Jagran’s Rachna Kanwar on digital disruption in the radio space
Over the years, Radio City has been involved in conceptualising innovative ideas to engage with their listeners at a micro local level. Recently, the FM radio broadcaster launched its new age web platform – radiocity.in Hindi, becoming the only radio network in India to offer an exclusive Hindi website. hindi.radiocity.in will serve as the e-face of Radio City’s 39 stations.
In September this year, Radio City became the first radio network from India to offer thematic playlists to Apple Music users. The exclusive tie-up allows music lovers across the country to enjoy a world-class music experience through dynamic playlists curated by Radio City.
The network introduced humour and the concept of Agony Aunt on radio with ‘Babber Sher’ and ‘Love Guru’, respectively. It also initiated the Radio City Freedom Awards and provided a launch pad to budding singers with Radio City Super Singer, the first-of-its-kind radio talent show in India. Through its ‘Rag Rag Mein Daude City’ philosophy, the network has adopted a local approach that resonates with the listeners while inculcating a sense of city pride and infusing local culture and flavor on-air. The network provides terrestrial programming along with 43 other web-stations, through its digital interface, www.radiocity.in.
In a freewheeling conversation with Adgully, Rachna Kanwar, COO, Digital, Jagran New Media, speaks about the launch of radiocity.in, the intensifying focus on digital, operating in fragmented media landscape and more. Excerpts:
With the launch of Radiocity.in, do you foresee digital as the future of radio?
The recent years have witnessed a tremendous surge in internet and smartphone penetration. The audience has become flexible in their consumption of content and hence, there is a need for radio networks to stay connected with their audience at all times. Convergence of traditional broadcasting platforms with digital platforms is inevitable as digital media has become significant, not only for radio but for all other forms of communication as well. Through the launch of Radiocity.in, we have set the foundation for digital disruption in the radio space. This has allowed our listeners to enjoy terrestrial shows and exclusive content on their devices at their convenience.
How is radio a seamless fit into various digital media?
It is very easy to seamlessly integrate digital and on-ground activations with radio, compared to other media. For example, all our RJs are digital influencers and have a huge fan base. This makes it very convenient to integrate messages into social media and digital platforms beyond radio. These attributes are also helping advertisers get on to multi-media offerings.
Please elaborate on the digital initiatives of Radio City and the strategy employed to tackle competition from Digital platforms.
We have always been at the forefront of developing innovative ways of strengthening our digital presence. We do not consider digital media as competition, but rather an opportunity to integrate our existing services with new age media. We recently collaborated with Apple Music, becoming the first radio network in India that offers thematic playlists to Apple Music users around the world.
We have also expanded our digital platform and launched an exclusive Punjabi radio station, www.radiocity.in/punjabi, for Punjabi music lovers worldwide. With the launch of our web platform radiocity.in Hindi, we became the only radio network in India to offer an exclusive Hindi website.
Through Radiocity.in, we have established the largest 360 degree presence across platforms. It serves as the e-face of Radio City’s 39 stations and helps us connect with our audience without being bound by the constraints of geography. We have 47 web radio stations on our digital platform, with content spread across multiple genres and languages to appeal to a wider audience.
By providing cutting edge content across different genres of music, we have left an exceptional impression on music fans across audience segments.
Please share details on the tie-up with Apple for curated music.
Our tie-up with Apple Music is an industry first initiative and hasn’t been explored by any Indian radio network. Through this collaboration, we offer thematic playlists to Apple Music users around the world. The playlists are research driven, dynamic and updated regularly, basis current trends and listener preferences. The content features music from the 1980s to recent hits across all genres. These have been inspired by some of our most popular shows like ‘Love Guru’, ‘Kasa Kaay Mumbai’, ‘Radio City Top 25’ and ‘Suno Na Dilli’. Curating playlists on Apple’s platform helps us utilise our strengths to offer listeners content that enhances their music experience.
How challenging is it for radio players to create content in such a fragmented media scenario?
We have lived by our philosophy of ‘Rag Rag Mein Daude City’. Our constant effort to incorporate innovation and local nuances in our programming has driven audience engagement in all markets that we are present in. Our well-defined music strategy is based on mood mapping of listeners in every city.
Our digital strategy mirrors the same approach. In addition to our exclusive music content, Radio City’s portal offers multi-genre, live and interactive web radio stations that play a variety of content 24×7. Radiocity.in is an integral part of our mobile-first and digital approach. This has seen us add content across languages to our existing digital bounty in order to make the platform more relevant to listeners across geographies.