We have galvanised stronger emotional connect with listeners:Abraham Thomas

Radio City is all geared to capitalise on the positive market sentiments post the Phase III FM auctions. The FM player recently launched AudaCITY, a dedicated in-house creative agency that aims to break free from the conventional way of radio creativity.

Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City, who took charge in November 2015, speaks about the growing reach of radio, hike in radio revenues and why he thinks 2016 will be an exciting year for the radio industry. Excerpts:

Adgully (AG): Tell us about the strength and power of radio to deliver to sizeable number of audiences in regional and high growth market.

Abraham Thomas (AT): Radio as a medium undoubtedly garners a high reach. It has the power to reach out effectively to both masses as well as classes. Radio reaches to more than 85 per cent of the audience in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore (Source: RAM). Over the years, radio as a medium has evolved from the mantelpiece background media to an active and interactive medium. Radio revenues have definitely witnessed an upward surge and the sector is estimated to grow at a healthy rate of 18 per cent CAGR (Source: Pitch Madison Report 2016). Besides local advertisers, who use radio extensively, national advertisers have also gone local with their communication on radio.

As a medium it has adapted well with the new trends by still being local in its approach. With the conclusion of the first batch of the Phase III auctions, radio has extended its reach across markets and newer geographies, thereby attracting many local and regional advertisers towards the medium. Radio definitely will magnify its reach once the entire batch of Phase III auctions are concluded, which will be beneficial to the investors as well as the advertisers both at a national as well as local level. According to both IRS and RAM reports in Tier 2 and Tier 2 towns, radio penetration is comparatively higher than that of leading publications.

Mobile penetration has increased in the coming years, which directly impacts FM listenership. 68 per cent of the mobile handsets have FM inbuilt radio and 88 per cent of the FM listenership happens through mobile. Radio is the second fastest growing medium in SEC A after Internet.

Digital radio, on the other hand, is also gaining its share of popularity as more listeners are adapting to the various genres it offers and the trend is only expected to grow in the near future. Another key development has been the increase in the FDI limit for investment in radio, making it an attractive medium for the investors.

AG: Radio as an advertising platform.

AT: As majority of India resides in Tier 2-Tier 3 cities, radio is the most effective medium to reach out to this segment. Various advertisers are now coming forward to advertise on radio, taking cognizance of its effectiveness. Due to the expansion and developments in the industry, various local as well as national advertisers are preferring radio than other conventional form of advertising.

True to our name, Radio City has been representing the city and has thrived on the local flavour and idioms, so that every citizen can relate to and take pride in the city that they belong to. We have continuously fine-tuned our content and developed formats and properties to reflect the city’s fabric and hence, galvanise stronger emotional connect with the city’s listener.

AG: How has Radio City fared over the last one year?

AT: Radio City has been consistently No. 1 across Mumbai and Bangalore for 350+ weeks. We are proud to be No. 1 in Mumbai and Bangalore in 2016 as well.

AG: What can we expect from Radio City in 2016?

AT: 2016 is definitely going to be an exciting year for the radio industry and definitely for Radio City. We kickstarted the year by launching an exclusive in-house creative client solutions agency – AudaCITY – to take a step forward and to break free from the conventional way of radio creativity. Through AudaCITY, we offer our clients the wackiest, out-of-the-box solutions that would take radio creativity to the next level.

We have built key properties like Radio City Super Singer, RJ Hunt, Love Guru, Babber Sher and Radio City Freedom Awards, to name a few, and will be launching a few more soon. So watch this space…



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