meanwhile, is expanding and is on its way to complete a network of 76 stations in 63 cities. “This addition of new inventory will certainly add to the growth spurt. As a result, we are looking at a decent growth largely on the back of new station launches and political advertising. Other than that, this is an activation-heavy quarter for us and there are many new events we are doing this year which will give us good growth,” she says.

Red FM too is eyeing “very good double-digit growth month-on month between September and December 2018 to compensate a rather moderate year in H1,” shares Nisha Narayanan, COO & Director, RED FM

On the other hand, Big FM is seeing a 30 per cent growth in the business. Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Big FM, says, “October and November pipeline looks impressive. The network recently announced a 12-15 per cent hike in ad rates in core markets.

MY FM is anticipating “higher double-digit growth” as compared to last year’s festive period.

Advertisers, meanwhile, are trying to make the most of the festive spirit. For instance, online furniture brand Pepperfry has invested significantly more on radio for their Diwali campaign-- ‘Diwali toh sab ke liye.’ They have associated with top four-five channels each in six big cities.

Kashyap Vadapalli, CMO, Pepperfry, says they have valid reasons for it. “We have noticed more stickiness on radio among audience today as against earlier. We use it as a support for television.”  So the brand allocated 15-20 per cent of TV budgets (ranging from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10-12 crore) on radio, he says.

 

Interest from new category of advertisers

Besides the regular FMCG and consumer durables categories, e-commerce, mobile wallets and OTT players also seem interested in putting their advertising moneys in radio this festive season.

Bhasin feels that some categories are using the medium more than others. “For example, radio is being used to promote lot of financial instruments such as mutual fund. Automobile players use it pretty regularly. Also, around festive season; between Ganpati and Christmas; local retailers get active,” he adds.

For Big FM, e-commerce and BFSI are playing an important role. “Categories such as FMCG, consumer durables and automobile are also not left behind,” informs Chatterjee.

Red FM too is seeing participation of all major brands, “especially the dotcoms and telecom handsets”. Narayanan adds, “In retail, one can see momentum picking from real estate, jewellery and lifestyle clients.”

Nihalani of Mirchi is seeing increasing participation from OTT players on radio. She explains, “Aggressive battle for viewership among players such as Zee5, Netflix and Hotstar is audible on all leading radio frequencies. Newly kindled competition among mobile wallet players has further fuelled advertising growth for radio across stations. All of them want to maintain high share of voice.”

Similarly, for My FM, automobile, lifestyle, consumer durables and real estate are the big categories. Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head, MY FM, adds, BFSI has now become a regular round-the-year advertiser with us.”

Going beyond FCT

Given the consumer’s stickiness to radio, advertisers are increasingly looking beyond FCT to reach out to its TG. For instance, Big FM has partnered with advertisers for deep integration, longer tenure and sponsorship sales to provide them a clutter-free experience. Chatterjee points out that such campaigns run for two-three months.

He says, “Bigger play is in deep content integration. Some of our key shows are getting sponsors. We have nine initiatives in this festive season. Each of those programming elements are getting integration. This is the start. We think content is going to play a big role.”

On the FCT front, the CEO shares that Big FM has opened up the weekend and non-prime time hours for smaller businesses to balance inventory “in an intelligent manner”.

Even Narayanan mentions that brands are looking at integration and native advertising. She offers, “We approached, and many came to us, asking for innovation beyond routine advertising. And at one point, we had to decide from many to go ahead for more than FCT.  We have executed Flipkart, Nerolac, Vodafone, HP, USL concerts during this festive period.”

Even Pepperfry did content integration with a channel who was doing a show on homes. “We partnered with them to give away prizes,” shares Vadapalli.

My FM works out a customised solution for each category. Namjoshi shares an example, “So, for eg, to boost the real estate business, we did a seven-day real estate conclave. This was purely an on-air property wherein experts across various domain such as RERA chief, urban development chief and various bank heads were on air with us to help clear doubts & queries of homebuyers.”

Radio Mirchi too has multiple properties under Mirchi Activations, one of their fast growing business verticals that offer opportunities for advertisers. Nilhani points out, “This festive season, we have many opportunities for the advertisers, starting from Rock and Dhol – the most premium Navratri dandiya nights of Ahmedabad and eight other cities of India; Green Marathon across 15 cities and Neon Runs – night fun run in 23 cities. Many brands such as SBI and Gaana have continued there associations on one or more of these properties.”

She adds, “We organised Bryan Adams - The Ultimate Tour to India. Next in line is Martin Garrix 2-city tour in December. We recently also launched Mirchi Play’s first Hindi web series, ‘Mauke Pe Chauka, Sehwag ke Saath’ on our YouTube channel. We have a very interesting pipeline in this space too.”

Senior Correspondent, exchange4media, Mumbai Madhuwanti reports on marketing, OTT and radio with a focus on trends. Based in Mumbai, she has worked across lifestyle, culture, television and retail industry.

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RAM Week 38: Fever FM leads in Mumbai and Delhi again

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively

exchange4media News Service 1 week ago

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 38 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its leadership position in Mumbai and Delhi. Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained the top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled with 18.1 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 13.5 per cent. Big FM climbed up to third spot with 13.3 per cent. Early morning followed by afternoon and mid-morning time band observed highest listenership on total radio.                                                                                                                                

Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with 19.2 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City held on to second spot with 13.1 per cent. Mirchi took the third spot with 12.2 per cent. Early morning followed by afternoon and mid-morning observed highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with 25.8 per cent share, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both retained their spots with 18.9 and 17 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon followed by evening and mid-morning observed highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi, Fever FM and Big FM retained the top three spots in Kolkata in a universe of 9.5 million listeners, with a share of 19.2 per cent, 18.1 per cent and 16.6 per cent respectively. Morning followed by afternoon and mid-morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.

 

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Big FM ups core market ad rates by 12-15% this festive season

Also launches 10 programming initiatives this festive season

exchange4media News Service 04-October-2018

With markets stabilizing post demonetisation and the implications of GST, BIG FM has spiked its national as well as region specific rates for the upcoming festive season.

Parallelly, BIG FM is also looking at partnering with advertisers for deep integration, long tenure and sponsorship sales. The radio network is invariably looking at providing a clutter free experience by reducing ad inventory in key markets. The radio network intends to increase rates by approximately 12 – 15 % in core markets and a rate correction Rs. 25 – 35 / 10 secs in smaller stations.

Commenting on the same, Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, BIG FM, says, "The idea is to offer our advertisers with unique value proposition by providing plethora of festival spikes, unique integration restricting cloud burst and providing extremely good ROIs for advertisers. With 90% of our stations ranked amongst the top stations as per IRS 2017, we look forward to seamlessly serving our advertisers and listeners with interesting and exciting content.” 

 


Radio penetration has showed a growth of nearly 100% across India between 2014 and 2017 as per a report by IRS. Only 35% of Indians have access to the internet as compared to broadcast radio which has access to 99% of the Indian population. Radio medium also holds far stronger position over internet in priority states including Bihar, MP, Tamil Nadu, UP, West Bengal, Orissa etc.
Tags Big fm
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RAM Week 36: Fever FM leader in Mumbai and Delhi again

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively

exchange4media News Service 27-September-2018

In Week 36 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its leadership position in Mumbai and Delhi. Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained the top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled with 17.3 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi and Radio City with a 13.5 per cent and 13.1 per cent share, respectively. Early morning followed by mid-morning and afternoon time band observed highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with 18.7 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City and Radio Nasha with 12.7 per cent and 12 per cent share held the second and third positions, respectively. Evening followed by mid-morning and afternoon time band observed highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with 25.3 per cent share, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both retained their spots with 19.4 and 17.1 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon followed by mid-morning and evening time band observed highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi retained its number one position in Kolkata in a universe of 9.5 million listeners, with a share of 19.3 per cent, followed by Fever FM in the second spot and Big FM in the third with 17.9 per cent and 17.3 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon time band, followed by mid-morning and morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
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RAM ratings Week 34: Fever continues to lead Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively

exchange4media News Service 13-September-2018

In Week 34 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its leadership position in Mumbai and Delhi. The channel has been the leader for the past seven weeks. Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained the top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled with 16.1 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi and Radio City with a 13.8 per cent and 12.5 per cent share respectively. Early morning followed by mid-morning and morning time band observed highest listenership on total radio. 
Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with an improved share of 19.2 per cent in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio Mirchi and Radio City, with 13.4 per cent and 13.1 per cent share held the second and third positions, respectively. Mid-morning followed by early morning and night band observed highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with 25.2 per cent, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both retained their spots with 18.1 and 17.4 per cent, respectively. Afternoon followed by night and mid-morning time band observed highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi retained its number one position in Kolkata in a universe of 9.5 million listeners, with a share of 19.8 per cent, followed by Fever FM in the second spot and Big FM in the third with 17.8 per cent and 17 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon time band, followed by mid-morning and morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
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RAM Week 33: Fever continues to lead Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained the top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata market respectively

exchange4media News Service 06-September-2018

In Week 33 of the RAM Ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its leadership position in Mumbai and Delhi for the past seven weeks, while Radio City and Radio Mirchi retained the top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata market respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled this market with a 16.7 per cent share, while Radio Mirchi and Radio City clinched the second and third positions with a 13.7 per cent and 12.2 per cent share respectively.

Early morning, followed by morning and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership in total radio.

Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi in Week 33 as well, with an 18.4 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio Mirchi and Radio City, with a 12.7 percent and 12.5 per cent share held the second and third positions respectively. Early-morning, followed by mid-morning and evening time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City dominated with a 24.7 per cent share, while Big FM held the second position with an 18.4 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi in third with a 17.1 per cent share. Evening, followed by afternoon and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi continued to retain its number one position in a universe of 9.5 million listeners, with a 17.7 per cent share, followed by Fever FM in the second spot and Big FM in the third with a 16.4 percent share. Afternoon time band, followed by mid-morning and morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
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No unified measurement: So, how does the radio industry work?

Radio operators, in the absence of an extensive unified measurement currency, adopt RAM, IRS 2018 or data from third-party research agency. How does it work for them?

Madhuwanti Saha 27-August-2018

Radio Mirchi’s second channel Mirchi 95 pulls in 9.6 lakh listeners in Bengaluru & Hyderabad, and Red FM has more than 35 per cent market share in Kerala. Thanks to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) launched this year, these detailed breakups of the listenership data are now available with radio channels.

Undoubtedly, such insights from IRS data based on listener profile, demographics, frequency and timeband come in extremely handy for the radio industry, which does not have a unified measurement in place. And in the absence of a unified system, most players take help of third-party agencies, commission independent researches or subscribe to Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) data by TAM Media Research.

To each his own
Take, for instance, ENIL-led Radio Mirchi. Prior to the launch of IRS, which they have now adopted as their currency, the radio station worked with IPSOS, the third largest market research company in the world to gather listenership data from 2015-17. The channel had initially subscribed to RAM data, but pulled out of it in 2015.

According to GG Jayanta, National Marketing Head, Radio Mirchi, IRS 2017 is an “excellent tool”.
“It shows the importance of radio as a medium and category. The penetration of radio has increased by 15 percentage points in urban areas, from 15% to 28%, representing a growth of 87% in listenership,” he shared.

Another big player, Red FM, follows IRS to a certain extent, especially for tier-II and III towns. However, the station, depending on the need, conducts qualitative study in different markets from time to time.

Nisha Narayanan, COO & Director, RED FM & Redtro and CEO, Digital Radio, shared, “To enhance the product and marketing, we do an internal research that we mostly keep to ourselves. But the industry needs a unified radio measurement system.”

Homegrown international players such as Radio One measure consumer behaviour through an internal tool called ‘The International Indian Monitor.’ It helps them track the unique upscale audience digitally using social media.
Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO, 94.3 Radio One, mentioned, “For reach quantitative measurement of radio, the annual IRS study is good. But the radio industry needs to understand that advertisers want engagement data, and reach is not enough.”

However there are stations, such as My FM, that neither follow IRS nor RAM. My FM, which operates out of 30 tier-II and tier-III cities, follow their own currency for product purpose.
Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head, MY FM, shared that they work with an agency called Karvy. They conduct quarterly survey with 200 respondents as sample size in top 12 cities each.
“The idea is to improve our product and see where we stand. It gazes the listenership preferences on RJs, music and timeband,” Namjoshi said.

Let's talk sales
The advertising revenue of the industry is estimated to grow by 10 per cent in 2018 to stand at Rs 2,063 crore. But in an industry governed by advertising revenue and somewhat challenged by the lack of a unified measurement currency, how does the stations sell their inventory?
In most cases, advertisers take a 360-degree approach that goes beyond FCT to digital and on-ground properties. Moreover, some are of the opinion that radio is not sold on measurement but on engagement, impact, reach and frequency.

According to Narayanan, radio inventory is sold based on brand perception. As a result, they are part of most of the media plans, especially if the planner wants to reach out to the younger audience.
Talking about the strategy followed by her channel, Narayanan said, “We don’t restrict to FCT as we believe in a 360-degree approach. There are different verticals for revenue generation such as digital and events. Content monetization is another area we focus on. It can be combined based on client requirement (event, digital supported with on-air).”

Radio Mirchi uses IRS 2017 as its currency to sell its inventory to the advertisers. Jayanta shared, “They (advertisers) are looking for a full suite of solutions beyond radio, encompassing integration with all or any of our concerts, events, digital and web series. Our business has grown on the back of ideas, innovation and partnership with the client.”

My FM works on their “client’s business challenges”. Namjoshi claimed that their approach is different from others.
“We propose media solutions (such as on-ground activation) which can address business challenges.”
The station has been working with national and local brands (such as Lotus Electronics store in Indore) for the past 11 years, he said.

But Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Big FM, is of the opinion that radio is sold more as a medium with “high-impact, high-frequency reach.”

Big FM, one of the subscribers to RAM, operates more on the ‘hero, hub, hygiene’ model. The station has worked with more than 1,800 brands.

Chatterjee explained, “Heroes are the bigger tentpole properties with highest brand recall such as Big Golden Voice. In hub, comes our real estate, gadget and movie review shows which have a narrow TG. These unique formats offer rich content integration. This makes the brand recall much better as the client message is passed across in a far more meaningful and clutter-breaking manner. Big FM looks at platform agnostic solutions. Some solutions get augmented in radio and are amplified on digital property.”

Meanwhile, even media planners feel challenged as the medium suffers from a lack of sufficient reliable and regular data. Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO of South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network - Aegis Group, shared, “There isn’t sufficient radio research in India. It is a challenge for media planners as they have to evaluate based on their judgement, intuition and the paltry available data. As a result, it has remained a relatively smaller medium.”

Advertisers like KidZania, who has Radio City as their radio partner, look at RAM figures given by agencies and stations. Tarandeep Singh Sekhon, Marketing Director, KidZania, said, “I am making do with what’s available. With a mix of qualitative feedback, we mostly do FCT and bigger activation.”

So while different stations resort to different ways to measure their audience, industry experts feel that it is absolutely necessary for the category to have a unified audience measurement system. Well, the good news is that AROI and MRUC are currently working on such a system.

Where’s RAM heading
RAM subscribers keep a track of their weekly data from four main markets based on physical diary-entry method. But the methodology will soon transition into digital medium as TAM Media Research is testing a software that captures in-mobile listening.

L V Krishnan, CEO, Tam Media Research, explained, “With listening to audio content getting more skewed to the mobile platform, it is only imperative that measurement moves in the same direction. Hence, we are testing a measurement software that picks up the audio bits of the content for that specific frequency. The software encrypts whatever is getting transmitted or listened by the audience. At the second level, it reports which station and what respondents listen to. It’s all real time basis. It’s the stage one of going digital.”

“With no hardware needed in this method, the measurement is scalable in nature and can be expanded to remaining markets. Also, this fits into our overall vision of measuring not just radio, but audio as well. In this manner, we will also be able to measure audio streaming apps and podcasts on mobile device. Thus one can measure the interplay between various audio platforms,” Krishnan added.
For the process, Tam Media Research has roped in Vtion as their software partner and field agency Kantar. The research agency plans to unveil the new system for some markets this year-end.

So, till the new unified measurement system takes shape and TAM’s digital measurement comes to form, the current state of affairs with regards to measurement and selling, it seems, will continue.

Senior Correspondent, exchange4media, Mumbai Madhuwanti reports on marketing, OTT and radio with a focus on trends. Based in Mumbai, she has worked across lifestyle, culture, television and retail industry.

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Abraham Thomas moves out of Radio City, Ashit Kukian joins in as CEO

This is Kukian's second stint with Radio City. Earlier he had served 10 years at the station from 2005 to 2015

exchange4media News Service 24-August-2018

Abraham Thomas has stepped down as the CEO of Radio City after serving nearly three years. Ashit Kukian will be taking over his position according to industry sources. This is his second stint with Radio City where he will report to Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan.

Kukian was earlier with iTV Network as COO-NewsX & CRO-iTV Regionals, Entertainment & Sports Businesses. Kukian was President – Revenue for Times Network.

Prior to joining Times Network, Kukian was the President and Chief Operating Officer at Radio City from 2005-15. His leadership, industry insights and operational expertise had strengthened Radio City's performance in the radio industry through traditional and non-traditional revenue.
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Continuous consumer engagement has helped us differentiate ourselves: Head, Friends FM

Jimmy Tangree of Kolkata-based Friends FM tells us how the radio station is riding high with projected margins of about 20 per cent in FY 17-18

Samarpita Banerjee 09-August-2018

With projected margins of about 20 per cent in FY 17-18, Kolkata-based Friends FM is riding high. Jimmy Tangree, Head, Friends FM tells us how the focus on continuous consumer engagement has been a key to their success and has helped the station differentiate itself from other players.

How has the year been so far for Friends FM? What kind of growth are you witnessing? How is the medium doing overall?

In the past four years, we have been improving our line. Our margins Y-o-Y have been going up – 15 per cent in FY 15/16, 18 per cent in FY 16/17 and a projected 20 per cent in FY 17/18. So we are growing. What makes Radio different is that it gives you a direct engagement profile like no other medium. We can engage with the audience, get full demographic data, have consumer participation or innovative integrations, all in one hour. And at the end of that one hour, results are out, then and there. Today, if a client does something at night, he has the entire data detail by the next morning. So its instantaneous, live and responsive. Today radio is surrounded by ancillaries like Digital, on-ground activations and events, FB live etc. The Digital medium has also helped bring about a sense of new business because when you bundle, it adds to the top-line. Radio is the only entertainment platform that can give you a 360 degree solution. So overall business is looking good for Radio. But the crux to good business is a lot of innovation and introspective engagement. Innovation with a combination of Digital and on-ground is going to take Radio way ahead. The mantra for Radio is simple, connect and you will be successful.

The station started off being a retro Bengali music FM station but has now transformed into a much younger, fresher offering. How difficult was the transition?

Four years of being a part of the Ananda Offset Pvt Ltd (AOPL) has been an amazing experience. The kind of freedom and encouragement we got from the the higher ups gave us an opportunity to do a lot, we experimented a lot and did a lot of new things that were unheard of from a radio station. Who would have thought that an eight year old retro Bengali music channel could change over and do well. Initially we would do a lot of Bengali music but now it's a blend of Hindi, Bengali and English shows with a lot of engagement.

Is your primary target audience the youth?


We are primarily targeting people between the age of 18 to 45. Our goal is to target those who are young and also the ones that are young at heart.

Friends FM has been acquired by Music Broadcast Limited. What kind of changes can we expect to see at Friends FM as a result of this acquisition?

To be very honest, we don’t really have much to update right now. Yes the acquisition has happened, subject to a clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. So people are just waiting for the clearance to come through. For now, there has been no change in the way we were running. We are still Friends FM.

For a market like Kolkata, the festive season is very critical with a large part of business coming in during those few weeks. What are your plans for this year?

Last year we did a 100 Durga puja tie-ups, 91 VIP entries, 18 activations, 3257 live updates and brought close to 199 celebs live on air. We have already started gearing up for the festive season this year. We will have all that we did last year but we’ll have a lot of innovation both at the station and on-ground. We’ll be connecting, participating and engaging with the festivities. Our aim is to make people feel like they are celebrating puja when they tune in to our station even if they are not on ground.

Innovation is a big part of the work that you do with brands. Do you have a dedicated innovation team?

We don’t have a separate team. All our teams, be it the sales and marketing teams or the programming teams, sit together, discuss client briefs, brainstorm, and come up with innovative client solutions. Content which engages is the finest content on air. And that’s where we score.

What differentiates Friends FM from other FM players?

We are a 24x7 live station. Night time is also super prime for us. We are the only station that is live through the night and that makes a difference because we are always connected, not just on our stations but through SMS, WhatsApp messages, Facebook etc. That is a huge differentiator and has helped us reach where we are today.
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