As part of its New Year merchandise, Radio Mirchi recently gave away radio-fitted diaries to its key stakeholders in the B2B space. “It aims to create a positive brand imagery for the radio station and boost workplace listenership,” says Sriram Kilambi, Head-Marketing, Radio Mirchi. IMPACT chats with Kilambi about the new innovation and more.
Q] What is the key objective of bringing out this product? How does it help Radio Mirchi?
While FM has been around for some time, it still needs to catch up in the work space. Abroad, a lot of listenership happens at work. In India, the number is far lower. So, these are just some initiatives to try and increase consumption of the radio category while people are otherwise occupied. Most people have grown up listening to music while they are studying. So we believe that they can listen to music while working as well.
Q] How does it benefit you in terms of advertising revenue?
For us, it is about ownership of the category. It is something that helps us because it is about our core business, which is music and radio. It will be largely distributed in the B2B space and will also be available for listeners when they come to the station or win something.
Q] If your intention is to increase work space listenership, mobile phones have been there for quite some time. How do you think this diary will help boost listenership?
At work, mobile phones are required for work. And in a lot of offices, most of the music streaming sites are blocked. So this is just a simple idea to get people who are at work to listen in and participate in the category. We’ve got good feedback from the first thousand diaries that we have distributed so far.
Q] What will be the way forward with this product?
We want to now own people’s desktops. We will be looking at a Bollywood Calendar with Radio going forward. So we will basically make sure that most of our merchandise has a radio connect henceforth.
Q] SWhat are your plans around being present on the digital platform?
We have a digital offering in place. There are some music copyright issues right now in the laws of our country which restrict us from getting on to the digital space. Once the copyright laws have been sorted, we will really have go out with the product. This is just another thing to do because I don’t think terrestrial radio is going away anywhere very soon. It is here for the next 10-15 years at least.
Q] So, it is only the copyright issue which is not allowing you to go digital?
It needs to work out economically. I need to make sure that I am not spending so much money just to have a radio product available online.
Q] How do you monetize radio online?
When we get into digital radio, there are many ways to monetize it. The model is available to us courtesy our station in the UK called Absolute Radio. They make a lot of money through online radio. So, we have enough expertise in-house to monetize that particular space, as and when that happens. For example, there are some technologies available, where if you are a client, you can have your ad played on the digital space and not the terrestrial space. Obviously, when you are on your player or your computer, there will be advertising along with it.
Q] What are your plans for FM Phase III expansion?
Radio Mirchi has been preparing for Phase III for the last year-and-a-half. Early this year, we created a separate team headed by the Chief Strategy Officer of the company, who is in charge of Phase III. We have an entire structure in place. We are already evaluating and doing research in various markets. We are finding out the market size and assessing all other parameters. We are very well prepared to take on Phase III.
Q] What kind of revenue growth are your looking at once Phase III expansion happens?
We believe Phase III is going to be a significant step in making radio a much more relevant industry, moving from a 5% medium to a 7% or 8-9% medium.