Red FM & #BANNER1 & # is the leading radio station in Mumbai, while Radio Mirchi is ruling the air waves in Delhi, according to Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) data for the period between September 7 and October 11 (week 37 to week 41).
Currently, RAM covers Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata, but it is expected to increase its reach soon.
Red Fm has recorded a radio channel share of 19 per cent in Mumbai for the period between September 7 and October 11. This denotes a three point lead over Big FM.
The other aspect of this race is what sets the leader apart from the rest. Thomas says, "Red has been consistent in its brand promise across all touch points with its listeners - that's what makes us connect."
He states confidently that "Red is probably one of the few differentiated media brands that has transcended from offering a pure functional benefit to an emotional benefit to its consumers and this consistency has cut through and connected with the audience".
Another point Thomas makes is that markets are not separated by geographies, but execution and nuancing differ from one market to another. He admits that constant reinventing is the only way to maintain supremacy in the race.
"At an operational level, every quarter is a fresh beginning. While we do plan long term, we definitely do not rest on our laurels. We are always working towards being relevant as of 'today'. This keeps us sounding fresh and interesting and keeps us ahead of the curve." Is that a cue the others could follow?
Other than connecting with listeners on air, Red FM is also active on ground, on mobile, on TV and off air, and each interaction, according to Thomas, is consistent with the brand promise.
Though Red FM is the clear leader in Mumbai, the players in the second, third and fourth positions are too close to each other for comfort. Big FM enjoys a 16 per cent share of the market. Radio City and Radio Mirchi are one point away from each other, in the third and fourth spots, with 15 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. AIR Fm Gold has a share of 10 per cent in Mumbai, while Radio One has a share of 9 per cent. This is followed by Fever FM, AIR FM Rainbow, Vividh Bharati, and Radio Meow with a share of 5 per cent, 4 per cent, 3 per cent, and 2 per cent respectively. Akashavani Mumbai also garnered a share of 2 per cent in Mumbai.
In Delhi during the same period, Radio Mirchi held a 26 per cent share, outpacing its competition by a significant margin. "The elements which have contributed to the No. 1 position are not one, but many: consistent programming quality, programming innovations, the quality of our radio jockeys and our unique on-air concepts," says Srinivasa Shenoy, senior vice-president and business head, Delhi station.
When asked what sets Mirchi apart from the rest, Shenoy claims, "The way we treat our music is different from the market. The music blends with what the listener wants to hear and so there is an appropriate mix of recent Bollywood hits and classics in the form of the night show, Purani Jeans. The on-ground activities are also unique in their own way."
Radio Mirchi partners some of the biggest events in the Capital, such as the Delhi Half Marathon. It is also the exclusive radio partner of the Delhi Daredevils, the city's Indian Premier League team.
Shenoy says, "The mantra is not to be complacent and the entire Radio Mirchi Delhi team is up on their toes to create the next benchmark for the industry through continuous innovations in its on-air content and touching base with the city through its on-ground initiatives."
The surprise in Delhi is that the No. 2 spot is held by a government station. AIR FM Gold holds a 15 per cent market share, holding back those behind it by a comfortable margin of 5 per cent. As the name suggests, AIR Gold plays mostly golden hits from Hindi films. It's obviously dear to the hearts of Delhiites because it holds its position despite undertaking no obvious promotional activities.
In Delhi, Fever FM is at No.3 with a share of 10 per cent followed by Radio One and Radio City with a share of 9 per cent each. Red Fm which is the No. 1 station in Mumbai is at No 6 with a share of 8 per cent. It shares the No 6 position with Big Fm. AIR FM Rainbow, Hit 95 Fm, Radio Meow fill the next three positions with a share of 5 per cent, 4 per cent, and 3 per cent, respectively. Vividh Bharati in Delhi has a share of 2 per cent.