RadioandMusic
| 21 Oct 2019
Radio Today COO Anil Srivatsa - Working women are our highest listeners in the afternoons

Radio Meow has been the pioneer in positioning women as a target for their radio station and has been successful in garnering listeners. Radio Today COO Anil Srivatsa converses with Radioandmusic.com's Anita Iyer about Meow's experiment of venturing into talk format, celeb RJs and what lies ahead for Meow in the coming year.

Excerpts:

How has the idea of focusing on women audiences been so far?

Our brand positioning of focusing on women was worth an experiment as we have been successful in the past few months. Although we were focusing only on women audiences, there are an equal number of males who are tuned to our radio station. More importantly, we are adding value to our consumers because we provide them with a platform to interact and open up.

As your channel is a talk radio station, are listeners tuning in

your channel for a different experience?

I won't say ours is a talk radio but it is an engagement format where we try to engage the listeners by discussing interesting topics. Our success is different, we are not the top radio station with maximum listenership but we stand among the top two when it comes to time spent on radio listening. It is more a platform where the women come and share their opinions on vital issues rather than only playing music. The hypothesis of commencing a women's radio station is not originally ours as it is a known concept abroad, but we are the pioneers in India.

Do you plan to increase the music content now?

On an engagement format station like Meow, music exists for a different purpose. Music gives the talk show hosts a break, allows the callers to gather thoughts and the music we play is welcome as it has a feel-good factor to it. And whatever we play changes with the listener profile like English content after five in the evening.


Are you planning to come up with some original music on your radio channel?

We would not go on to hunt for new music as there is too much of music going around any way. Meow has slots for non-filmi music and we even play a good number of English tracks in the evening. In our Delhi station, we have a slot where we interview local bands and give them an opportunity to come into the public domain. In Mumbai, we have not yet introduced such slots but with evolution, we would do that shortly.


How is Meow different from other radio stations?

Meow is different when it comes to content we provide and the listeners we cater to. We have a distinct set of listeners who change after five in the evening when we play English songs. Also, when we are referring to talk oriented stations, we have slots addressing parenting issues, relationship problems and we also discuss social economic aspects. So, basically we have a bouquet of different shows suiting different audiences.

Have you come across any unique listenership pattern as a part of your research?

We have found a listenership pattern that working women are our highest listeners in the afternoons! Even our active participants and callers comprise working women contrary to the perceived notion that housewives are more tuned to radio.

With some months to its launch, what has the Mumbai experience been? How would you distinguish each market- Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from each other?

As we are addressing women everywhere, the end result is the same in all the places. However, if we look at Mumbai in particular, the quality of listeners is superior as compared to other places. We got a good response right from the launch, which is a good sign in Mumbai. Also, here we are getting the right kind of people listening to us and calling up for interactions. The Mumbai base, although new, is picking up faster than the other stations.

What are the kinds of RJs you are looking out for? How difficult it has been to find RJs?

We are looking out for women 'Talk show hosts' who can relate with the women listeners on air by their own life experiences. So, we are looking out for female RJs in their late 20s to early 30s. We are looking forward to RJs who can chat with the youth as well as the elderly with the same ease and relate with people across all age groups effortlessly. We normally don't go in search of RJs but experienced RJs from other radio stations come to join as talk show hosts.

Do you plan to pull on celeb RJs for promoting your radio station?

We have not yet decided to take celeb RJs on air but we might do it if it makes sense. We won't take on celebrity RJs only because of their celebrity status but because they have a natural talent. Like we had Preity Zinta on air in Delhi for some time, she sounded like a natural RJ and the response was good.


What do you plan to have on your website?

We are in the process of finalizing our website and are discussing the possibilities of blogs and interactions. I am very well versed with the medium and would like to do something innovative with the Meow website. All I can for now is wait and watch!

What are Meow's plans for 2008?

The concept of the whole station has been based on innovation and we are planning to schedule new shows appropriately. Also, we are coming up with our other radio stations in Patiala and Amritsar shortly.