Why did regional radio ad volumes see upsurge during lockdown?

Radio industry leaders opine that revival of economic activities in smaller and medium-sized markets post unlock was one of the major reasons for the growth

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Feb 17, 2021 8:28 AM  | 6 min read
regional radio ad volumes

During the lockdown months, the regional areas saw higher ad volume rates as opposed to the metro cities. According to the recent TAM AdEx India’s Mirroring Y 2020 for Radio Advertising report, the cities that accounted for high ad volume rates were Indore and Jaipur on top positions amongst 18 cities. The state of Gujarat recorded a 19% share of Ad volumes. But will this trend continue or have metro cities found their footing in ad revenue?

e4m spoke to Radio Industry leaders to understand the growing trend of regional areas receiving more ad volumes and the outlook of ad volumes in metro areas going forward.

Will the appeal of regional players earning more ad volume sustain?
Nisha Narayanan, Director and COO, Red FM and Magic FM stated that we have seen that the economic activities post unlock started to pick up in smaller and medium-sized markets.

Nisha Narayanan

Narayanan pointed out some of the reasons for the upsurge:

1. Local suppliers, manufacturers and marketers saw it as a good opportunity to market their brands due to good offers being given by most radio players, and their products were consumed more due to gaps in supply from bigger players.

2. Some regional brands also saw it as an opportunity to advertise more as breaks were clutter-free and media consumption especially in these cities was growing.
Due to the migration from the metro to smaller cities, the overall demand picked up for goods and consumables in these markets in comparison to Metro cities.

3. In categories like FMCG, Retail, Health services BFSI and local govt, ad volumes did better than what these categories did in most metro and mini-metros.

4. The impact of downsizing on categories like Education, Real Estate, Auto was also less in smaller cities in comparison to metro markets. As a result, metro cities were not low on volumes and the yield realization also improved once the festival spending started.

Asheesh Chatterjee, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Business Officer, BIG FM, sharing his perspective, said, “Tier 2-3 markets have witnessed a rapid revival and these emerging markets are leading the recovery. We believe that regional players will continue to garner more ad volumes going forward. With the staggered opening up of different geographies, local reach, local insights, local influencers, and digital amplification is playing a critical role in stimulating demand and enabling us back in the business. Categories like FMCG, Healthcare and Education are using local reach to amplify the launch of their products. Tier 2 & Tier 3 markets are expected to reach pre-COVID numbers in the next few months, largely on the back of higher brand count and reach.”

Asheesh Chatterjee

As per the recent TAM Adex Report, four regional states out of the top five states accounted for 61% of total ad volumes. These areas include Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.

Chatterjee remarked, “Radio enables brands to reach out to the length and breadth of the country due to its expansive network. Given that safety and reassurance are what a lot of brands want to align with, radio with its hyperlocal mass reach, high level of trust, credibility, and RJs as influencers, is a perfect fit. Radio's surge in listenership during the lockdown also resulted in brands leveraging the strength of the medium to the optimum.”

Preeti Nihalani

Speaking from her channel’s Quarter filings, Preeti Nihalani, Chief Revenue Officer, Mirchi explained, “When the pandemic hit, each city was impacted differently; every state had a different rule. On a city level, brands used different strategies and different communications, a trend that continued even after the lockdown was lifted, as various cities recovered at different rates. Mirchi has a strong regional presence on the back of its 73-station network. In Q3, our advertising volumes were up 15% over the same given period last year. All the growth was largely driven by tier 2 and tier 3 markets. Consumers in Tier II, III cities are more upbeat about spending as compared to consumers in Tier I markets, leading advertisers to focus more on non-metros in this recovery phase."

Naveen Sreenivasan

Speaking from a regional radio brand’s perspective, Naveen Sreenivasan, Head Media Solutions, TRD (Television, Radio, Digital) Mathrubhumi Group says, “Club FM knows the pulse of our listeners and understands the cultural and social nuances and differences even among the six stations that we run in Kerala. During the lockdown period, we strengthened our connection with Malayalees and saw tremendous engagement across stations. The brands and advertisers leveraged this strength of the medium generating greater exposure and engagement for their products. Going forward, the trend is likely to continue, and we are also ramping up engagement with our listeners. For instance, we have launched ClubFM Cinemakatha, were collaborating with top Malayalam Movie directors, we are crowdsourcing and creating Radio Movies with our Listeners.”

Will metro cities' ad volumes come back on top positions in 2021?
Nisha Narayanan, Director and COO, Red FM and Magic FM, talking about the current status of metro markets shared, “Metro’s are coming back now with almost 70-80% of LY level but more damage has been done on yields, which requires a long term recovery process. With more channels than tier 2,3,4; Metros and mini-metros will take a while to up the yield as they are linked with demand and supply. Only when we are back to excess demand, we can seek rate correction. Till then it’s going to be a challenge.”

According to Aircheck: The Industry has shown a stable consumption in both Metro and Non-Metro Markets with 36% consumption in FY20 and an estimated 33% consumption predicted for FY 21 for the Metro category. On the other hand, the Non-Metro category witnessed a 64% consumption in FY20 and is expected to increase to 67% in FY 21.

Chatterjee stated, “Metro markets are looking at audio digital solutions that enable them to reach out to their audiences via multiple touchpoints. We as a brand, at BIG FM, have expanded into a larger audio entertainment entity. After the launch of our web radio platform BRO (Big Radio Online) last year, we are looking at strategically advancing into a myriad of digital-led solutions that will help us to present an immersive experience and also a deeper level of engagement for all stakeholders. This will surely lead to greater traction amongst the Metro cities in the months to come.”

Sreenivasan likewise has witnessed the improvement in volumes from the metro markets as well. He concluded by saying, “Our radio brand Club FM was recently revamped, with a brand new logo and innovative, live, interactive content; and the same has resonated with advertisers, both regional and national.”

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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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