RadioandMusic
| 18 Aug 2018
Radio Mirchi Preeti Nihalani: "Innovative and Clutter Breaking Programming enable us to stay ahead"

Sustainability, dedication, loyalty, efficiency and the competence to stay on top of the ladder have been major factors for the success of Entertainment Network India Ltd's (ENIL) FM radio business, Radio Mirchi. One of the leading radio stations of the country, Mirchi has overcome all major hurdles over the decade and strengthen the brand in the radio market. With a long success story, the Mumbai station of the brand recently celebrated its 11th birthday. With 2013 looking positive for most players, everyone has their eyes set on Mirchi to see what new they churn out this year.

In a quick dialogue with Radioandmusic.com’s Chandni Mathur, Radio Mirchi VP and Cluster Head-Mumbai Preeti Nihalani highlights the innovations on the station and how the year is looking forward for the brand in various aspects.

Excerpts:

How has your journey been with Mirchi?

I joined Mirchi in February 2003, and it’s been almost 10 years now. I have been through various roles, ups and downs in my career here, but the journey has been fantastic. I give a lot to the company and brand; and today we have built a brand which a lot of people would envy and want to be a part of. It has taken us 11 years to reach here. We now look forth to a lot more new initiatives in the future.

Mirchi as a brand has established itself. We now need to stay ahead of the curve and are progressively doing that.

Innovation is now one of the key drivers for radio. How is Mirchi aiming to innovate?

Yes,  In fact Innovation is very important to keep the listeners engaged and also to have the larger share of the advertiser pie. Our Innovative and Clutter Breaking Programming Initiatives have enabled us to stay ahead, we have been doing very well across business hours, week on week. Our listeners extend their support to all or initiatives. For instance for our 'Bol Story Bol' initiative on our 11th anniversary for which we have recorded 11 Mirchi Audio Books for NAB; we received a very encouraging response from our listeners and also from a lot of bollywood personalities.

One of our recent initiatives is for our popular retro show Purani Jeans by RJ Anmol. We’ve started providing our listeners with uninterrupted music with a lot of celebrity interactions.

We are also doing Mirchi Music Premiers. The recent one being Aashiqui 2 and there are a lot more to look forward to in the pipeline. We look out for music which is very promising and premiere it on our station. This is one of the things we are very focused on.

Radio is not so much about appointment listening, we keep giving a lot of innovative content to our audience throughout the day. We aspire that our listeners get the best experience whenever they tune in to Radio Mirchi.

Do you feel popular music rules most broadcasters today?

In my opinion, familiarity does play an important role in likability and when it comes to new music, it is difficult to pick up what will really click with the audience. What is also important is how you curate music. We have a team of experts working with us who I say are best curators of music.

However our programs are not just about great music but also about meaningful content.

What is your revenue strategy going forward?

What helps us ahead is our product and our brand, and since we have a promising product and a strong brand so we are positive about the future. We as a brand believe a lot in innovations and a creative and solution led approach towards our clients. That is what has yielded great results for us and this is what we will continue to do. Our clients have a lot of belief in us too, which we have developed over the years by giving them innovative solutions to their needs.

How has the advertising growth been?

Radio has done very well even in a very tough scenario. Post phase II no new inventory (no new stations have launched) has been added and still the medium has grown consistently. Otherwise the market has been very tough, advertisers possibly are re-evaluating their traditional media mix options and in the process, radio for its strengths has managed to stay ahead.

Highlight the changing demands of advertisers?

Most creative agencies have not yet explored this medium to the fullest. Thus clients depend a lot on us to work on creative execution of their plans. Also the way the medium works is different from TV or print. Radio is a linear medium and works very well if one uses it for its strength of creating 'Theatre of Mind Effect'. Because of very high creative sensibilities lot of our clients love to work with us

Also, today lot of clients are shifting towards experiential marketing and having a strong digital leg to most campaigns. Radio campaigns are also now being used to amplify the on-ground presence and push the digital campaign.

How do you see the advertising future for radio in 2013?

I think the year will be similar to last year. While some categories are projected to fare well, some others may have muted growth. However, beauty of radio is that it is not heavily dependent on any one or two categories, also as I said before in trying times Radio ends up gaining. 

What are some of the activations you are looking to do this year?

We just culminated one of our biggest events - the Mirchi Music Awards, which we now do in seven languages including Hindi. We just culminated Marathi and Bangla and now looking forth to the all MMA in all four southern languages. Apart from that, there are a lot of activations that we keep doing at various levels. Few upcoming one’s are Mirchi Lift Kara De – Monsoon Car Pick up Service and Mirchi Freshers that we do every year when colleges re-open amongst others.

What kind of a growth are you forecasting post FM Phase III auctions?

I believe everyone working in the industry is looking forward to Phase III, it will be good for industry , for listeners and for advertisers as well. Radio will add a lot of value to advertisers in smaller markets.