RadioandMusic
| 29 Oct 2020
BIG FM collaborates with Spotify, offering listeners with exclusive marquee content

MUMBAI: Big FM one of the largest radio networks in the country has tied up with Spotify for an exclusive commercial deal where BIG FM's content and innovative offering for listeners across cities will exclusively be available on Spotify.

With regards to this collaboration and detailed insights Radioandmusic had a conversation with Mr. Sunil Kumaran, Country Head - Product & Marketing, Thwink, BIG FM.

Further, in a candid conversation with Mr. Kumaran he speaks in length more about the current scenario of COVID-19 and a lot more. Check the interview below.

Why was the collaboration of BIG FM with Spotify initiated?

We wanted to leverage our powerful IPs that we have built over the years and are happy that a global leader like Spotify recognized the potential of our content. Through the association, we aim to amplify our content outside of our owned media ecosystem and make a host of avid music and radio lovers be treated to the plethora of engaging and immersive shows/content that Big FM prides itself on.

What was the main purpose of this collaboration?

Our purpose of course is to reach out to maximum listeners through various platforms at the click of a button. Our marquee properties like Suhana Safa, Once Upon a time in Bollywood, Yaadon ke idiot box, have had a loyal fan base, but through the association, we will reach out to the younger, digital savvy generation who can now consumer our content on a platform that will take our offerings to greater heights.

How will BIG FM and Spotify work collaboratively in future?

With leading players from the media and entertainment industry adopting a platform- agnostic route, this collaboration between us and Spotify has indeed opened avenues for both brands to work together in the space of on-demand audio entertainment content.

We are proud to have scripted another chapter in our digital transformation with a major audio-streaming platform that shares the same purpose and ethos as us. Going forward, we are confident that this association will see us scale new heights, increase our reach and offerings amongst our existing listeners as well as tap into new ones in a seamless and convenient manner.

What are the major benefits that the listeners will be profiting, with this collaboration?

Through this partnership, Spotify users will have access to more than 15,000 minutes of BIG FM’s content spread across 13 marquee shows and 1,240 episodes. This includes popular shows like Suhana Safar with Annu Kapoor, Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Mehra, Actor Calling Actor and Once Upon A Time in Bollywood amongst many others. Ensuring that it is easy on the ear for its listeners, each of these episodes from these shows will be edited and optimised in the podcast format.

What are your views regarding the current scenario of COVID-19?

A crisis of this nature will have a lasting impact on many things around us. It will be a new world order. Amongst other things it will have an impact on the way Businesses are conducted. The scenario has all forced us to re-think and evaluate our businesses and I believe the long-term fall-out of this will be positive. We are all on our way to re- engineer businesses to be nimble, on trend and to leverage technology to drive both efficiency and effectiveness.

For media platforms for us we have seen a sharp increase in the reach, time spent and overall interaction levels thereby underscoring the relevance during such times. As a medium which is ‘here and now’ and very credible we know we can make a significant impact on people. We have traversed this journey with our listeners through these evolving times. Our initiatives like “janta concert” gave a reason for people to stay at home, “V- the warriors” sensitised people about the welfare workers, “Dekh bhai yeh fake to nahi” drove listeners to stop the malice of forwarding fake news. We will continue to do this as the scenario keeps evolving and be the credible and trusted companion that the medium has always been.

What are the measures taken in order to deal with this situation?

With our ear to the ground and hence adapting to the situation at the very earliest, we were the first radio network who brought in a mandatory work from home policy by completely moving to a remote working model across each of our 58 stations across the country. Our proactiveness saw us make the switch on 15th March, when the nationwide lockdown was announced. We were able to do so by adopting digital and innovative solutions using our audio equipment and IT systems connected via VPN. Right from our programming team, to our business team, who interact with more than 500 clients daily, have been working from home since the middle of March.

In our endeavour to help raise awareness and keep people safe at their respective residences, we also launched various initiatives such as ‘Dilli Ke Dhaakad....Kehte Hai – Let’s Fight Corona Together’ that was led by Delhi RJs with the objective of eliminating fear and spreading positivity amongst people of Delhi NCR to fight the pandemic. Our campaign ‘Dekh Kahin Yeh Fake Toh Nahi’ was aimed to raise awareness and make people take the responsibility of stopping the dissemination of fake news. We also have the property, Big Café Online, through which our listeners can enjoy a concert every day from the comforts of their homes just by tuning in to BIG FM.

How are BIG FM employees dealing with the current situation?

We, at BIG FM, started the ‘The BIG Morning Show - Onward & Upward - The lockdown series’ in an endeavour to keep employees motivated and prepared during the time of a nationwide lockdown. Through this initiative, we conduct a one-hour session every morning that features renowned business leaders from within and outside the firm address more than 200 BIG FM employees where they discuss the various aspects of how one can propel their business to greater heights.

We understand that in these testing times, it is extremely important to continuously engage with our employees, inspire and motivate them. As one of the leading radio networks in the industry, the Big FM team has led from the front during this time, seamlessly moving to a remote managed, ‘work from home’ model, been there for their listeners and partners at every step, understanding their anxieties and challenges, while keeping them informed and entertained throughout.

Stay tuned for more updates.