MY FM revamps its programming for Maharashtrian audiences

The platform will now have more of a local Marathi flavor on all on-air shows

MYFM

MY FM recently concluded a massive consumer feedback campaign. Consumer preferences change over a period of time and in order to keep the content in sync with the listener’s expectation, MY FM did a massive 360 campaign “Aapki Marzi”. Thousands of people across MY FM listener base in Maharashtra participated and shared their opinion. Based on the feedback received, MY FM has expanded the Marathi content across its station. The platform will now have more of a local Marathi flavor on all the on-air shows.

The prominent new introduction in the programming lineup includes Unplugged Amey show “Wagh Cha Swag” which will be hosted by Amey Wagh along with the humour segment “Kaku vs Kaku”. New Jingle has been introduced on the platform and Marathi music playout has been increased.

The new show Wagh Cha Swag is a fun show around young Marathi achievers which will be hosted by Amey Wagh a well known Marathi artist, who is known for his amazing sense of humour and one-liner and has done work across various media. This is the very first time he will be on radio as a host. The two-hour show will be on aired from 8 pm to 10 pm. A Marathi sparkler "Kaku Vs Kaku" is completely inspired by the real-life aunts; where two women casually talk and take upon each other’s opinions while being intentionally unkind towards each other.

Commenting on the revamp, Vinay Manek, Programming Head said, “MY FM has always focused on broadcasting the content that attracts the interest of the listeners. Basis the feedback we received from our listeners in Maharashtra via ‘Aapki Marzi Campaign’, we have incorporated and launched new programs keeping their preferences in mind. With these added features we wish to maintain their trust in us and offer the content which they want to listen.

Speaking on the development, Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head MY FM said “We are customer-centric organization and our USP is the strong local connect that MY FM guarantees. Listening to our regional language has its own charm and with the introduction of new shows in the Marathi language will definitely be valuable for us to connect with our listeners’ ”

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Radio can create waves in a crowded broadcasting spectrum: Experts

At the 2nd edition of the Radio Festival held to mark World Radio Day, experts talk about staying on top in an ever-crowding broadcasting spectrum and diverse offering in digital

Radio Festival Panel

The second edition of Radio Festival, in partnership with exchange4media, marked World Radio Day and took place in New Delhi on February 13. The festival included live performances, exhibitions and slotted panel discussions. This year touched on the theme of Dialogue, Diversity, and Peace.

Industry leaders from the radio space took part in an engaging panel discussion on creating waves in a crowded space. The panel was moderated by Anuradha Raman, from The Hindu and included Anju Nigam JS, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Nisha Narayanan, Red FM; Asheesh Chatterjee, Big FM; Rahul Namjoshi, MY FM and  Sanjoy Majumdar, BBC.

The panel engaged key players in a discussion about how to stay on top of the game in an ever-crowding broadcasting spectrum and diverse offering in the digital space, even as they must continue to retain and expand their listener base.

Moderator Anuradha Raman asked why despite the radio industry being nearly 18-19 years old, it is exactly where it started, with little to distinguish from one FM radio to another. Nisha Narayanan said, “Maybe from the music point of view, we may sound similar but I think the non-music content is a differentiator. So, from the non-music point of view, I think the RJ’s are a brand in themselves, there is Malishka, Ronak, Ashish, Kisna and Heena to name a few. There is a myth that commercial radio stations don’t talk about social issues, it’s just that we probably do it in a little more interesting manner. There is a lot of differentiated content format; there is storytelling, reality radio, audio books etc.”

Speaking about why a particular type of music is being played on radio channels i.e Bollywood music and why not enough investments are been made in researching the music, Asheesh Chatterjee emphasised, “We play music in 17 different languages. We recently changed our tag line to ‘Dhun badal ke toh dekho’ and under that umbrella, and we are launching a big show with a Bollywood personality. We will be covering 24 controversial topics ranging from body shaming, dowry to 377, and we are talking about why we are not looking at these subject in a bigger manner. Radio has evolved from just being a music station to being a far more engaging content supplier." 

Anju Nigam JS added, “It’s not that there is no research going on, there has been some improvement in the content even in the commercial channels and I am told the RJs are also evaluated by the audience, and most of them are now inclined to taking social issues as well.”  

Sharing his thoughts on diversifying content, Sanjoy Majumdar, “We have a varied range of content from news discussions, calling programs, plays and art shows. I think radio as a medium is up there, it is intimate, creative and the reach is phenomenal. Its ability to connect with a country like India which is so diverse is incredible.”

The panel also spoke about why such an intimate medium attracts such hefty license fees, and what the government has done to help the radio industry in the last 18 years to make it popular in an era of digital space. Anju Nigam JS explained, “License fees are determined by a process of auction. And the more the demand, the higher the price of the auction. The government started in 2001 with a small contingent of 21 stations and now the number of stations has moved to more than 300, so this has been the rate of expansion. This has become so popular that there was a demand to have more channels in more cities. Radio will never lose its importance it is a very powerful medium which is portable, dynamic."

Lastly, when asked what kind researching goes into understanding who your listener is, Rahul Rahul Namjoshi opined, "There is no proper currency to measure radio, so we do have our own research. What we rely more on are the incoming calls, messages."   

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RAM Week 4: Fever FM continues to lead in Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City held the top spot in Bangalore, while Radio Mirchi continued to rule in Kolkata

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 4 of RAM Ratings, Fever FM has continued to hold on to its leading position in Mumbai and Delhi. Radio City remains at the No.1 position in Bangalore, while Radio Mirchi still dominated in Kolkata.

In Mumbai, Fever FM ruled with an 18 per cent share in a universe of 12.2 million listeners. This was followed by Radio Mirchi with 13 per cent and Radio City with 12 per cent shares. Early morning, followed by morning and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM also continued to lead in Delhi with 19 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio Nasha and Radio City held the second and third positions. Early morning, followed by evening and afternoon time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, Radio City held the top spot with 26 per cent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. This was followed by Big FM with 20 per cent, and Radio Mirchi with 16 per cent. Mid-morning, followed by evening and night observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi remained in the dominant position in Kolkata with a 19.4 per cent share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Fever FM took the second spot with 19 per cent share, while Big FM held the third position at 17 per cent. Afternoon, followed by morning and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

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RAM Ratings Week 3: Fever FM holds top spot in Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City and Radio Mirchi continue to lead in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 3 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to dominate in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio City held the top position in Bangalore, and Radio Mirchi continued to lead in Kolkata.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM led with a 16.9 per cent share, Radio Mirchi held on to the second position with 14 per cent share, while Radio City clinched the third spot with 13 per cent share. Evening followed by mid-morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM also held the lead in Delhi in a universe of 16.5 million listeners with 18.2 per cent share, Radio City and Radio Nasha held the second and third spots respectively with 13 per cent share. Evening, followed by early morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Week 3, Radio City continued to dominate in Bangalore with a 24.7 per cent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. Big FM and Radio Mirchi took the second and third positions with a 19 and 17 per cent share respectively. Afternoon, followed by evening and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Kolkata, Radio Mirchi retained the top spot with a 19.6 per cent share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Fever FM followed with 17 per cent, while Big FM took the third position with 17 per cent. Mid-morning, followed by morning and afternoon time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

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RAM Ratings Week 2: Fever FM maintains lead in Mumbai and Delhi

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

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 2 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM retained its hold in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio Mirchi and Radio City maintained leadership in Kolkata and Bangalore respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM dominated with a 17.3 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi at 13 per cent and then Radio City. Early-morning, followed by mid-morning and then afternoon time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM ruled in Delhi, in a universe of 16.5 million listeners with 18.6 per cent share, while Radio City picked up 13 per cent share, followed by Radio Nasha. Night followed by mid-morning and then evening time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, Radio City held the leading position with a 24.8 per cent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. This was followed by Big FM with a 19 per cent and Radio Mirchi with 16 per cent share. Afternoon followed by evening and then night time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi continued to be the leader in Kolkata with a 19.4 per cent share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Fever FM held the second position with 18 per cent share, followed by Big FM with 17 per cent. Afternoon, followed by mid-morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

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Private FM channels unsure about broadcasting AIR news 

I&B Ministry’s decision to allow private FM channels to broadcast All India Radio news on a trial basis hasn’t found many takers due to ‘lack of freedom and worries about monetisation’

prasar bharati

Private FM channels seem to be still evaluating the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s decision to allow them to broadcast All India Radio (AIR) News. 

Earlier this month, when I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement it was anticipated that private FM channels, who had for long been demanding that they be allowed to broadcast news, would jump at this opportunity to widen the content played on Radio stations. 

However, even though 242 stations have registered with the News Services Division: All India Radio (as per data available on their website), most operators are still evaluating this proposition. 

A Step Forward or Backward
If you were to tune into any FM radio station in India, what stands out is the lack of diversity in content as the same music makes its way onto the playlist of every station. Thus, news as part of the programming will provide variety. 
Most Radio networks in India are part of large media houses but they are not able to leverage this opportunity to curate the news from the parent company. In addition, carrying the same syndicated AIR news bulletins across networks would not help create exclusivity in content.  

If one were to look back, in November 2008, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended that private FM radio be permitted to broadcast news. The radio networks were allowed to source news from AIR, Doordarshan, authorised TV news channels, UNI, PTI or any other authorised news agency. But in July 2011, the government changed the FM policy guidelines and allowed only AIR news – without any addition or modification – on private FM. 

Industry Reactions
Uday Chawla, Secretary General, Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI), said, “The airing of All India News by FM radio stations is part of the Phase III policy. The entire Radio industry has been asking for total freedom of news on radio but the Government was not keen on it as it believed it would be difficult to monitor Radio stations.”

Even though many radio operators have registered to broadcast AIR news, most of them are still evaluating whether to carry AIR news or not.  

Prashant Panday, MD & CEO of Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL), which runs Radio Mirchi, said: “We are still evaluating this. It is unlikely we will broadcast though. I don’t see any pros at all in carrying AIR news, but I see a lot of cons. The biggest is that this amounts to private FM broadcasters amplifying the voice of AIR. Why should we? We are well equipped to source our own news bulletins. We use these bulletins to bring out newspapers, run TV channels etc. Why can’t we run the bulletins on our radio stations? Yes, if the government wants us to broadcast their news, we can treat them as advertisers and charge them our regular commercial rates.”

Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM said: “For the government to acknowledge that FM programming is incomplete without news is, I suppose, a step forward. But for them to insist that we carry only syndicated AIR news, and that too only “national” bulletins in Hindi and English, is a couple of steps backwards. FM stations pride themselves on their unique content and style of delivery, and this differentiation is particularly seen in the non-music elements of programming. To relay the same AIR news bulletins on all private FM channels at the same time (maximum 30 minutes deferred), especially in regional markets where they speak neither Hindi nor English, would completely defeat the purpose and damage our content fabric.” 

Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, BIG FM, said, “Radio as a platform can be a one-stop shop destination for all valuable information. On our part, we are evaluating how we can integrate the news bulletins within our FPC (fixed point chart) so that it is seamless for our listeners.” 

Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head MY FM said: “We are still evaluating the proposal. However, at the outset we aren’t keen to carry AIR news bulletin, we are part of a reputed news group and would like to source news from there and package it in our style.”

The First Step 
Although radio operators may not be keen on broadcasting AIR news, Chawla said it was the first step forward, given that the industry has been demanding broadcasting of news for close to 15 years now. 

“The position that has been adopted is to take a step-by-step approach for news on Radio. The Government has also accepted not to charge for AIR News in the initial period (though it had proposed charging for the AIR news shared). From a strategy point of view, the first step forward is for FM channels to broadcast AIR news. As an industry body, we want total liberation and freedom of news but the only way forward is to go step by step and we have taken the first step.” 

Meanwhile, Panday said, “If the government wants to allow us news, they can do it with the stroke of a pen. The government must have confidence in us. We are all responsible organisations.”
While creating a time slot for the bulletins is possible by altering the programming, what also needs to be looked at is monetisation. Chatterjee said Big FM could look at RJs leading into and out of the news bulletin which could be monetised. 

Narayanan added: “By broadcasting AIR news bulletins along with their commercials–and some of those bulletins are 15 minutes long—we will not only incur huge opportunity costs, but the lack of our own sponsors will directly impact our bottom-line…The issue is mainly one of opportunity costs and loss of channel identity. AIR broadcasts 15-minute and 5-minutes news bulletins, on top of the hour, which is a pretty critical time for our programming. You really can’t start the clock every hour on a private FM channel with someone saying, “This is All India Radio…” What must be added here is that the channels have the liberty to choose the bulletins, including the duration, and the number of playouts that it wants to broadcast. 

As per the initial policy, the Government’s intent was to offer AIR News to operators at a sliding fixed tariff which could range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh a year. At the moment, the news broadcast is free of cost on a trial basis till May 31. Asked about what could happen post May, Panday said, “Prasar Bharati hasn’t clarified. But, there is no question of us paying anything at all.  

Chatterjee added: “Most FM stations will find it hard to integrate AIR news into their FPC and will only be doing it largely for consumer welfare, citizen awareness and democracy. This initiative will only be viable till such time that AIR news is available free of cost. The real step forward will be when the station is able to curate its own news.”
On its part, AROI is ready to take the next step forward. “We are waiting for feedback from the broadcasters. AROI will take up with the government any amendments, as suggested by the stations, such as having the RJs of the stations read the scripted news. This is currently not allowed in the policy and is a decision that has to be taken by the Union Cabinet,” Chawla said.

While the the Government is silent on the pay structure after May, radio operators are in consensus that expecting them to pay is unrealistic. 

However, the point to remember is that there may be a new government in place post the national elections and the new dispensation could choose to go ahead with the current policy and eventually allow private players to curate and produce their own news or roll back on the decision to air news, which would mean that it will be all back to square one.

 

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Radio Mirchi starts operations in the US

The station will provide a mix of Bollywood music, infotainment and comedy

EadioMirchi

Radio Mirchi has started operations in the US. The channel’s first station went on-air in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday with a frequency of 1600 AM.

According to media reports, the station will provide a mix of Bollywood music, infotainment and comedy. The network will also air shows of popular Indian RJs such as RJ Sayema, RJ Rochie and RJ Shruti.

Media reports quoted Radio Mirchi MD & CEO Prashant Panday as saying that they are “over the moon” to finally launch their stations in the US.

He was further quoted as saying that “it is truly tragic” that there are very few radio stations with quality programming that cater to the South Asian community.

The station will also be available Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore, Philadelphia, among other areas.

Mirchi stations in the US will also be available online on radiomirchiusa.com.

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RAM ratings Week 1: Fever FM continues to rule in Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City leads in Bangalore, while Radio Mirchi continues to be No.1 in Kolkata

RAM Radio Ratings

In Week 1 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to retain its dominant position in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio City and Radio Mirchi led in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM led with a 17.5 per cent share, followed by Radio City with a 13 per cent share and Radio Mirchi also at 13 per cent. Early morning, followed by mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM held the leadership position in Delhi, with a 19 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. This was followed by Radio Nasha with 13.7 per cent share and Radio City with a 13 per cent share. Afternoon, followed by early morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership.

In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City was in the No.1 position with 24.5 per cent share, followed by Big FM with 19 per cent and Radio Mirchi at 16 per cent. Afternoon, followed by evening and then mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership.

Radio Mirchi continued to rule in Kolkata with a 19.4 per cent share in a total universe of 9.1 million listeners, while Fever FM held the second spot with 19 per cent and Big FM held the third position with 16 per cent share. Afternoon, followed by morning and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

 

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We have undergone total change across all shows: Sunil Kumaran, Reliance Broadcast Network

Kumaran, Country Head - Thwink, Reliance Broadcast Network talks to exchange4media on the reasons for the relaunch of BIG FM, the changes the channel will go through and more

Sunil Kumaran

Reliance Broadcast Network owned, BIG FM, has announced a relaunch with a new brand positioning, tagline and a new logo. It will be the radio network's major and complete brand relaunch since its inception over a decade ago. 

The new brand image will redefine how radio as a medium can bring in a positive impact at many levels and will now transition from ‘Suno Sunao Life Banao’ to its new tagline 'Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho' as the new brand philosophy. 

Sunil Kumaran, Country Head, Thwink, Reliance Broadcast Network in conversation with exchange4media, opened up on the reason for the relaunch, the changes that the channel will go through and more. Edited excerpts: 

What was the core reason for the relaunch?
We realised quite some time back that people connect with brands that have a deeper purpose for their existence and it’s important that you imbibe what your brand purpose is. Radio as a medium has a fantastic role that it plays in the life of people. It’s always been a complete companion brand. The other strong aspect of the brand is the fact that it is extremely local. So you feel very connected as you’re hearing about things around you. The fact that RJs have a very strong following in their own markets makes the medium very potent. 

On the other hand, we realised that there is a digital onslaught that is happening. And in a country like ours that is going through some rapid changes, the consumers are feeling a lot of anguish and tension in their lives. They don’t know to navigate themselves as there is so much information, and discussions and debates are happening across media platforms. You look at the strength of radio as a medium and what consumers are going through. It is a great space for brands like us to play a meaningful role in their lives. 

That’s how the thought started. And we said why don’t we become the thought-inspirer in people’s lives? By that we mean, we will actually trigger conversations in people’s minds by giving people different perspectives. We are positioning ourselves as being the thought-inspirers and that’s where the tagline ‘Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho’ comes in. That’s how the idea germinated. 

What are the changes that the channel will go through?
Lots actually. Because we strongly believe that change can remain just a line in our heads unless it really plays out on a day-to-day basis on the product itself. We have undergone a complete change across all our shows to embody this philosophy of ‘Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho’. And you will see this change embody across all the shows we have. It will be built across every piece of communication. You’ll also see a couple of initiatives happening in and around that whole proposition. Some new shows being launched. 

From a communication perspective, we have launched a campaign called ‘I’m not sorry’. It talks about why people who have done things differently should not be sorry about having done it. Because that’s how change works. A lot of celebrities have joined the movement and it is becoming quite viral now. 

Is there a logo change (then the brand agency)? Also is there a spike in ad rates?
Yes, the logo has changed. It reflects the whole philosophy of looking at things from multiple perspectives. It’s bolder and brighter. The logo uses the brand colours but pushes it out in terms of a positive, thought-inspiring space.
In terms of adex implications, we have just launched the proposition. It might not be immediate but the perception in the market has been absolutely stupendous. Consumers and clients have really appreciated it. 

Will there be a change in the genre of programming and your TG?
It is not really about change in that sense but more about the conversations that will happen on radio. This will definitely change and will be around the philosophy of the proposition. All shows will reflect that thought.
Tell us about the marketing of this revamp and the activities planned to amp it up. 

We kick-started this initiative with a big campaign ‘I’m not sorry’. It starts from the premise that if you really want to change things for the better and the change should start with ourselves. It has really caught momentum and is going to continue for the month or so. 

We will do a Phase 2 of this campaign on the back of another initiative around the philosophy. 

How will this revamp be reflected in Thwink?
Everything that we do, obviously goes to Thwink. Initiatives that will go forward on radio and digital will be owned by Thwink as an entity and you’ll see a lot of activities from Thwink around the new proposition too. 

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BIG FM goes for brand revamp

The network is relaunching with a new logo, brand positioning and a new philosophy—‘Dhun badal ke toh dekho’

BigFM

Radio network BIG FM welcomed the new year with the launch of #IAmNotSorry, a campaign to celebrate individuals who walked off the beaten path of life and broke social stereotypes. The campaign saw everyone from listeners to celebrities sharing their own life instances of #sochbadlo moments and are not sorry for it.

The campaign saw participation from celebrities such as Prasoon Joshi, Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Ayushmann Khurrana, Nargis Fakri, Richa Chadha, Ali Fasal, Sunny Leone and Sonu Sood. This key messaging will now form a part of the larger brand positioning of the radio network to encourage listeners to ‘think differently’.

BIG FM intends to be a ‘Thought Inspirer and an agent for positive change. This is the essence of the new positioning of Big FM – ‘Dhun badal ke toh dekho’, the network said in a statement.

Talking about the brand repositioning, Sunil Kumaran, Country Head, THWINK, BIG FM, said, “BIG FM is evolving with the changing times. With the new positioning, BIG FM will play a meaningful, relevant and compelling role in lives of consumers. It will not just be about entertainment but a brand that has a purpose. With its extensive reach, localised content and credible RJs, the brand will play the role of a ‘thought inspirer’ and an agent of positive change in society.”

“Our new tag line of ‘Dhun badal ke toh dekho’ reflects the philosophy that ‘changing the world for the better starts with changing your thoughts’. If we want real change, it is important that we are not rigid in our approach and thinking but are open to looking at things from multiple perspectives,” Kumaran added.

Sonu Nigam has lent his voice for the ‘Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho” song that brings alive the new brand positioning. The audio and video format of the song went live from 14th January on-air and across social media and other assets of the radio network.  

Realigning the programming to reflect the new positioning, BIG FM has refreshed the music promise, playing the favourite music tested with the audience besides bringing on board some big names from the radio and entertainment space across all key markets.

Vrajesh Hirjee will host 'Mumbai Maska Maar Ke' a fresh perspective on life in Mumbai.  Some of the iconic shows are evolving with new formats and innovations. ‘Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor Take 2’ will witness thought-provoking ‘dhun badlo’ stories from yesteryears. ‘Yaadon ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra’ in its new avatar will feature topical themes and new styles of story-telling. Movie reviews takes a twist with Padma Shri Bhawana Somaaya in a brutally honest movie review show called ‘Godmother of Reviews’ and fitness expert Simmi Sakhuja launches ‘Jo Fit Hai, Woh Hit Hai’ a practical and target based fitness regimen. The station will reflect the new positioning in all aspects of its brand and communication, the statement from the network read.

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Industry predictions: Radio waves into 2019

Business heads of radio stations forecast the growth and trends in the radio sector in 2019

Radio

The year started off on a positive note with private FM radio stations allowed to broadcast All India Radio News free of cost on trial basis till May 31. Also, on the advertising front with the upcoming elections, IPL and World Cup, industry experts are expecting a double digit growth over last year. We speak to business heads of radio stations to learn more on how the year will turn out for the sector. Here's what they have to say:

Nisha Narayanan, CEO, Red FM

Radio will continue the growth path. Even in the challenging times, it was able to register a double-digit growth and we are sure that with elections and sports the momentum will continue. We are hopeful of healthy two-digit growth in the medium and smaller markets and a reasonably high single-digit growth in metro markets which are already on the peak of inventory utilisation.

What 2019 brings in for radio is to emerge as a much stronger-enabler medium where all others (medium) will look at it to spread information/offers about them. This is due to its hyperlocal nature and vast geographical presence that has happened due to phase 3 batch 1 and 2.

New advertisers, riding on success of their competitors and compatriots want to adapt radio in their media plan. Added with that is its reach from the smallest to the largest market giving them a reason to seriously look at radio as it helps them rationalise their ROI.

Prashant Panday, CEO, Radio Mirchi

Everyone expects 2019 to be a better year, with the much delayed lift-off in the economy finally happening. Elections will certainly help. IPL is an annual affair, and if it is held outside India this year, we need to figure out the match timings. The World Cup is also very exciting because the timing is perfect! Overall however, it is not these events that determine how any business does. It is how regular advertisers spend. I expect that to improve in 2019.

Advertisers will look for ‘solutions’, not just ‘radio’. And also not just TV or print. Media owners who can provide solutions will do well. This is a long lasting trend.

Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Big FM

The year looks promising. The national advertisers who flirted with digital and FTA channels have now realised the content integration, high frequency, long tenure, theatre of mind or surround that radio and digital offer is anything unlike its television and print counterpart (degree of customisation). They are back to radio in a big way. People who are able to give them the rightly curated solutions will see money coming their way. The growth will be in mid-teens in both volume and pricing. 

With very few frequencies coming in radio stations will experiment within the same place. There will be innovations in the story format. People will start defining themselves more as an audio entertainment company than FM station. That content will flow across media and will be platform-agnostic.

Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD and CEO, Radio One

2019 has excellent prospects and radio will gain tremendously from elections and cricket. While we cannot project a figure for specific activities, the annualised growth should be in the vicinity of 14-16 per cent, almost double the growth of 2018.

Radio and digital will outgrow the other media. Pure content-play, be it digital or OTT, will have to prove themselves on profits or they will bleed further, both in India and globally.

Radio companies will need to ‘improve value’ of their on-air product and stop doing activations and events to allow a positive return on capital invested on the huge license fees.

Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head, MY FM

There will be no major trend change. The top five-six advertising categories will remain the same. On the product side new formats will be seen on the back of strong competition.

The medium should witness strong double-digit growth in advertising revenue.

Satya Narayana Murthy, CEO, Indigo FM

2019 should see the radio industry bounce back and register a revenue growth above 12 per cent.  We expect the advertisers of the core sectors of real estate, BFSI, auto and e-commerce to drive this growth. The industry will also be helped by a spike due to election spends and increasing spends during sporting events such as the World Cup and IPL.

Radio listenership base is likely to improve with more number of cities under radio coverage. Most stations with their multiple frequencies provide differentiated and more personalised content to cater to the demand. We can expect some M&A activity to happen with industry consolidation already having begun.

 

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