Standard minimum guarantee & transparency will help the music royalty issue: Rachna Kanwar

Internet radio operators and music labels have to make business sense and arrive upon a mutually beneficial solution for music royalty issue, says Rachna Kanwar, Business Head, Digital Media & New Business, Radio City

e4m by Abhinn Shreshtha
Published: Jun 6, 2014 8:21 AM  | 7 min read
Standard minimum guarantee & transparency will help the music royalty issue: Rachna Kanwar

Planetradiocity has been a pioneer in the web radio space. Beginning operations in 2008, Planetradiocity has continued to add to new channels catering to international, Bollywood, indie, and regional audiences. At the helm is Rachna Kanwar, Business Head, Digital Media & New Business at Radio City. A veteran digital specialist, she has spent over 19 years in the media & entertainment industry with multi-dimensional experience across radio, TV, documentary films and Internet.

Kanwar had worked with Bennett Coleman & Co (Times FM, Times Internet) prior to joining Radio City. In conversation with exchange4media, Kanwar speaks about Planetradiocity, the business potential, the music loyalty quandary, among other things. Excerpts.

You have launched two new stations on Planetradiocity targeting regional audiences—Radio City Malayalam and Radio City Tamil. How do you maintain balance between genre-focused channels and language-focused channels and what is the reasoning behind new launches?
There are essentially two types of stations—genre-based and language-based. One sprouts from the terrestrial stations that we operate. So there is Radio City Hindi, which is like the language of choice for Radio City too. If you see, there is no terrestrial radio station broadcasting in Malayalam. Through Planetradiocity we are also entering places where terrestrially we are not present. We do extensive research to identify the need gap and understand what the listeners want. Then we also take a look at what is already available in these areas.

How do you maintain synergies between the web and terrestrial arms of Radio City?
There are lots of ways to maintain synergies. For example, we have a lot of Radio City listeners who might have moved out of their city but would still have good memories of Radio City, so we try to bring them that local flavour, they are used to. We also try to retain a lot of programming from terrestrial radio on web radio, in terms of our some of our shows, like Love Guru, that are very popular on the terrestrial channels. The other way is in terms of activities or the big properties we have, which also have digital integrations.

Music royalty has been an issue for both web and terrestrial radio. The situation with terrestrial radio seems to have reached some kind of a resolution, as have similar stalemates among Internet radio operators and music labels in countries like the US. What is the situation in India?
The situation is still in status quo. In fact, it has worsened for us in the last couple of years. Earlier, the licenses were handled by one association; Phonographics Performance Limited (PPL), but since the last year and a half, we have to approach each individual music label to negotiate music licenses and royalties. This becomes very difficult for us. Also, there is no standard minimum guarantee. Everyone has their own logic and their own structure, which changes every year. These are some of the difficulties. However, this year we have seen that a lot of people in the music industry also seem keen to resolve this issue.

Would reverting to having a single agency/industry body solve the issue?
I cannot speak for them (music labels). There was PPL earlier, before they ended their ties with them. I am sure there must have been some reason behind them keeping digital licenses with themselves. What will help us is a standard minimum guarantee and some transparency.

So, according to you, what is the ideal solution?
Even the US went through a similar cycle. It is the same case with us and I believe we are nearing the end of the cycle. Both the parties (operators and music labels) have to make business sense and understand and agree on this. How this happens is something that I cannot decide as an individual. It can only happen if we meet and discuss it together.

Planetradiocity has been in operation for a long time. In terms of business and monetization, how has the response been from advertisers?
This year we are focusing a lot on evangelizing the medium by reaching out to a lot of people and make them understand what the product is. There are a number of offerings in terms of music available in the market. For example, you have playlists, which are not very interactive but when you talk about web radio, it is an interactive medium. There are a lot of ways in which client messaging can be fit in. So when you have all these options you really need to make clients understand the potential of the medium.

To come back to your question, it has been a slow ride, but what has been heartening to see last year is that though the actual figure (revenue) may not have grown so much, the number of clients has grown. Even from smaller cities, the number of brand wanting to experiment has increased.

Your revenue model depends on advertising but is subscription an option you are exploring?
At the moment we are not but we would want to experiment with it later this year. We have it on our mind.

With a new government in place, a lot has been discussed about what expectations the radio industry has. From the perspective of an internet radio operator, what are some of the things you would like to see change that will make your life easier?
I would say we have to recognize that web radio is also radio. Right now it is sort of a grey area and nobody really seems to be clear on where to put it. By doing this all the policies and decisions taken in terms of music licensing, to begin with it, would become clearer and it would really help sort out this issue.

The Phase III migration will open up the private FM industry for more expansion. What does it mean for internet radio?
It will be great for the radio industry per se and as part of the industry of course we will benefit from it. At this point, I cannot talk about how we will benefit. Our expansion and our growth is in many ways independent from Radio City (terrestrial channels) but as radio expands to smaller cities, we will definitely grow too.

You spoke about the need for evangelism earlier. How is Planetradiocity approaching it?
We have two target groups. One is, of course, our listeners who we reach out to through our marketing campaigns. We have been making a lot of efforts and the numbers suggest that people are enjoying what we are doing. We are doing a lot of visibility campaigns as well. The stress is going to be on how and why web radio is different from all the other music available on the web. The other target is of course our clients. We get them to experience what the product is like. Apart from making revenue we want them to understand the product.

So what is in store for Planetradiocity this year?
We will be expanding in both areas (genre and language) this year and going forward. On the web side, we are exploring Marathi and Kannada language stations. In terms of genre-focused channels, we want to expand our Bollywood offering. We will also be launching more stations under the devotional genre. In fact, we are also looking at expanding this particular genre by partnering with people and bringing out talk shows, etc.

What are the plans for the mobile platform?
We are making our website mobile and tablet optimized. We already have three of our channels available for mobile devices—Radio City Freedom, Radio City Malayalam and Radio City Smaran. We are also in talks with music labels for mobile licenses so we can start launching our other channels on mobile devices too.

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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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RAM Ratings Week 44'22 - 47'22: Fever FM maintains top spot in Mumbai and Delhi

In Kolkata and Bangalore, Radio Mirchi and BIG FM topped the charts respectively

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 28, 2022 8:59 AM   |   1 min read

ram

According to RAM Ratings for Week 44'22 - 47'22 (between 30th Oct'22 and 26th Nov'22), Fever FM stayed on top in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi led 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% listenership share. Radio Mirchi was in the second spot with 16.3%. Red FM took the third spot with a slight dip at 15.2%. 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 21.7% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.5% share. In the third position was Punjabi Fever with a 13.5% share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

In Bangalore, Big FM took the lead with a 32.2% share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 28% share. At the third spot was Radio Mirchi with a 14.5% 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 24.1%. Fever FM had a 14.3%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am

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Ranveer Singh to play 'sutradhar' to Radio One's travel show with ICICI Lombard

‘Get Some Sun’, now in its 7th edition, covers the 7 wonders of the world, the remarkable travel journeys of influencers while building awareness about international travel insurance

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 26, 2022 5:44 PM   |   2 min read

ranveer singh

As we are witnessing an exponential rise in international travel - a phenomenon termed ‘revenge travelling’, we are consequently seeing a higher demand for Travel Insurance. In line with this trend, ICICI Lombard has collaborated with Radio One’s travel show – ‘Get Some Sun’. The flagship show has roped in Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh, who will be lending his voice to speak about his travel bucket list across geographies globally and share his sun-chasing experiences.

This is the sixth year that Ranveer has been associated with this property. The show will be hosted by Radio One’s Host - Hrishi K. The company aims to increase awareness about its international travel products through the radio platform by reaching out to a very niche audience across major metro cities in India. A recent survey conducted by ICICI Lombard revealed that over 94% of globetrotters purchase travel insurance for their trips - giving rise to a new breed of 'safety-first' travellers.

Speaking about the new campaign, Sheena Kapoor, Head – Marketing, Corporate Communication and CSR, ICICI Lombard, said, “Today, more and more people are returning to international travel for both business and leisure alike. The spike in this travel trend has led to a higher number of cancellations and visa rejections. Hence, we want to amplify the importance of travel insurance as a basic item in people’s travel checklists. With Ranveer Singh as a sutradhar on ICICI Lombard sponsored ‘Get Some Sun’, we would like to urge the country’s voyagers to take preventive measures and cover, to protect their travel escapes so they can have a seamless and worry-free experience.”

ICICI Lombard has been associated with the radio show ‘Get Some Sun’ since its inception. The show enjoys a good positioning amongst the office-goers and executive populace, which comprises an important target group for ICICI Lombard. The brand is one of the leading insurers in travel insurance that provides a gamut of coverages and plans to suit every individual’s needs. ICICI Lombard’s travel insurance assures quality health care with a medical cover of up to 5 lakh USD. The various offerings of ICICI Lombard cover travellers from 3 months to 85 years without any medical check-up for policy issuance. The policy covers your safety and provides value-added services for your family back home.

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Ram Ratings Week 43'22 - 46'22: Fever FM tops Mumbai, Delhi charts

BIG FM and Radio Mirchi led in Bangalore and Kolkata

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 23, 2022 12:14 PM   |   1 min read

Ram Ratings

According to RAM Ratings for Week 43'22 - 46'22 (between 23rd Oct'22 and 19th Nov'22), Fever FM stayed on top in Mumbai and Delhi charts. BIG FM and Radio Mirchi led in Bangalore and Kolkata.

In Mumbai with over 12.2 million listeners above the age of 12, Fever FM continued to top the charts with an 18.3% share as Radio Mirchi trailed in the second spot with 16%. Red FM took the third spot with a slight dip at 15.2%. 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 bagged the top position with a 22% share. Radio Mirchi FM stayed steady with a 14.6% share. In the third position was Punjabi Fever with a 13.5% share. Most listeners tuned in between 9 am and 10 am.

In Bangalore, Big FM took the lead with a 32.2% share. The second spot was bagged by Radio City with 27.6% share. At the third spot was Radio Mirchi with a 15% share. Most listeners tuned in between 7 am and 8 am.

Kolkata yet again saw Radio Mirchi topping the charts with a 28% share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM came second with 23.9%. Fever FM had a 14.2%. In Kolkata, the listenership peaked between 9 am and 10 am.

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