afaqs!

Radio City dabbles in audio books business

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 27, 2010
For publishing and distribution of Radio City audio books, the radio station has tied up with publisher of children's books, BPI India

Radio City has ventured into the audio books business with the launch of audio books titled City of Tales, where the stories are narrated in an audio format.

For the eight year old radio station, it's a new business venture altogether. It is falling back on the age old tradition of storytelling by targeting kids in the age group of two-eight years. The tales comprise two separate titles, namely Folk Tales from India and Animal Wisdom.

& #BANNER1 & #Radio City is the first radio station to get into the audio books business. Earlier, Radio Mirchi created audio CDs for the visually challenged people in partnership with National Association for the Blind (NAB) as a part of its CSR initiative. For the initiative, Radio Mirchi recorded audio books for the blind and also produced a weekly half hour audio newsreel.

Sharing the reasons for entering the business, Apurva Purohit, chief executive officer, Radio City, comments, "The audio books business is in a fairly nascent stage in the country. However, internationally, it's a big industry worth Rs 4,500 crore. The book publishing business in India is worth Rs 2,000 crore and since audio books is an uncharted territory, its share is about 10 per cent or more."

Radio City audio books will be available in both English and Hindi. Each title, such as Folk Tales from India and Animal Wisdom, comprises five stories and the duration of each story varies between 6 minutes and 8 minutes. The stories in the audio books series are based on Indian mythology, fables and folk tales. The audio books, believes Purohit, is an apt product for the young generation which is familiar and comfortable with digital technology.

The audio books are an in-house product, conceptualised, scripted and recorded by the station using its own studio facility and manpower in the form of voiceover artists and narrators.

According to Purohit, Radio City has been around for eight years and it was time to further build on its core business.

Radio City audio books series will be published and distributed by BPI India, publisher of children's books. The offering is a kit comprising an audio CD with the stories, activity books of puzzles, mazes, number games, sketching and colouring books based on the stories, along with sketch pens.

The two titles are being positioned as a product which is a combination of entertainment and edutainment. Each title kit is priced at Rs 350.

The product will be promoted heavily on 20 stations of Radio City spread across the country. The radio station also plans to reach out to kids by carrying out interactive sessions full of fun activities at book stores such as Crossword and Landmark. It is also in the process of identifying play schools and primary schools in its bid to reach out to its TG (target group).

Additionally, the titles will be sold by the publisher, BPI India, through its own distribution points spread across the country.

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