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Battleground Delhi heats up for FM stations

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Battleground Delhi heats up for FM stations

‘Delhi mein koi radio nahin sunta, sab FM sunte hain... yaani Fever Music’ says Fever FM as it celebrated its third anniversary in the Capital last week, Red FM repositioned itself as ‘Aaj ke zamaane ka radio station and not baap ke zamaane ka’, Big FM too in September launched its music positioning- Chillax Hits in Delhi and Mumbai but, there is something common about campaigns especially that of Fever FM and Red FM, they seem to be directly targeting Radio Mirchi, the leader in the Delhi market as per RAM.

Fever FM even boasts of having a lead in the Delhi market in terms of cume in week 38 and 39. The total media spends for the new campaign is estimated between Rs 6-7 crore, which is specifically for the Delhi market wherein the FM station targeted the youth.

Radio Mirchi in September 2009 had infused more variety in its music line-up that had started in Mumbai. Delhi became the last market to adopt this strategy, which by many was also seen as a risk. Radio Mirchi traditionally has been an undisputed leader in Delhi. However when the station introduced ‘90 not out’ and ‘Retro Deewane’, it appeared that Radio Mirchi was embracing retro music. And other FM stations found this to be a huge opportunity to counter Radio Mirchi.

exchange4media spoke to industry players to know their views on the Delhi market’s FM wars.

A New Order Emerging

Ashwin Padmanabhan, Station Director- Delhi, Big FM observed, “From a Big FM viewpoint, the Delhi market has huge opportunities. This is one market where we have the potential to grow significantly, and this growth can have tremendous impact on our overall standing as a network -- both in terms of viewership and revenue. This opportunity however comes with challenges, and the key challenge is that Delhi traditionally has had one supreme leader. That however is now changing. We have a number of players today who can move to the top.”

Padmanabhan explained, “Radio Mirchi probably made it first major product overhaul in Delhi after many years; all these years they either did not need to, or did not desire to, make any kind of change. The ratings scenario and that Mirchi has been constantly challenged, resulted in this. Sensing that all of us have an opportunity, the rest of the players are making moves and counter moves and this will be a key market of conflict for the next six to seven months. I believe we will see a new order emerging soon.”

Anuj Singh, National Marketing Head and West Head, Red FM noted, “Metros like Delhi or Mumbai are always a challenge for marketers due to their cosmopolitan audiences. It is imperative to have a clearly defined target audience. Otherwise an attempt to reach out to everyone ends up in confliction of sorts. While everyone has been talking about ‘youth’, Red FM Delhi has identified the need of the hour by revamping the sound and feel of the station in this past one month. We have repositioned ourselves ‘aaj ke zamaane ka radio staion and not baap ke zamaane ka’. Listeners have helped us get rid of all the ‘purane aur thakele gane’ from our playlist, and now only superhit songs post 2000 is on the station.”

Neeraj Chaturvedi, National Marketing Head, Fever FM said, “Delhi is certainly a challenging market, muck like any other metro. We have a much contemporary and younger audience and that to me is the big change in Delhi. The story really is of Mirchi coming down in Delhi and us getting more numbers and that is the big shift in the last three months.”

Market Leader Mirchi Speaks

Tapas Sen, Chief Programming Officer, Radio Mirchi stated, “In Delhi, Radio Mirchi is the King. We are leading by head and shoulder and we are very confident about Delhi, as we have been leading Delhi from day one and years later we continue to be the undisputed leader. In Delhi our product is so solid, the buzz is so strong and the listenership is so high that we are extremely confident about this market.”

Sen elaborated more on what he thought has been working for the station. He said, “We have the best Radio Jockeys, the right combination of music, and most importantly we have been able to connect emotionally with Delhi listeners like no other station. We understand Delhi inside out hence we are able to emotionally connect. In fact, most of the campaigns run by our competition have never seen the light of the day as far as the public are concerned because they are not in mass media. As of now we are extremely confident of our product.”

According to Sen, in 2009 Radio Mirchi offered a lot of variety in music, which has already started yielding “good results” and the year 2010 would be about further consolidation. He said, “In fact, after infusing more variety in our music line-up we have surged ahead. We are clear leaders in all bands.”

Delhi as market is surely opening enough doors for all stations to compete heatedly. Going forward, the challenge is set to get only tougher and as the station heads state, they are prepared and looking forward to it.


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