Radio City 91 FM debuts in Delhi on April 29

By , agencyfaqs! | In | April 26, 2003
To connect with the masses, Radio City plans to have all-Hindi programming

What was delaying the launch of the private FM stations in Delhi was the collocation process for transmission on the 230-metre tower in Pitampura, New Delhi (all the three private FM players Radio Mirchi, Red FM and Radio City are located on the same tower). With that done, Radio City is ready to roll on April 29 in Delhi, its fourth destination after Bangalore, Lucknow and Mumbai. Sumantra Dutta, COO, Radio City (a STAR India venture), assures that "Dilli will never be the same again."

And how does Radio City propose to do that? For starters, the channel is going to play Hindi music only. "At Radio City we have invested the last few months in understanding the preferences of Delhi listeners. One of the key findings was Hindi is the preferred language for music. There seems to be an active dislike for English," says Dutta.

A direct corollary of this finding is advertisers are not keen on parking their money in English programmes. Faced with the imposing licence fee, it only makes sense for FM players to speak the language of the masses, where the interest of the advertisers (especially local) also lies. About 15 years ago, before the C&S revolution, radio used to get a 10 per cent share of the total advertising; now, it gets only 1.5 per cent. (In developed countries, radio gets anywhere between 6 and 13 per cent of the ad spend).

Today the radio advertising pie stands at Rs 10-10.5 crore, where national advertisers hold 70-80 per cent of the share, with the remaining contributed by local advertisers. But the current equation has to change for the ad revenue to go up. Local advertisers would lead the future growth. And that explains why most private radio channels are gunning for Hindi.

Radio City claims to offer very cost effective advertising opportunities to local advertisers. It has already roped in a bunch of local advertisers, besides some national ones. The local advertisers include Amity Business School, Bon Ton, Ruby Tuesday, Satyam Cineplex, PP Design Estate and J&K Bank. Some of the national advertisers include JK Tyres, ING Vysya, Fuji, Apollo Tyres, SBI and GE Capital.

Knowing that hard news will never be an area that FM players can operate in, pure entertainment is going to be Radio City's focus. Twenty-four hour live hit Hindi music and the latest in the world of Bollywood fused with health, weather, traffic and power updates - the endeavour to connect with the masses in Delhi is apparent. "We have been associated with social causes in cities such as Bangalore; we would continue to do the same in Delhi," assures Praveen Malhotra, vice-president and station manager, Radio City.

English programming may find some expression, but in the second round of the licensing. "Our experience with STAR Plus has been that Indian viewers need to evolve to a stage where they begin demanding English-based programmes. Only then a space would be created," explains Dutta. To that, John N Catlett, CEO, Radio City, adds, "If we had quite a few radio channels in one city, we could have started looking at that part of the advertising revenue that English programmes fetch."

For now, the channel is betting its shirt on its well-thought-out mix of programmes, among which are a daily morning forecast - Radio City Bhavishyvani, something Indians follow keenly, followed by Sunshine Track, a music programme. Kiski Dilli, Kaisi Dilli is about expecting the unexpected about the city. There is a one-hour special for the young called The Kid Hour. Among the interactive programmes is Gana Full Plate, a dial-in programme where one can call and dedicate a song. Tips on best bargains, sales running at Delhi shopping malls would be broadcast on Radio Bazaar. Cinema Cinema is Radio City's window to the world of movies.

On the promotions front, Radio City is leaving no stone unturned. A multi-media campaign straddling television, print, radio, Internet and outdoor will break soon. But company officials refused to give out the ad spends citing company policy.

Radio City 91 FM will leverage the STAR network for promoting the brand. It has also struck barter deals with various media entities. In addition, Radio City is going whole hog on ground level events. Recently, it launched a car sticker campaign. One would soon see the backs of 500 buses and scooter Stepney wheel covers with ads of Radio City. Besides, Radio City has tied up with 100 Bharat Petroleum Corporation stations for a promotion scheme where one could win free petrol worth Rs 1,000 everyday. And if one were interested in branded Radio City radio sets, one would have to tune in to Radio City 91 FM on April 29.

In a space of one or two days of the launch of Radio City, the other FM players too will be ready. And since all the private FM stations will have predominantly Hindi music, what will distinguish one channel from the other? "The difference is between STAR Plus and the other channels. We will be different in terms of the way we connect to the people, in terms of our marketing, our presentation, promotions everything," concludes Dutta. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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