With BIG FM we will be India's largest private FM player: Apurva Purohit, Jagran Prakashan

The acquisition will expand Music Broadcast Limited's geographical reach and advertisers will benefit from a wider range of local markets, said Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan Ltd.

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Jun 12, 2019 8:10 AM

With the Board of Directors of Music Broadcast Limited all set to acquire Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), a Reliance ADA Group company, Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan Ltd., talks to exchange4media about what it means for the brand to take over RBNL that operates one of the largest FM radio networks in the country - BIG FM.
Purohit spoke about the combined network bringing increased traction from advertisers, the target groups for the radio stations, the marketing plans and more.


What will be the market share post the acquisition? Will it be a leadership position? 
Music Broadcast Ltd. currently has 39 stations and with the acquisition of RBNL’s BIG FM, our geographical presence will expand to 79 stations spanning 69 cities. This makes us the largest private FM player in the country with the maximum reach. The combined network will further see increased traction from advertisers as they stand to benefit from two large existing stations with brand equity. We believe this will help us command a higher market share with a leadership position. 

Furthermore, with Big FM’s target group being typically aged over 45 years and Radio City’s target group between 25 and 44, both the groups will give advertisers an expanded consumer base.
What does this acquisition mean for the company?
As of now, MBL has acquired a 24 per cent stake in RBNL. On receipt of all regulatory approvals, MBL will acquire the entire stake and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of FY2021 after the lock-in period is over. The acquisition will create India’s largest radio network with 79 stations. After the acquisition, RBNL will become a subsidiary of MBL. 

This acquisition helps expand our geographical reach, which in turn helps advertisers reach a wider range of local markets. Of the 40 stations of Big FM that we will be acquiring, 30 are in cities where Radio City does not have a presence. The ability to raise inventory utilisation and the ability to bring in the creative form of selling that Radio City is very good at are the areas where we will see maximisation of revenue.

What are your marketing plans going to be? 

MBL has spearheaded the evolution of FM radio programming by offering content that is unique and path-breaking. The network introduced humour and the concept of the ‘Agony Aunt’ on radio with Baber Sher and Love Guru respectively. It also initiated the Radio City Freedom Awards and provided a launchpad for budding singers with Radio City Super Singer, the first-of-its-kind radio talent show in India. Through its ‘Rag Rag Mein Daude City’ philosophy, the network has adopted a local approach that resonates with listeners, while inculcating a sense of city pride and infusing local culture and flavour on-air. 

BIG FM is one of India’s most awarded radio networks and has been the pioneer of innovative retro formats like Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra and Suhana Safar with Annu Kapoor. The offerings by both these brands have their unique follower base and complement each other with limited overlap. A combined network of 79 stations will therefore cater to a diverse range of audience and help us tap a listener base that is complementary to our existing followers.

Which new cities are you looking to add to your list?
With this acquisition we expand our reach to 30 new cities. These cities are Allahabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Indore, Jammu, Kolkata, Panaji, Shimla, Aligarh, Aizwal, Aurangabad, Agartala, Amritsar, Asansol, Gwalior, Itanagar, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Mangalore, Muzaffarpur, Mysore, Pondicherry, Rajkot, Rourkela, Shillong, Srinagar, Tirupati and Trivandrum. This exponentially increases our reach and makes us the largest radio network in India.
What kind of listener growth are you anticipating? 
Big FM reaches out to a target audience over 45 years, whereas Radio City has typically targeted an audience between the age group of 25 and 44 years. Both the target groups are different and complementary. 

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