Radio: Will on-ground activation regain its charm in 2021?

Industry leaders say the trend of digital IPs that saw a rise in the pandemic will continue, but on-ground activations will see a spur in the coming months

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Feb 12, 2021 8:53 AM  | 5 min read
revival of radio on ground activations

On-ground activations have always been a key strategy for radio players to connect with listeners and attract new consumers at a local level. Being a hyper-local medium, FM channels leverage RJs, who are nothing less than celebrities, to build a strong rapport with listeners across multiple languages and cities. This consumer connect was lost as the Covid pandemic halted on-ground radio activations last year. With digital solutions on the rise during lockdown, these on-ground activities shifted to social media platforms of radio channels and digital events, contests, and programmes soon became the norm.

As year 2021 begins on a hopeful note, e4m spoke to industry leaders to find out about the status of on-ground activations and their potency in the current post-pandemic market.

The revival

According to Sunil Kumaran, Country Head, Product, Marketing and THWINK BIG, BIG FM, as the country began the un-lockdown in phases, brands started to amp-up advertising through activations on radio from the third quarter. “As per the recent TAM AdEx report, Q4 recorded five times rise in radio ad volumes compared to Q2. During 2020, there were more than 10,600 brands present on radio and more than 4,900 advertisers, and 6,500 brands exclusively advertised on radio during 2020."

Kumaran has witnessed categories like automobile, telecom, and real estate sectors engage in activations off late. "As markets start opening up further, we will see activations resuming normalcy as well. However, we will continue to ensure that safety measures are in check as per the guidelines with regards to on-ground activations," he remarked.

Pooja Gulati, EVP & Sr. Director IP Solutions, Mirchi, shares that radio activations had never really gone away. “There was an increase in focus on these activations during the pandemic and will continue throughout 2021. Albeit small in size, radio activations provide continuity, speed to market, and are hyper-local. Therefore, they attract sponsors who are tight on budget, yet seek city-centric impactful activities,” explained Gulati.

However, Nisha Narayanan, Director and COO, Red FM and Magic FM, said the pandemic devastated brand activations, as we knew it in 2020. “But the physical limitations it presented to brands also brought about innovative solutions,” she added at the same time.

“2021 will be a recovery year for the industry that will see a revival of brand activations in a slow phased manner. Brands have already started venturing into on-ground activations. Moreover, coming off the downturn of almost a year, the market is considerably enthusiastic right now and is ready to explore more outdoor options,” Narayanan shared.

 

An essential strategy

Talking about the potency of activations to build a local connect, Kumaran shared, "The biggest strength of radio is its mass hyper-local reach and brands are leveraging this strength to reach out to their target audience and create engagement. For radio, on-ground interaction and activations have always been a vital part of its reach and engagement. While RJs develop a personal connection with the listeners through on-air interactions, on-ground activations further enhance the relationship between the radio-jockey and thereby the brand, with the listeners. RJs have regularly conducted OB activities which give a deeper engagement to our brand and advertisers."

Talking about an activation that they recently conducted, Kumaran mentioned their Lohri campaign, ‘Kudiya Di Lohri’. As part of the campaign, BIG FM RJs had formed a ‘Kudiyon Ki Toli’ with selected listeners and visited multiple houses to meet and greet their new friends with the customary ‘Shagun ki Thaali’. Also, BIG FM had collaborated with Samsung for ‘Samsung Diwali Utsav’ to promote their Galaxy mobile series. The month-long campaign saw BIG RJs Juhie, Gagan, and Shalini covering top dealer locations in Jammu, Patiala, and Shimla in two phases.

Gulati informed that nearly 30% of their events business is in the form of radio activations.  “Radio and its RJs play an integral role in connecting with the city audience. The RJs are no less than big celebrities in their respective cities. Therefore, when they promote any radio activations, listeners respond with high engagement levels,” said Gulati.


The future: Digital or on-ground?


Sharing his thoughts on the road ahead, Kumaran said, "With the absence of large events happening on-ground, audiences experienced entertainment by steering towards digital platforms. At BIG FM, our digital property Big Café Online enabled our listeners to enjoy concerts from the comfort of their home. Going forward, given the merits and demerits of both online and on-ground activations, we believe there will be a healthy mix of the two that will be continued."

The network recently conducted a digital fundraising event with Sunidhi Chauhan for the campaign ‘Together Against Cancer’ which received an amazing response from listeners.

Narayanan too agrees with Kuamaran and thinks that the post-pandemic market will witness a hybrid approach for all entertainment experiences. “There is an out-of-home live experience and the same content delivered at home through a live virtual stream or recorded capsule. Digital was big and attained its peak in 2020 but people are now keener to step out and be a part of on-ground events,” she opined.

Narayanan stated that while 2020 was very high on all digital IPs and that the trend may continue, on-ground will also see a spur in the coming months. However, she also pointed out that this momentum can be a success only if there are no limitations on permissions from the authorities.

On a concluding note, Gulati shared, “Digital events will continue to grow, even after the lockdown. Certain segments like B2B, B2E (employees) or B2C segments will see more hybrid events in 2021. There is a pent-up demand for live events, which will ensure a healthy mix of digital and radio live events.”

 

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RAM Ratings Week 48 '22 - 51 '22: Fever FM tops charts in Mumbai and Delhi

BIG FM led in Bangalore and Radio Mirchi in Kolkata between 27th Nov and 24th Dec'22

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 3:52 PM   |   1 min read

RAM

According to RAM Ratings for Week 48 '22 - 51 '22 (between 27th Nov and 24th Dec'22), Fever FM topped in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi took lead in Bangalore and Kolkata.

In Mumbai with over 12.2 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM continued to stay on top with an 18.3% listenership share. Radio Mirchi was in the second spot with 16.4%. Red FM took the third spot at 15.7%. Listenership peaked between 10 am and 11 am.

In Delhi, in a universe of 16.5 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM peaked with a 22% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.5% share. Punjabi Fever ranked third with a 13.3% share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

Big FM took the lead in Bangalore with a 32.4% listenership share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 28.2% share. At the third spot was taken by Radio Mirchi 13.4% share. Most listeners tuned in between 7 am and 8 am.

Kolkata yet again saw Radio Mirchi topping the charts with a 28.1% share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM came second with 23.8%. Fever FM had a 14.7%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am.

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Radio City records 64% EBITDA growth for Q3

The 9M FY23 top line stood at Rs 147.5 crore

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 11:15 AM   |   1 min read

Radio City

Music Broadcast Limited (MBL)’s Radio City has reported 64% growth in EBITDA for Q3 of FY23.

The 9M FY23 top line stood at Rs 147.5 crore, a 20% growth YoY.

The company also maintained a strong Position with 19% volume market share.

Commenting on the results, Shailesh Gupta, Director said, “We are pleased to report healthy growth in EBITDA QoQ, with margins improving to 26.6% in Q3 FY 2023 compared to 18.3% in Q2 FY 2023. As per a recent research report – 8 in 10 are listening to Radio in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, which being our key growth market, gives a reason to be optimistic about the effectiveness and growth of our medium. In terms of market share, we stand at 19% as against 18% last quarter and having established a strong omni-channel presence we are in a good spot to leverage our deep networks and relationships and offer maximum value to our customers.”

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Meet the radio leaders making waves

Today, we look at the chiefs of ad sales and revenue departments of the country’s leading radio platforms who have been skippering the industry through its many challenges

By Imran Fazal | Jan 24, 2023 8:43 AM   |   3 min read

radio

Radio is a key pillar of traditional media for marketers. The medium is peerless when it comes to the ROI it delivers. While radio advertising took a hit in the recent pandemic years, the medium has persevered through the challenges and ad spends has increased on radio by 36%, according to the Pitch Madison Advertising Report (PMAR) 2022.

Despite the many obits written in its name, the medium shows no signs of giving up. The resilience of the medium can also be attributed to the fine stewardship of the leaders of the radio industry. Today, we look at the chiefs of ad sales and revenue departments of the country’s leading radio platforms who have been skippering the industry through its many challenges.

Radio Mirchi

Preeti Nihalani
Chief Operating Officer, ENIL

"We have been leaders in the radio industry, both in terms of listenership and revenue. In the last 12 years, we’ve been experimenting beyond radio by introducing new elements like music awards, events, social/digital properties, and now audio stories. Today, one-third of our revenue is generated from non-radio streams. In the coming years, we see nearly half of our business coming from ‘Solutions Sales’. With fast paced adoption of digital portfolio of ours (Mirchi Plus, M-Ping, Digital Content Solutions, and so on), we see that nearly 25% of our revenue will come from digital business.”

Red FM

Nisha Narayanan
COO & Director, RED FM & Magic FM

"We have grown to become one of the largest private FM networks with 69 stations across 67 cities with one of the highest listenership. We are not just a radio station but a holistic entertainment brand offering 360 degree solutions for our advertising patrons with activations, IPs, on-ground events, podcasts, digital audio-video production, and social media amplification.”

Key individual

Renuka Iyer
CRO

Big FM

Pratanu Mohanty
Head - Revenue Maximization, Traffic and Administration

Pratanu Mohanty joined BIG FM 6 years ago, and prior to that, he was associated with Star TV, JLL (Accenture, Mumbai) and other Industrial Process Automation profiles. He has a degree in B.E Electrical and PG Diploma in Data Science. His expertise includes enablement of using Tech Simplifying processes, identification, and implementation of work flows to connect multiple departments in order to build effective collaboration.

Big FM is part of Reliance Broadcast, and has over 58 radio stations across India

Hello FM

Ramesh SK
CEO, Hello FM

Ramesh SK (Remy) was elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Hello FM in 2021. As one of its founding members, he has been the singular architect of the brand’s culture, character, and content. For the last sixteen years, he has been spearheading the creation and curation of the network’s programming over its many phases of evolution and growth.

Hello FM is owned by Malar Publications, which also owns Thanthi TV and Daily Thanthi

It was first started in 2006 at Chennai, and Coimbatore

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RAM Ratings Week 47 '22 - 50 '22: Fever FM ahead in Mumbai and Delhi

BIG FM led in Bangalore and Radio Mirchi in Kolkata between 20th Nov and 17th Dec'22

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 23, 2023 10:18 AM   |   1 min read

ram ratings

According to RAM Ratings for Week 47'22 - 50'22 (between 20th Nov'22 and 17th Dec'22), Fever FM topped in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi took lead in Bangalore and Kolkata.

In Mumbai with over 12.2 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM continued to stay on top with an 18.2% listenership share. Radio Mirchi was in the second spot with 16.3%. Red FM took the third spot at 15.6%. Listenership peaked between 10 am and 11 am.

In Delhi, in a universe of 16.5 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM peaked with a 21.8% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.6% share. Punjabi Fever ranked third with a 13.2% share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

Big FM took the lead in Bangalore with a 32.2% listenership share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 28.9% share. At the third spot was taken by Radio Mirchi 13.4% share. Most listeners tuned in between 7 am and 8 am.

Kolkata yet again saw Radio Mirchi topping the charts with a 28.2% share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM came second with 23.9%. Fever FM had a 14.7%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am.

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8 out 10 people are listening to radio in Tier II & III markets

The findings are as per Toluna’s study across 30 markets

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 20, 2023 12:24 PM   |   2 min read

Toulna

Tier II and III markets are showing some enlightening trends for the radio medium, according to Toluna’s recent study across 30 Tier II and III markets, with a sample base of over 1200 respondents. The detailed interviews were conducted among FM radio listeners belonging to 18 to 50 years, who are a part of the Toluna panel across genders, socioeconomic classes and employment status. The data collection was conducted between 19th December, 2022, and 2nd January, 2023. Toluna covered markets in North and West, including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Indore, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Bhopal, Surat, Ludhiana, Udaipur, and Aurangabad, amongst others.

The study highlights that FM listenership is quite high in these markets, as 80% of the respondents claim they listen to Radio. The listenership is higher amongst working professionals, where 9 out of 10 consume it. Amongst students, a lesser number (66%) tune to the radio as compared to housewives and working professionals. Another big revelation from the study is 33% of radio listeners ranked FM Radio as the preferred medium for daily entertainment, followed by video/music streaming apps.

The highlights of the study are:

1. 74% of radio listeners tune in more than three days every week. Radio listening is a part of a daily routine for around 1 out of every 4 in the decision-maker group.
2. 7 out of 10 radio listeners tune in to Radio for between 30 minutes to 2 hours every day.
3. Another important highlight 6 out 10 people consume Radio at Home

Adding to the insights, Dixit Chanana, Country Director, Toluna India, says “Our study on radio listenership in tier II and III shows some interesting data points. 33% of radio listeners ranked FM Radio as the most preferred medium of daily entertainment. This is consistent with the study that we did in 2020. Apart from consumption on the go, more than 60% consume radio at home. The way people consume Radio in these markets is amazing, and I am sure the Radio fraternity will be very happy to see such kind of findings.”

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RAM Ratings Week 46'22 - 49'22: Fever FM tops again in Mumbai and Delhi

Between 13th Nov and 10th Dec last year, BIG FM led in Bangalore and Radio Mirchi in Kolkata

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 13, 2023 8:32 AM   |   1 min read

RAM Ratings

According to RAM Ratings for Week 46'22 - 49'22 (between 13th Nov'22 and 10th Dec'22), Fever FM topped in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi took lead in Bangalore and Kolkata.

In Mumbai with over 12.2 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM continued to stay on top with 18.1% listenership share. Radio Mirchi was in the second spot with 16.3%. Red FM took the third spot at 15.5%. Listenership peaked between 10 am and 11 am.

In Delhi, in a universe of 16.5 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM peaked with a 21.8% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.5% share. In the third position was Punjabi Fever with a 13.2% share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

In Bangalore, Big FM took the lead with a 31.9% listenership share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 28.9% share. At the third spot was Radio Mirchi went down a few notches with a 13.6% share. Most listeners tuned in between 7 am and 8 am.

Kolkata yet again saw Radio Mirchi topping the charts with a 28.1% share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM came second with 24%. Fever FM had a 14.6%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am

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RAM Ratings Week 45'22 - 48'22: Fever FM maintains dream run in Mumbai, Delhi

Between Nov 6 and Dec 3, BIG FM took and Radio Mirchi took lead in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 4, 2023 8:37 AM   |   1 min read

RAM Ratings

According to RAM Ratings for Week 45'22 - 48'22 (between 6th Nov'22 and 3rd Dec'22), Fever FM topped in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi took lead in Bangalore and Kolkata.

In Mumbai with over 12.2 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM continued to stay on top with 18.1% listenership share. Radio Mirchi was in the second spot with 16.2%. Red FM took the third spot at 15.5%. Listenership peaked between 10 am and 11 am.

In Delhi, in a universe of 16.5 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM peaked with a 21.8% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.5% share. In the third position was Punjabi Fever with a 13.%4 share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

In Bangalore, Big FM took the lead with a 32% listenership share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 28.3% share. At the third spot was Radio Mirchi with a 14.1% share. Most listeners tuned in between 7 am and 8 am.

Kolkata yet again saw Radio Mirchi topping the charts with a 27.9% share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM came second with 24%. Fever FM had a 14.6%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am

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