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It was 8:00 pm and eight minutes on Thursday night in Delhi. Sitting in a taxi caught in the Delhi traffic, I waited for the FM station where Cabi chose to play some music. Any music. Just then, the first notes of a popular Bollywood song fill the limits of the vehicle, but not before the guy on the radio says I can earn thousands of rupees with the new video streaming app Sue. That’s how I want it!
In just eight minutes, there were 18 statements. Yes, I reckon. The obvious option is to switch to another FM channel, but that doesn’t help. Every FM station is equally plagued with high advertising.
If you go through data from the radio monitoring agency Aircheck, FM radio stations play 20 minutes of advertising per hour in their evening slots. That number varies significantly depending on the time of day and week. If ads are broadcast less than 15 minutes in an hour, it is not due to lack of effort; But the FM channels didn’t have much advertising in that hour.
In comparison, on average, most TV channels place ads within 12 minutes per hour and push for another 15 minutes.
How FM radio works. If a company goes for a slight reduction in advertising, revenues will fall, as is the case with FM brand Radio Mirchi. The radio station, owned by Entertainment Network India Limited (INIL), reported a 15% reduction in the number of ads for the year ended March 2018, a decrease of more than 50% in net profit.
Business is tough, and the industry of Rs 2,800 crore (15 415 million) could get in a rut. It’s been over 20 years of private FM radio broadcasting in India, and radio is still the same – Bollywood music (with the exception of two stations that play international music), radio jockeys, love gurus and midnight porn music, and, of course, advertising.
The investment in setting up an FM station is high and it is difficult to generate advertising revenue. Ad rates are low, forcing companies to increase ad volumes. Companies are stuck in the spiral of “too much advertising, too much money” and even then, industry growth has stagnated at 6-7%, against expectations of double-digit improvement. The bottom line is that the radio business is hard to crack, and thanks to the advent of digital streaming services, which now offer even more new competition. When faced with all these challenges, what can FM radio stations do to adapt to the changing times?
Radio waves are high
There is an ongoing frequency problem on FM radio. In the current phase of radio privatization (Phase 3), the majority of the frequencies are not affordable to media companies and therefore impede growth. Apurva Purohit, director of Music Broadcast Limited, promoted by Jagran Prakashan, who runs FM brand 91.1 Radio City in 39 cities, said: “Cost and benefit analysis doesn’t work for most small cities.
The idea behind the third phase of radio privatization (the first two phases covered metro cities, state capitals and some large cities) was to cover cities with a population of more than 100,000 with 839 new radio stations. Phase 3 is divided into batches and so far, two batches have been confirmed; The first dealt with cities that already had an FM presence and saw huge bids for metro cities.