Why radio is poised to be the game-changer for brands & advertisers in 2020

Radio Industry experts share their views on the trends in the Radio Industry in 2019 and their predictions for 2020

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 6:40 PM


Radio Trends

As per the FICCI Frames-EY report, over 70 per cent of radio content is consumed on mobile phones in India. The report has stated that seven out of 10 people in metros and six out of 10 in non-metro cities listen to the radio while travelling. With this growing trend of radio listenership, advertisers will align their communication accordingly, and radio will become an integral part of their overall strategy. This year, many campaigns were curated by radio stations like the successful ‘Dhun Badalke Toh Dekho’ by 92.7 BIG FM, which reached 1.84 crore listeners on-air, in just four metros. Some stations provide advertisers not only a platform to advertise but also creative solutions in terms of on-ground activities and digital campaigns.

Going forward, the gamechanger for radio platforms will be a medium to gauge ROI and ensure that their campaigns and shows are purpose-driven. The need of the hour is to have more focused ROI-driven conversations that clients are increasingly asking for.

We at e4m spoke to experts from the radio industry, as they decode the trends of the year gone by and the ones to look out for in 2020.

According to Rajat Uppal, National Marketing Head, RED FM, 2019 has been a tough year for radio like most of the other mediums with revenues taking a hammering. Uppal stated, “Hard times are moments of reflection and has made radio brands think and act differently to face the challenges thrown at them. Radio as an industry has started to explore brand extensions and verticals, which could be sources of additional revenues. At RED FM, we have built further on the fact that we are an ‘Entertainment brand’ and not just a radio brand. We have strengthened our events, IP and activation business, and expanded our digital offerings. We believe these are our growth enablers in the years to come.”

Commenting on the trends in the Radio industry for the year 2019, Abraham Thomas, CEO, RBNL shared that the year 2019 has been a roller coaster ride with its fair share of challenges and successes. “While a lot of brands discovered the magic of hyper-local reach of radio and it impacts on sales, others moved beyond pure radio spots to Integrated Marketing Partnerships to achieve greater brand salience and higher customer acquisitions. The ongoing transition from being a radio network to an audio entertainment network saw content amplification to a wider reach of audiences across platforms and high impact programmatic advertising. In addition to this, the growing impact of radio’s local influencers and their hyper-local reach gave brands the wings to achieve higher growth. And finally 'our' purpose-driven marketing initiatives inspired many brands to partner with us and helped us pave the way to change the mindset of listeners. If 2019 was the year of rediscovering the magic of radio, 2020 promises to be the year when radio will take that big leap to become a high reach, high impact, new age ‘audio entertainment’ platform for brands”, remarked Thomas.

Speaking about the Radio-led campaigns that have created a large impact in the year 2019, Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City said, “Led by its brand philosophy of ‘Rag Rag Mein Daude City’, Radio City has always been a forerunner in organising initiatives to strengthen its bond with its listeners by giving them a platform to express themselves or to raise awareness around issues plaguing them. With its 11th season of Radio City Super Singer, India’s first and biggest singing talent hunt on radio, Radio City reached 69 million listeners across 39 cities. We have provided a platform for upcoming singers to showcase their talent to the country. To grow the independent music scene in India a notch above, the 6th edition of Radio City Freedom Awards recognised musicians across genres and languages. Not only this, but Radio City also invested its efforts in bringing about a positive change in society with various purpose-driven marketing campaigns to tackle civic issues across multiple cities. Whether it is fixing potholes with #GaddhaPehelwan, or spreading awareness on hygiene through ‘The Radio City Kavach Story’, installing solar LED streetlights to light up the streets and lives of Mumbaikars with #MumbaiKiJalegi initiative, or starting a dialogue about the ill-effects of drinking and driving with #MeraGhaata, Radio City has always focused on harnessing the power of radio to make its listeners' lives better.”

Lastly, talking about the major trends in the Radio Industry to look forward to in the coming year, Kukian concluded, “Globally, the power of internet radio will be harnessed by radio players, which will help curate playlists based on the listening habits of the users. Many radio companies will also shift towards non-FCT offerings like branded content, digital communities, music streaming, etc. which could collectively comprise up to 20 per cent of their revenue. With this portfolio growth, radio companies will club these services to explore new avenues for brands to showcase their products. They will also focus on increasing their use of programmatic advertising and exclusive content, and on building communities to understand consumers better. They will strengthen the brand connect with the target audience. Regional players will form strategic partnerships with larger players for expanding their reach and growing advertisement revenues.”

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