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Radio brands look to break through the din

Radio Mirchi and Radio City are following very different strategies to create their unique brand identities

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

AudaCity keeps its ear to the ground

A year after the third phase of frequency auctions, two big broadcasters are firming up strategies to help differentiate their brands for listeners and advertisers. Differentiation is critical given the growing clutter in the market and; Mirchi under Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) and City from the (JP) stable, have both embarked on the process, albeit adopting very different paths to get to the goal.

There are 35 companies operating 243 FM channels in 86 cities according to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) report. While this presents a large opportunity, it also means stiffer competition for the audience’s ear and Mirchi and City are both cranking up the volume.

Tuning into new frequencies

For Mirchi and City the approach towards the emergent opportunities has been different right from the start. At the auction stage, City decided to get into the markets that parent Jagran was strong in. Mirchi, on the other hand, sought to grow its national footprint and shore up its listener base in key markets. City focused on heartland frequencies and Mirchi on getting into as many regions as possible.

“We have 39 stations under City and the plan for the auctions was assessment driven. For us, the North is important because of the synergies we share with the parent. Having said that, these markets are lucrative in their own right,” says Kartik Kalla, EVP (National Programming & Creative) and marketing head, City. City follows a similar strategy for new launches. While these are customised around unique listening preferences of the local audience or regional cultural identifiers, it relies heavily on the parent brand’s understanding of local tastes and networks. 

Sound Track
Sound Track

 

Karthik says that they look at identifying the brand closely with its area of influence. For Kanpur, they roped in actor Hrithik Roshan for the launch as Bollywood and the actor have big appeal among the people in the city. “The Kanpur launch is an example of the synergies with JP. We had a readymade platform in terms of media and the launch was a big event,” adds Kalla. The station works on the concept of drivers across parameters like market, show and category. The research team evaluates a market and its audience to find what drives listenership, on a show or within a category. This is how the team decided on using  Roshan, but may stick to something with music at its core for a city launch in Rajasthan. 

Mirchi looked for more frequencies in metros where it had an advantage and also went after remote and fairly under-tapped regions. It picked up frequencies in metros like Bengaluru and in regions like Jammu and Kashmir and the North East. Mirchi has decided to launch sub brands to cater to different tastes and advertiser preferences. “We thought it was a good idea to have a second brand with a distinct identity. So ‘Mirchi Love’ targets a different audience, has different genre focus in terms of music and thus attracts a different set of advertisers. It focuses on romance and has songs from various decades. The TG is listeners above 25, a more mature bunch and so the advertisers would change accordingly,” says Prashant Panday, CEO ENIL.

Claiming advertiser attention

accounts for just 3.5 per cent of the total advertising spend among brands in India according to the Pitch Madison Report (September 2016). Total ad expenditure on has grown by 20 per cent in 2015 and is expected to grow by 18 per cent in 2016; a shade lower than the expected growth for television at 20 per cent. For stations today, the big challenge is not just growing their share of the ad pie but increasing the number of brands advertising on the platform. The biggest advertisers are real estate and FMCG companies but e-commerce is one of the main contributors to growth. Revenue from e-commerce players doubled in 2015, scored over other media on account of various offer-based tactical campaigns the report says. 

City and Mirchi are tapping into the ad opportunities differently. While City hopes to  leverage its association with JP, Mirchi wants to wait for advertisers to warm up to its new brands and charge a premium. “The frequencies under the Mirchi brand already have a recall. However, we are not in a hurry to sell space on the new brand till we are ensured a premium. We’re in it for the long run, so we don’t want to undersell the product,” Panday explains.

Panday believes that low ad rates encourage stations to oversell the prime time, which ultimately takes away from the listener experience. He is confident he does not want to do the same with Mirchi Love.

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Radio brands look to break through the din

Radio Mirchi and Radio City are following very different strategies to create their unique brand identities

Radio Mirchi and Radio City are following very different strategies to create their unique brand identities
A year after the third phase of frequency auctions, two big broadcasters are firming up strategies to help differentiate their brands for listeners and advertisers. Differentiation is critical given the growing clutter in the market and; Mirchi under Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) and City from the (JP) stable, have both embarked on the process, albeit adopting very different paths to get to the goal.

There are 35 companies operating 243 FM channels in 86 cities according to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) report. While this presents a large opportunity, it also means stiffer competition for the audience’s ear and Mirchi and City are both cranking up the volume.

Tuning into new frequencies

For Mirchi and City the approach towards the emergent opportunities has been different right from the start. At the auction stage, City decided to get into the markets that parent Jagran was strong in. Mirchi, on the other hand, sought to grow its national footprint and shore up its listener base in key markets. City focused on heartland frequencies and Mirchi on getting into as many regions as possible.

“We have 39 stations under City and the plan for the auctions was assessment driven. For us, the North is important because of the synergies we share with the parent. Having said that, these markets are lucrative in their own right,” says Kartik Kalla, EVP (National Programming & Creative) and marketing head, City. City follows a similar strategy for new launches. While these are customised around unique listening preferences of the local audience or regional cultural identifiers, it relies heavily on the parent brand’s understanding of local tastes and networks. 

Sound Track
Sound Track

 

Karthik says that they look at identifying the brand closely with its area of influence. For Kanpur, they roped in actor Hrithik Roshan for the launch as Bollywood and the actor have big appeal among the people in the city. “The Kanpur launch is an example of the synergies with JP. We had a readymade platform in terms of media and the launch was a big event,” adds Kalla. The station works on the concept of drivers across parameters like market, show and category. The research team evaluates a market and its audience to find what drives listenership, on a show or within a category. This is how the team decided on using  Roshan, but may stick to something with music at its core for a city launch in Rajasthan. 

Mirchi looked for more frequencies in metros where it had an advantage and also went after remote and fairly under-tapped regions. It picked up frequencies in metros like Bengaluru and in regions like Jammu and Kashmir and the North East. Mirchi has decided to launch sub brands to cater to different tastes and advertiser preferences. “We thought it was a good idea to have a second brand with a distinct identity. So ‘Mirchi Love’ targets a different audience, has different genre focus in terms of music and thus attracts a different set of advertisers. It focuses on romance and has songs from various decades. The TG is listeners above 25, a more mature bunch and so the advertisers would change accordingly,” says Prashant Panday, CEO ENIL.

Claiming advertiser attention

accounts for just 3.5 per cent of the total advertising spend among brands in India according to the Pitch Madison Report (September 2016). Total ad expenditure on has grown by 20 per cent in 2015 and is expected to grow by 18 per cent in 2016; a shade lower than the expected growth for television at 20 per cent. For stations today, the big challenge is not just growing their share of the ad pie but increasing the number of brands advertising on the platform. The biggest advertisers are real estate and FMCG companies but e-commerce is one of the main contributors to growth. Revenue from e-commerce players doubled in 2015, scored over other media on account of various offer-based tactical campaigns the report says. 

City and Mirchi are tapping into the ad opportunities differently. While City hopes to  leverage its association with JP, Mirchi wants to wait for advertisers to warm up to its new brands and charge a premium. “The frequencies under the Mirchi brand already have a recall. However, we are not in a hurry to sell space on the new brand till we are ensured a premium. We’re in it for the long run, so we don’t want to undersell the product,” Panday explains.

Panday believes that low ad rates encourage stations to oversell the prime time, which ultimately takes away from the listener experience. He is confident he does not want to do the same with Mirchi Love.
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Business Standard
177 22

Radio brands look to break through the din

Radio Mirchi and Radio City are following very different strategies to create their unique brand identities

A year after the third phase of frequency auctions, two big broadcasters are firming up strategies to help differentiate their brands for listeners and advertisers. Differentiation is critical given the growing clutter in the market and; Mirchi under Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) and City from the (JP) stable, have both embarked on the process, albeit adopting very different paths to get to the goal.

There are 35 companies operating 243 FM channels in 86 cities according to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) report. While this presents a large opportunity, it also means stiffer competition for the audience’s ear and Mirchi and City are both cranking up the volume.

Tuning into new frequencies

For Mirchi and City the approach towards the emergent opportunities has been different right from the start. At the auction stage, City decided to get into the markets that parent Jagran was strong in. Mirchi, on the other hand, sought to grow its national footprint and shore up its listener base in key markets. City focused on heartland frequencies and Mirchi on getting into as many regions as possible.

“We have 39 stations under City and the plan for the auctions was assessment driven. For us, the North is important because of the synergies we share with the parent. Having said that, these markets are lucrative in their own right,” says Kartik Kalla, EVP (National Programming & Creative) and marketing head, City. City follows a similar strategy for new launches. While these are customised around unique listening preferences of the local audience or regional cultural identifiers, it relies heavily on the parent brand’s understanding of local tastes and networks. 

Sound Track
Sound Track

 

Karthik says that they look at identifying the brand closely with its area of influence. For Kanpur, they roped in actor Hrithik Roshan for the launch as Bollywood and the actor have big appeal among the people in the city. “The Kanpur launch is an example of the synergies with JP. We had a readymade platform in terms of media and the launch was a big event,” adds Kalla. The station works on the concept of drivers across parameters like market, show and category. The research team evaluates a market and its audience to find what drives listenership, on a show or within a category. This is how the team decided on using  Roshan, but may stick to something with music at its core for a city launch in Rajasthan. 

Mirchi looked for more frequencies in metros where it had an advantage and also went after remote and fairly under-tapped regions. It picked up frequencies in metros like Bengaluru and in regions like Jammu and Kashmir and the North East. Mirchi has decided to launch sub brands to cater to different tastes and advertiser preferences. “We thought it was a good idea to have a second brand with a distinct identity. So ‘Mirchi Love’ targets a different audience, has different genre focus in terms of music and thus attracts a different set of advertisers. It focuses on romance and has songs from various decades. The TG is listeners above 25, a more mature bunch and so the advertisers would change accordingly,” says Prashant Panday, CEO ENIL.

Claiming advertiser attention

accounts for just 3.5 per cent of the total advertising spend among brands in India according to the Pitch Madison Report (September 2016). Total ad expenditure on has grown by 20 per cent in 2015 and is expected to grow by 18 per cent in 2016; a shade lower than the expected growth for television at 20 per cent. For stations today, the big challenge is not just growing their share of the ad pie but increasing the number of brands advertising on the platform. The biggest advertisers are real estate and FMCG companies but e-commerce is one of the main contributors to growth. Revenue from e-commerce players doubled in 2015, scored over other media on account of various offer-based tactical campaigns the report says. 

City and Mirchi are tapping into the ad opportunities differently. While City hopes to  leverage its association with JP, Mirchi wants to wait for advertisers to warm up to its new brands and charge a premium. “The frequencies under the Mirchi brand already have a recall. However, we are not in a hurry to sell space on the new brand till we are ensured a premium. We’re in it for the long run, so we don’t want to undersell the product,” Panday explains.

Panday believes that low ad rates encourage stations to oversell the prime time, which ultimately takes away from the listener experience. He is confident he does not want to do the same with Mirchi Love.

image
Business Standard
177 22