afaqs!

My FM listens to listeners

By Justin Thomas , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 16, 2009
After a one-week survey, My FM brings some changes in content according to its listeners' preferences

Checking & #BANNER1 & # that they're still in tune with their listener base, Bhaskar Group's My FM had conducted a survey last month, in the seven states in which it has a presence. Primarily a non-metro player, the operator has now incorporated changes in content for all its 17 stations in these states.

Speaking to afaqs! on its survey, Harrish Bhatia, chief operating officer, My FM says, "We realised that the average stay across our markets has been two years. We wanted to know if we are delivering to our listeners' satisfaction, and what we are offering is what they have expected from us."

The radio survey was launched on December 12 for a week, in seven cities, namely, Chandigarh, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Raipur, Ahmedabad and Nagpur. It was a targeted exercise to understand the nuances in liking amongst the three prime sets of radio audience: officegoers/traders/businessmen, housewives and youth.

The survey was also rolled out in Bhaskar Group's three newspapers, Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar and DNA. The classified booking agencies in these cities also partnered in the initiative and drop boxes were kept at these places as well.

At the same time, housewives were contacted in leading residential societies, and youth in colleges, malls and cinema halls over the weekend. My FM's website also carried the survey.

Among the results of the survey was a high demand for romantic and melodious numbers, especially in Nagpur, Chandigarh and Indore. The survey also helped to validate the regional music preferences for cities like Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Bollywood Retro emerged as a preferred genre.

The survey also revealed that in these non-metro cities, 62 per cent of the respondents spend 1-3 hours on the radio daily, indicating that the medium has matured in these markets. News content is also in demand in these areas.

One of the changes brought about by the survey is that more music will be played in an hour, by higher rotations of the latest popular numbers. The number of songs from newly released movies will be increased. Moreover, the number of romantic and emotional songs in the playlist will be increased by 10 percent.

As per the demand revealed by the survey, English music has been introduced in the youth time band, Masti ki Pathshala, from 2 to 5 pm. This has been done in Chandigarh, Nagpur, Jaipur, Indore and Bhopal.

One major difference between metro and non-metro listening patterns is that there is no drive time listening in the latter, because the workplaces are not too far from residences.

Another, according to Bhatia, is that "In spite of increasing consumerism, the people are homely, emotional and sentimental. Loudness on the medium is not accepted." In other words, a joke cracked on the Delhi airwaves may not be found funny at all in these cities.

The radio station is, therefore, getting used to the pace of life in its markets. As an indicator, most of the markets have ruled in favour of old music as compared to fast music.