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For My FM, Tier 2 & 3 markets are the P1 markets: Rahul Namjoshi

My FM, the radio division of India’s largest print media company DB Corp, put up a strong show in its Q2 FY2019 results. According to the company, My FM is the largest player in Rest of Maharashtra and continues to be No. 1 in Chandigarh/ Haryana/ Punjab/ Rajasthan/ Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. MY FM today has presence in 7 states and 30 cities. 

My FM reported a 47 per cent growth in its Profit After Tax (PAT) to Rs 58 million from Rs 40 million in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal. My FM expanded its advertising revenues by 8.4 per cent YOY to Rs 377 million in Q2 FY2019, against Rs 348 million in Q2 of last fiscal. 

Backed by strong growth in listenership across its key markets, including Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Nagpur, Raipur, Surat, Nashik, Aurangabad and Rajkot, earlier this month, My FM announced a 15 per cent hike in its ad rates across key markets. The hike came into effect from November 15, 2018. 

Owing to its strong local connect and various product enhancement initiatives, the network has seen considerable growth and traction over the last few months. My FM has been able to consolidate its leadership position across all key markets, which has widened the gap with the No. 2 player in each market. The hike has been initiated in line with My FM’s constant endeavour to bring the best of content and listening experience for its audience. 

Leading My FM’s charge is Business Head Rahul Namjoshi. In an email interaction with Adgully, Namjoshi speaks about My FM’s focus on Tier 2 and 3 markets, viability of radio in a digital era, channel loyalty in radio and more. Excerpts: 

We hear My FM has had a good festive season…your first after taking charge.  How good was it?
I can’t share the numbers, but yes, this festive season went well as expected. The teams bounced back really well and made the most of the festive season opportunity. 

Do you think My FM’s strategy of having a footprint in Tier 2 and 3 cities is paying off?
Yes of course, it is a clearly thought out strategy. There is no other radio brand with so much focus in the Tier 2 and 3 markets. For us, these markets are the P1 markets, unlike other national players who have metro markets as P1 markets. 

What would you say helps you cut through the clutter as far as radio programming goes?
We understand the pulse of these markets and the people here. Our programming line-up has a perfect mix for each age group, the music is well researched and mood mapped. So, all in all it is a superior product experience. 

My FM, as per the claims, is a market leader in retail advertising in the cities that it has a presence. What attracts retailers to My FM?
Our teams are trained to provide solutions to clients; we understand the clients’ business needs and then suggest solutions. It can be just vanilla advertising to 360-degree solutions or an on-ground activation. The solution depends on what the client challenge is. 

Any new shows in the pipeline?
We recently launched ‘Mahabharata’ across our network. There are a few more announcements lined up in the coming future, however I won’t be able to divulge details right now, but yes, we will live up to our promise of bringing cutting edge content for our listeners. 

It has been a tough year for media so far, do you see H2 delivering better?
Definitely, the market sentiments are better and we have our IP properties lined up in H2, which will see a lot of traction from the advertisers. 

In this rapidly digitising landscape, what, according to you, is the key to keeping radio viable?
All the media vehicles will co-exist. I don’t see any threat from any other medium. In fact, Radio is the only medium which connects till the last mile across the length and breadth of the country. Today, radio is not just limited to songs, but provides local city info, which is very useful for the listeners. It provides instant updates faster than any other medium. 

How do you see radio competing with streaming devices? Do you believe ad spots need to be reduced or managed better?
Radio is free to air, while streaming devices are subscription based. So, I don’t see any competition in the future. 

Having said that, as an industry we need to better manage our inventories and this has to happen now. 

Is there anything like channel loyalty in radio? How can it be won?
Yes, definitely channel loyalty exists, and it depends on just one thing – if your product is superior, people are bound to listen and become a loyalist.

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