Red FM is a socially conscious, provocative entertainer: Nisha Narayanan

Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM, and Magic FM
Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM, and Magic FM

Red FM is all geared for Season 4 of its annual property – South Side Story, an ultimate South Indian experience festival. After two digital editions, the most awaited and beloved celebration of the South Indian community is back on the ground. The event celebrates the various ingredients of South India that make the region so full of flavour.

The festival his year will feature popular Indie bands and music artists like Street Academics, Arivu & The Ambasa Collective, Lagori, Rapper Thirumali, Sithara's Malabaricus, Job Kurian, Agam, Thaikkudam Bridge & Avial.

South Side Story 2022 will also offer a feast of South Indian flavours ranging from the must experience Sadhya, along with engaging experiences such as modern day martial art, kalaripayattu, mundu draping, Kathakali dancers and much more.

The event takes place on September 4, 2022 at the NSIC Ground, Okhla in Delhi.

In conversation with Adgully, Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM, and Magic FM, speaks at length about the growth and the road ahead for the radio industry in India. She also elaborates on the South Side Story event and what to expect in the 4th edition of Red FM’s marquee event.

How do you think Red FM is different from its competitors?

Our biggest differentiator is the tagline itself – ‘Bajaate Raho’! It stands out as a brand that creates content that is irreverent, socially conscious and a provocative entertainer. Our RJs have been our pride, reflecting ‘Bajaate Raho’ in its truest sense. Besides all of this, what sets us apart is that we are no longer just a radio station. Our vision is to be a media network, where Radio is one of the many things we do, in the audio, video, digital and events space. All of these are proper business verticals that we have built over a period of time, contributing to the growth of RED FM.

Our focus has been to create experiences for our audience to build loyalties and communities. We have built a lot of regional IPs as we believe there is huge power in regional content. Apart from regional IPs, our focus is on promoting independent music that is more experimental, and fresh to the ear. We are a brand that believes in inclusion and diversity. What sets us apart is that we are a Brand with a Heart, a Brand with a Cause and a Brand with a Conscience.

How is the radio business keeping itself relevant amid the growing popularity of audio streaming and podcasting?

Radio or any medium is relevant as long as its content is relevant. It is fashionable to question traditional mediums like radio in a digital ecosystem, but we must not forget that in a country like India, where we have huge clusters of media dark areas, radio creates a lasting impact.

Radio is a live platform. It is the common man’s voice. It has survived so much so that in a few years it will complete 100 years in this country. I have no doubt it will survive another 50, after a few policy changes that would give it a playing field with other broadcasting mediums, like allowing news and current affairs, like increasing FDIs, essentially making it a more enabling policy. We must not forget that the relevance of media lies in the power of its content.

What is the future of the radio business in India?

The audio medium is here to stay. The Radio business is in the threshold of a medium that can challenge the impact of other mediums. Given a few policy changes and a level playing field with other broadcasters, this industry is likely to thrive. Allowing current affairs, higher license fees, etc., are deliberating to the industry. The moment these issues are addressed, the radio industry is likely to reach further to the masses. This is one medium that has the last mile reach, works even during natural disasters, can broadcast local & regional content and most importantly, is live 24X7. The current ecosystem will open up for a more competitive industry.

What is different in the 4th edition of South Side Story compared to the previous editions? What is the strategy for this year’s offline event after working through two digital editions?

Our focus has been to create experiences that resonate with our audience. We began hosting South Side Story to showcase the experience of the Southern culture. The event offers a 360-degree exposure into the rich and grand South Indian vibe. Over the years we have been receiving a great response from the audience. South Side Story is an amalgamation of our commitment to build communities, support independent music and to take the festive spirit up a notch higher. The initiative offers the best of music from various parts of South India, food that defines the South and the ambience from the South that you get in the North. After two digital editions, South Side Story is back on ground with its 4th edition. The event will see an extensive line-up of 9 popular Indie bands and music artists, Sadhya, shopping from South India like apparel, collectables and much more.

Are there any other campaigns that RED FM is working on for the festive season?

We always have an extensive line-up of events and campaigns that are a mix of both on-ground and on-air during the festive season. We have kick-started with the South Side Story in Delhi during Onam, Red Cha Raja in Maharashtra during Ganesh Chaturthi, Red Raas with its 13th edition in Ahemdabad and Rajkot during Navratri, Pujo Front Row during Durga Puja in the East and more. India is a multi-cultural country, and it is reflected in the festivals that are celebrated across the country, and RED FM is all set with campaigns to celebrate these festivities.

Are there any challenges while looking out for advertisers in the digital age?

The media landscape is changing and advertisers have a plethora of options to choose from. We as RED FM are a multi-media solution platform, where clients can select the media that caters to their requirements, like podcasts, digital, on-ground events and of course, Radio.


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