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Radio City’s ad volume increased 12% CAGR during FY11-17: Abraham Thomas

Radio City, a part of Music Broadcast Ltd and a subsidiary of Jagran Prakashan, has been moving from strength to strength. Along with reporting a strong performance in FY17, the FM player has also won several accolades for its content as well as community initiatives, bagging 36-plus awards so far in 2017 alone. 

Music Broadcast Ltd currently has 39 stations, including 11 newly acquired stations in Phase III auctions. Radio City in its third phase expands to Kanpur Ajmer, Kota, Bikaner, Udaipur, Patiala, Patna, Jamshedpur, Nasik, Kolhapur and Madurai. 

Radio City 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 42 other web-stations, through its digital interface, www.radiocity.in. 

In an email interaction with Adgully, Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM, speaks at length about the FM player’s strong performance and refreshed content strategy. 

How has Radio City’s performance been in the last financial year - in terms of revenues, listenership, ad spends, etc.?
Music Broadcast Ltd had a tremendous FY2017. We had a successful listing and our issue was subscribed 40x times. Our operating revenues witnessed a growth of 20 per cent, while our PAT grew 33 per cent. From a listenership stand point, as per the data garnered by AZ Research, March 2017, Radio City reaches over 52.5 million listeners in 23 cities. The same report places us at the #1 position in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi in terms of ‘Top Of Mind’ brand recall for the last 12 months period ending January 2017. Our advertisement volume increased at CAGR of 12.1 per cent, compared to industry CAGR of 9.1 per cent for the 14 stations from the period of FY 11-17 in the past six years as per AirCheck Data. We also expanded our footprint and operationalised 11 new stations acquired in Phase III.  

Our content was appreciated for pushing the boundaries and lending a fresh appeal to the medium. Not just in India, internationally, too, we have been acknowledged with numerous awards, further reassuring our advertisers of our world class product. We won 28 awards in 2016 and so far have already won 36-plus awards in 2017, clearly making us ‘the most awarded radio network’. Notable amongst these were the awards for ‘Best talk/ Interview Special’ and ‘Community Service’ by the New York Festival Radio Awards 2016. Radio City also won awards for Educational category – New York Festival 2017 – Candy Class, Grand Prix at Spikes Asia, Singapore for Candy Class, the most prestigious One Show Pencil Award ( 2017) in Experiential Radio and Radio merit category for Candy Class  ‘Best Breakfast Programme – Hindi 2017 ( IRF), ‘Best Radio Sparkler 2017 – Babbar Sher 2017 ( IRF) RJ of the year – Golden Mikes (2017) , and ‘Best First Time Promotion – Gig City (IRF), among many others. 

What will your content strategy be going forward?
We have always worked towards creating content that is engaging and path-breaking. Our shows form a strong emotional connect with our listeners because they are deeply rooted in our philosophy of ‘Rag Mein Daude City’. They are relevant, engaging and speak the language of the listeners. Our strategy to offer maximum mood-mapped music that resonates with the local listeners, coupled with content that is appealing, stays true to our brand and solidifies our connect with the listeners in each city that we are present in. 

What are some of the other shows that Radio City is expected to launch in the near future?
There are a slew of new programming initiatives that we are unleashing this year. We are bringing back Jaggu & Tarana after eight years with a new show named Twin Sharing’. We have revamped our existing weekday shows as well. ‘Kasa Kai Mumbai’, the No. 1 morning show amongst young working adults, is getting a fresh appeal with RJ Salil and RJ Archana as ‘Radio Ki Miyan Biwi’. ‘Taka Tak Mumbai’, our evening show is now a dual jockey show with Rohit Vir and RJ Harshit. We have created a huge property in Delhi – ‘City ka Darbar’, which is a 360 degree campaign on air, on ground and social media to make Delhi ka Kona Kona Behtar. The activity is aimed at bringing the city together by giving citizens an easy access to their elected representatives, to raise concerns and find solutions. 

Our weekends are going to get bigger with the introduction of shows like ‘Aaa Dhikchik’ with India’s No. 1 female DJ Rink on Saturdays, ‘Khana Gaana’ with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in association with Food Food Channel, a show that will combine food with music. Similarly, our listeners will also get to tune into a tech and gadget show in association with Digit.in hosted by RJ Nitin. 

Twin Sharing with Jaggu & Tarana 

Radio City recently added a new show to its on-air offerings – ‘Twin Sharing’. The show, which went on air on June 5, 2017 on Radio City Mumbai, has brought together two popular RJs Jaggu aka Ashish Jagtiani and Tarana aka Tarana Raja after a gap of eight years. ‘Twin Sharing’ is on air from 8 pm to 9 pm, Monday to Friday. 

This is what Jaggu & Tarana have to say about their new show and what they have been up to in their eight-year absence from India’s radio scene. 

What is ‘Twin Sharing’ all about? Why select this name for the new show?
Jaggu: ‘Twin Sharing’ on Radio City 91.1FM is an exciting format. It combines Bollywood, current affairs and personal experiences and provides Mumbaikars their daily dose of information, entertainment and humour. We are making a comeback on radio in India after eight years through this show and are so excited to be on-air on Radio City. It will give us a chance to connect with the listeners of Radio City in Mumbai every day. 

Tarana: The name ‘Twin Sharing’ on Radio City 91.1FM denotes the camaraderie between the two of us. The listeners will enjoy the rapport that the two of us share, something that our fans told us that they missed over the past few years. Both Jaggu and I bring our own unique personalities to the show. Yet, we manage to weave our individual wit and humour seamlessly with each other’s, making ‘Twin Sharing’ the perfect name for the show. 

Both of you are returning to radio after a gap of eight years? What were you up to during the hiatus?
Tarana: The last eight years were anything but a hiatus. We may have not been on-air in India, but we did a radio show for an FM channel in Dubai. It wasn’t easy to conquer a foreign market, but we are glad that our show in Dubai won the same love and appreciation that our show in India received from the listeners. Besides this, I also made a few television and film appearances. 

Jaggu: Like Tarana said, our show in Dubai was a very different experience. Challenging, but at the same time, rewarding and very humbling. It made us realise that irrespective of the country, the most important thing in the world of radio is to build a personal connect with the listeners. That’s what we did in our last outing in India and that’s what we’ll do again on Radio City’s ‘Twin Sharing’. 

How do you prepare for the show? What traits do you individually bring to the show?
Tarana: I have hazaar things that interest me! Politics - world & local, bizarre happenings in the world, books, travel, strange customs, cricket & of course Bollywood! I read lots of different things and use various different mediums to keep abreast with the latest happenings in the industry. I intend to ensure we cull through it all and bring you the coolest information in a light hearted manner. 

Jaggu: Besides covering the big picture stories, I also enjoy the quirkiness of everyday life. I like exploring the comparison between the reality and perception of events. We also bring our own quirky brand of humour to the table. We want the show to reflect all of that content, humour and ideas.

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