Sumantra Dutta, COO, Radio City
"The radio industry needs to completely open up, more players should join in and radio stations in the new cities should become operational."
Radio is fighting on far too many fronts, ranging from the license fee issue to low ad revenues and lack of research support. Sumantra Dutta, Chief Operating Officer, Radio City, who has been championing the cause of FM since its inception in India, is emphatic in stating that the issues need immediate attention. At the same time he is truly upbeat about the medium’s growth prospects. In an interview with Shakir Sheikh of exchange4media.com, Dutta talks about the license fee issue, radio’s power as an ad medium, differentiation in content and lots more. Excerpts: Q. At present, the radio industry is enjoying 2 per cent of the total ad spend, which is estimated at Rs 9,600 crore? Can this share be increased and by what percentage?
Well, when you compare the percentage of ad spend of any particular category from the total ad pie, the first thing that you take into consideration is that is it well represented. Radio currently is not well represented. In the first stage of radio, 110 frequencies were auctioned and only 30 were taken up since, and today, three years after the first radio station was put up by Radio City, there are only 22 FM stations in 12 cities.
For radio to get a larger percentage of the total advertising pie, you will need at least the top 50 cities in the country to have radio so that they are able to service a larger percentage of audience. Advertisers will then target these ears or audiences that radio is delivering. For growth you need enlargement of network, which means that many more cities need radio connectivity.
Secondly, I think radio is going to grow organically also like most of media. This is because India is quite a media-savvy market with a huge explosion of media, be it television or any other medium. Advertisers are using radio for advertising. They are doing so as everybody wants a bigger bang for the buck and radio is the most cost-effective medium available today. More the advertisers use this medium, more they will notice how effective it is to advertise on radio.
Advertisers spending larger budgets are the first ones to come on radio, others see its impact and follow. For instance, if you have one FMCG company advertising on radio, the other companies will automatically follow; if you have one retailer coming in, the others in the same category will follow. It is just a matter of time.
I would say the percentage share of radio is not 2 per cent but getting to 2 per cent and even the figure of Rs 9,600 crore is an estimated figure and my guess is that it is closer to Rs 8,800 crore.
Last, but not the least, I think the institution of syndicated research is necessary; it helps to ascertain how many are listening to radio, what gender they are, what SEC they belong to, what time of day do they listen to radio, so as to figure out the effectiveness of radio vis-à-vis other mediums. When syndicated research data is made available, it will lead to the growth of radio as far as media plans are concerned. Radio will find a much stronger base in media plans on the basis of syndicated research.
Q. When will syndicated research data for radio be available?
In Mumbai, AC Nielsen began research a year ago and have come up with six studies. This has now been taken over by MRUC and they have tried to extend it to Mumbai and Delhi. However, compared to the kind of currency that TAM has for television and ABC for print media, radio has none. Radio is lumbered heavily with license fee charges. Till such time that the license fees are not taken away or rationalised, it will curb radio's ability to invest in research. With the new government coming in, we are hopeful that a decision on the impending rationalisation of licence fees would be taken up shortly. This in all probability could lead to more stations coming up which in turn will lead to lesser burden on the existing radio stations. All the radio stations will understand the importance of investing in syndicated research.
Q. What are your views on the revenue-sharing proposition at 4 per cent of gross earnings made by the Amit Mitra committee?
The Task Force recommendations are extremely thought-through and they have made recommendations on a variety of issues and revenue sharing is one of the key issues. We are totally in agreement with the fact that revenue sharing should be at 4 per cent.
The revenue sharing model has been adapted somewhat from the telecom model. However, their shift to the revenue sharing model is a little different from ours because first their service is chargeable to the end-consumers, so for every subscription sold they have monies flowing in. In the case of radio it is different. What we do is to sell on an incremental basis, hence the level of revenue needs to be of a nominal percentage. One of us made a representation of 2.5-3.0 per cent but the Amit Mitra committee felt it was prudent to cap it off at 4 per cent and we are all agreeable to that. The government will be able to maximise its revenues at 4 per cent revenue share of a number of broadcasters rather than a few broadcasters. The reason why the government has not come out with a formal announcement is because when TRAI stepped in it was election time. Once the new government and ministry come into power the decision will be taken. The decision is expected to be taken by end-June, as TRAI has committed that the entire policy on radio will be announced by then.
Q. Should the restriction on news and current affairs be lifted? If yes, how will it help the industry?
My question is, why should there be restrictions on news and current affairs. There are no restrictions on news and current affair in other mediums. Masses have a right to know, right to access news and information on the move, and if radio has the ability to provide that news and entertainment, it is incumbent on the authorities to allow and lift the restrictions on news and current affairs and provide a level-playing field.
The radio privatisation policy is new and there will always be room to renew and review in the process of liberalisation. Hence I will attribute it that radio is getting liberalised and we are also learning—we, as in government and private FM radio players.
Q. Going forward, how does the future of radio look like?
Listening to radio is a habit. And as with any other habit, it has got to be formed over a period of time. The answer lies in understanding what listeners want from a radio station and giving it to them. It is a question of positioning your brand to cater to this segment. The introduction of private FM radio has just started in India. For a commercial medium that has flourished in the rest of the world for around 75 years, it is reasonable to expect that it will take a couple of years and not just months for radio to achieve its potential here. Radio is just getting started, and boy, will it rock?
Q. How is the ad spend on radio expected to increase in the next two years?
If rationalisation of license fees does not take place, the same number of stations may or may not be there and also no new players would enter the fray. The radio industry needs to completely open up, more players should join in and radio stations in the new cities should become operational. Once rationalisation takes place and new stations are allowed to operate in the top 40 cities in India, radio will garner a market share in the region of 5 per cent of the total ad spend.
The reason for citing 40 cities is because more than 25 of these have a million-plus population and this is a seriously large number we are talking about. Given the fact that it is private commercial radio and all the players are in for a commercial purpose, I reckon that it will be logical that they go first for the commercially-viable cities, which are also the cities where the licenses were auctioned in the first place. If radio becomes operational in these 40 cities then the golden days for radio will slowly begin to arrive.
Q. What are your views on holding multiple frequencies in the same city?
The Task Force Committee has proposed that committed radio players should have multiple licenses. If Radio City has multiple licenses in any one city, it will not air the same content on both the frequencies. There will be plurality of content, hence there will be different segments of the market being addressed and the consumers will get the type of programming that they want. If they want English, they will get English, if they want Hindi, they will get Hindi, if they want a chat radio, they will get one. It all depends on what is commercially viable and what is the listener’s choice.
Q. Should there be any stipulation on the type of content to be carried on each license or the choice should be left to the licensee?
The first killer of private FM radio was the license fee. Stipulations on the type of content will be the next killer. It is similar to running a restaurant in your neighbourhood and someone would come and say that you could run only a Chinese restaurant or a Mughlai or a South Indian. We have a democracy and everybody should be given a choice as we all know the competitiveness and quality that are keenly associated with the private sector.
It should be solely for the licensee to decide which content he or she would like to choose to air as they are doing it for a commercial purpose. We have made it very clear to the Task Force Committee too that there should be no stipulation on content.
Q. Will more companies joining the business help the segment grow? If yes, any likely entrants?
In the print segment, there are around 5,200 publications in India (give or take 5 per cent), and there are about 180 TV channels. Television or print would not have been perceived the way it is today had there been no competition. Competition helps any market grow multifold.
In the radio segment too there is a need for more radio stations leading to lot more content and variety. We will have a greater number of teams going out and educating the advertisers and the local retail environment about the efficacy of radio advertisement and hence growing the Radio's share of the pie. So, it is imperative that more radio players join in, experience the medium and enable it to grow.
Q. Will radio affect the revenues, reach and impact of other mediums?
Radio complements other mediums extremely well and it is a known fact that when radio is used along with TV or print effectively within the same budget, the advertised brands also get more bang for the buck. This is primarily because radio is popularly known as 'The theatre of the mind'. Sounds or sonic triggers make people visualise pictures, and sometimes these pictures are not even possible to capture in a camera or may be just too expensive to do so. Radio also has the power to recreate images seen on other media and when the same is blasted on radio, the multiplier effect kicks in giving the advertised brand an omnipotent feel.
Q. The differentiation is very low in the current radio stations’ offerings. How do
I do not agree that the differentiation is low. Radio City has contracted with STAR which is Asia's pacesetter in the entertainment media, with wide expertise in the area of programming, marketing and sales. We have brought a huge lot of variety into radio programming because we are the only station that presents hit Hindi music, dramas, sitcoms, serials, etc. There is a huge lot of comedy programming on Radio City coupled with a lot of Bollywood and infotainment-led programmes. So it is totally unfair for anyone to make a comment that there is no differentiation in content.
Yes, there is no differentiation in content amongst the other stations, but Radio City clearly stands apart. That is the reason why research--whether it is syndicated research that AC Nielsen ORG MARG have conducted consistently over wave 5 and wave 6, or commissioned research that AC Nielsen has conducted for us--they clearly indicates that Radio City is the undisputed number one station, which is so solely on the back of the variety in programming that we have.
exchange4media Group Service
The radio station held an initiative of home transformation ‘Ghar ko Sajaao’.
Lights, celebrations and lots of sweets: it’s Diwali happiness all around. Festivals are an occasion to usher in the new and to clean up all the old elements. It is the time for transformation of body, mind and soul – everything that you hold dear. Diwali is an auspicious occasion where everyone redecorates their house to welcome the festivities with new and fresh energy.
Magic 106.4 FM made this Diwali a little more magical for its listeners through their initiative of home transformations ‘Ghar ko Sajaao’. In this special activity, Magic 106.4 FM invited their listeners to call up RJ Sapna and share a reason as to why their houses deserve a much-needed makeover. One listener narrated the story wherein she welcomed her parents home, while another spoke about celebrating his first Diwali together with his wife. Both having a hectic work life never got a chance to celebrate Diwali together and this time the celebration turned special with a newly decorated home. Compelling stories like these won a free makeover of their home refurbished by Magic 106.4 FM. These emotional stories got a much-deserved happy ending by the radio station.
A winner all excited about being selected said, “I was overwhelmed by the gesture made by Magic 106.4 FM for the Diwali contest. Staying away from home, this gift by the radio station will be etched in my memory forever as Magic has made this Diwali truly special for me.”
Commenting on the initiative, Nisha Narayanan, COO, Magic 106.4 FM, says “Festivities in India are not just your personal celebration but also about togetherness. At Magic 106.4 FM, we aim to bring alive ‘Jee le zara’ moments for the listeners and ‘Ghar ko Sajaao’ is magical initiative to spread festive cheer amongst the listeners in its true essence. It has always been our endeavour to do something special for the listeners and this time we have given them ‘Diwali magic waali’.”
#MeToo, Stree Dum, Iss Saal #MattBajaa, Green Diwali all this and more was heavily discussed on several radio stations across India
2018 Diwali on radio was replete with programming that focussed on social causes apart from the usual entertaining programmes.
Radio City extended its support by displaying solidarity towards the #MeToo movement that has engulfed the country. With a pan-India campaign called ‘StreeDum’, Radio City decided to raise its voice against the constant objectification of women and bring about a positive influence in the patriarchal mentality that sees women as objects of sexual gratification.
The aim of the campaign was to bring about a change in the way men view and treat women on a day-to-day basis. Radio City StreeDum was spread across on-air, on-ground and digital mediums and the idea was to make the topic of sexual harassment and eve-teasing a mass-centric conversation. The communication throughout the campaign was to stop men from addressing women as ‘patakha’, ‘bomb’, ‘fuljhadi’, and ‘item’, and respect them as individuals.
Radio City Mumbai’s RJ Archana and Radio City Delhi’s RJ Ginnie took the campaign a notch higher with their on-air and on-ground activities. On-air, RJ Archana urged the listeners to share their real-life experiences on RJ Salil and RJ Archana’s popular breakfast show ‘Kasa kai Mumbai’. As an extension to the Kar Mumbaikar initiative, she took the campaign on-ground at various locations across Mumbai, where Radio City staged ‘Nukkad Nataks’ with the theme around objectification of women. Apart from leading a widespread conversation on her show ‘Suno Na Dilli’, RJ Ginnie went on-ground across different areas of Delhi and spoke about the issue with Delhiites. The ‘StreeDum’ campaign was also led in Ahmedabad by RJ Aarti. They distributed Radio City branded cracker boxes containing goodies and creative content about ideal ways of addressing women.
Kartik Kalla, Chief Creative Officer, Radio City, said, “With the ‘StreeDum’ initiative, Radio City continues to be a forerunner in tackling social issues and bringing about a positive change. As an extension to the successful ‘Kar Mumbaikar’ initiative we have always aimed at solving citizen-centric problems using the power of radio. Most of us are not cognizant of how unconsciously we perpetuate sexual harassment through seemingly innocuous everyday actions. Each one of us is an agent of change and together we can make a conscious effort to treat women better. I am hoping ‘StreeDum’, an initiative by Radio City, will also see a positive response from Mumbai.”
RED FM that embraces its proposition and the tagline ‘Bajaate Raho’; asked everyone “ISS SAAL ‘MATT BAJAA’.
They amplified it with a digital leg. Red FM’s Diwali campaign ‘Iss Saal #MattBajaa urged people to celebrate an Eco-Friendly Diwali. They requested each and every person to click on the link below and mark themselves eco-friendly on FB by changing their profile pics with the Template saved in the link and also urge their friends and followers to mark themselves eco-friendly.
Red FM took this campaign Pan India explaining how the pollution caused due to Diwali can hamper daily lives of children, senior citizens, animals and this was communicated with statistics on hazards caused by Air and Sound pollution. Red FM RJs across cities also broadcast air pollution index of different areas in their cities and how there’s a dire need to curb pollution for us to breathe clean air.
Coming to Radio Mirchi, it also wove in the no-cracker narrative into its programming but with a heavy dose of music thrown in.
“Our popular RJs across the country absconded. Iss Diwali RJs huye faraar, Mirchi pe suno gaana lagataar. That’s four days of popular, hummable and latest music all day. Our RJs decided to mass bunk and enjoyed this Diwali with their loved ones. Plus, to make your teen-patti nights extra-bright we got you the best dance music – we played our specially curated program, Club Mirchi, every night from 9 pm till 3 am,” said Vishaal Sethia, National Programming Head – Mirchi.
“The entire focus of the activity is on enjoying music and there are various messages built in the communication which speak about not bursting crackers but listening to music instead. There is: Iss Diwali patakhe nahi, Music chalao or Iss diwali Patakha nahin jalega, Mirchi pe music chalega. It is our constant endeavour to encourage conversations about socially relevant topics through entertainment without making them seem like a burden. Our aim was to let this Diwali be pollution free, solution-driven, crime-free, with time for family, green with no crackers and letting Mirchi music drive your blues away,” said Sethia.
Radio Indigo’s Diwali programs and promotions focused on celebrating Diwali in an Eco-friendly manner (Green Diwali).
“Content was focussed on creating awareness on the ways to celebrate Diwali without causing damage to the environment. We promoted minimal use of fireworks and created awareness on how to avoid bursting crackers past 10:00pm. We also created awareness on the use of biodegradable plates and proper disposal of used flowers,” said Satyanarayana Murthy, CEO, Radio Indigo.
“We broadcast an interview with the DGP of Fire and Emergencies of Bangalore, MN Reddy and lined up celebrities from the music and film industry to encourage people to celebrate this Diwali in eco-friendly way,” said Murthy.
In Bangalore, Radio City maintained its leadership with an improved 25.4 per cent share
In Week 42 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM captured the Kolkata market apart from the usual Mumbai and Delhi. Radio City continued to reign in Bangalore.
In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM ruled with 17 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 14.4 per cent, while Radio City maintained its third spot with 13.3 per cent. Early morning followed by mid-morning and afternoon time band observed the highest listenership on total radio
Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with 19.3 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City and Radio Mirchi maintained their second and third spots with 13.2 and 12.3 per cent, respectively. Night followed by evening and morning time observed the highest listenership on the radio.
In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with improved 25.4 per cent share, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both held on to their spots with 18.6 and 17.2 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon followed by evening and mid-morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
Interestingly enough Fever FM took over Kolkata in a universe of 9.5 million listeners with a share of 21 per cent. Radio Mirchi which has been ruling this market all this while slipped to the second spot with 19.9 per cent. Big FM retained its third position with improved 17.7 per cent. Morning followed by afternoon and mid-morning time band observes the highest listenership on total radio.
EBIDTA up 32% from Q1 2018-19; April-Sept 18-19 EBIDTA up 54.7 per cent compared to Apr-Sept 17-18
94.3 Radio One (Next Radio Ltd) declared its financial results in the board meeting held on November 1, 2018.
Revenue was up 17 per cent sequentially from Rs 16.73 crore in Q1 2018-19 to Rs 19.56 crore in Q2 2018-19. EBIDTA was up 32 per cent from Rs 2.54 crore in Q1 2018-19 to Rs 3.37 crore in Q2 2018-19.
In a Q2-to-Q2 comparison, revenue was up 3 per cent in Q2 18-19 as compared to Q2 17-18. Q2 18-19 EBIDTA at Rs 3.37 crore was up 13.4 per cent over Q2 17-18 at Rs. 2.97 crore.
The half year performance of the company, April to Sept 2018, saw a revenue growth of 4.8 per cent from Rs 34.46 crore in Apr-Sept 17-18 to Rs 36.29 crore in Apr-Sept 2018-19. Further, the network recorded a superlative EBIDTA growth of 54.7 per cent from Rs 3.27 crore in Apr-Sept 17-18 to Rs 5.91 crore in Apr-Sept 18-19.
Talking about the results, Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO Next Radio Ltd, said, “Despite an overall commoditized & therefore difficult media market in the first half of the year, that continues to witness single digit topline growth, we were able to maximize efficiencies across functions resulting in substantial EBIDTA growth in our radio business. In our 11th year, we continue to be India’s No1 international radio network in Delhi Mumbai & Bangalore and only premium Hindi network in Pune Kolkata Chennai & Ahmedabad.”
“We have not only strengthened our position with unique engaging content designed for our 5.94 million upscale listener tribe (IRS 2017), but we now have a means to measure brand consumption & preferences of our high value audience using our innovative audience tracker called the International Indian Monitor. This pioneering effort offers unique value to our advertisers in creating powerful & engaging conversations with our unique tribe on air & online,” Hukmani said.
Fever FM continued to lead in Mumbai and Delhi with 17.4 per cent and 19.6 per cent respectively
In Week 40 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 17.4 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 14.4 per cent. Radio City climbed to the third spot with 13.3 per cent. Early morning followed by mid-morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.
Fever FM continued to lead in Delhi as well, with 19.6 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City and Radio Mirchi maintained their second and third spots with 13.5 and 12.3 per cent, respectively. Mid-morning followed by night and early-morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
In Bangalore, in a universe of 5.3 million listeners, Radio City maintained its leadership with improved 26.2 per cent share, followed by Big FM and Radio Mirchi. Both held on to their spots with 18.6 and 16.9 per cent share, respectively. Afternoon followed by evening and night observed the 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 19.7 per cent, 18.2 per cent and 16.7 per cent, respectively. Afternoon followed by morning and mid-morning observed the highest listenership on total radio.
Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively
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.
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
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.
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 CFO 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.
Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain top positions in Bangalore and Kolkata, respectively
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.
exchange4media Group Service
Also launches 10 programming initiatives this festive season
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.
exchange4media Group Service
Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain 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.
exchange4media Group Service