Retro works for Big FM Delhi

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 13, 2013
Since it decided to air only retro music, the Delhi station of Big FM has registered a growth in market share, from 5 per cent in October 2011 to 15 per cent.

Big FM's Delhi station lives by the adage 'Old is Gold'. The data provided by the station shows that its Delhi station, which announced the decision to air only retro music, seems to have hit upon the right strategy, as it has registered an increase in its market share since October, 2011.

As per the RAM data (all 12+, male/female) provided by the station, the Delhi station has registered a gain in its market share - an increase from 5 per cent in Week 43 (October 23-29, 2011) to 15 per cent in Week 4 (January 20-26, 2013).

The tagline of Big FM Delhi is 'Hit The, Hit Rahenge'.

The transition process was a measured strategy and instead of changing to retro in one go, the channel initially allowed listeners to sample the music for three months before launching its first campaign, 'Mohabatein', to promote its 11 am to 2 pm retro show.

Ashwin Padmanabhan

This was followed by a concert by Kailash Kher. The strategy after that has been mainly content driven and has included reaching out to listeners through street level activations on a weekly basis.

Talking about the station's strategy, Ashwin Padmanabhan, business head, 92.7 Big FM, says, "At present, retro is what's ruling the charts. Retro need not necessarily work across all markets. We have never believed in the one shoe fits all model and have always localised content and music mix basis local understandings. We picked up a particular music genre based on a city basis research and local audience requirements."

He adds, "The average profile of radio listeners in Delhi is pegged at 25 to 45+, male/female. Keeping this in mind, we challenged the odds and decided to serve these audiences with all time hit music. We focused on playing not just old film songs but the popular numbers that one can listen to at any time of the day."

The channel undertook an audience preference mapping and found that listeners still enjoy listening to all-time hit music and given a chance, most Indians still love to relax over classic, soothing songs from yesteryears.

After the revamp, 92.7 Big FM claims to be looking at increasing yields by 15-20 per cent, depending on the market. "In addition, we have observed that a lot of lifestyle brands are recognizing the upper SEC reach of our stations and investing on Big FM across metros," adds Padmanabhan.

Apart from Delhi, Big FM showcases retro music across three other stations including Surat, Indore and Bhopal. As far as the Delhi station is concerned, to ensure that retro stays on the mind of Delhi listeners, the channel has planned a series of retro concerts by leading musicians and singers every quarter.

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