RadioandMusic
| 21 Aug 2019
20-TEN Year-ender: Naren Tripathi, COO - Radio Mantra 91.9 FM

* 2010: A challenging year for Radio

Radio is inherently a very strong medium. The only problem I see is revenue not growing as per the expectations of the broadcasters. And the biggest reason is the price war. The dropping of rates is the biggest challenge all of us face. We are not allowing ourselves to grow at a rate comparable with other mediums.

The beauty of the Indian Radio scenario is the diversity it has to offer. From Hindi music to regional to English, the list can go on and on. It gives a fantabulous opportunity to a creative head to come up with varied song selections and to make interesting characters on Radio. This is one thing  that nobody in a western country will ever understand. Language plays such a vital role. East India is so very different from our southern states. An RJ speaking in Punjabi can be as endearing as an RJ connecting with his listeners in Kannada.

The year 2010 was a challenging year for the medium. The matured markets (5-years plus) had to come up with different propositions to attract more listeners. Playing Golden Era songs and still try to maintain a CHR stance. It was a tough ask; however, we saw more and more new listeners coming on board.

Like any other Radio Station, Radio Mantra too had to reinvent itself in 2010. With most of the �Corporate' clients looking at tier-2 and tier-3 townships, we were always on our toes. We had to tell a compelling story in the market, as to how well we understood our markets and our listeners. To be a small network works in your favor at times. Our understanding of our markets helped us a great deal to come up with programming in a way that gave us an edge over our National competitors. We were able to create characters that were pertinent to our cities, just like we were able to come up with client-based solutions for cities.

When we were looking for a talent in Jalandhar, instead of issuing an advertisement , we did a 360-degree event called RJ-giri. Such was the response to the initiative  that apart from TVS , we had five other clients sponsoring the event. The end result? We got an excellent RJ,  and we earned monies in the process.

We always have to keep in mind the nuances small towns  Prime time differs from city to city. Some cities start early and call it a day by 8 pm! Some start early, but, however, go on till 2 am! The biggest decision that we took was to make all our 8 stations 24-hr offerings. It really worked in our favour.

Radio is inherently a very strong medium. The only problem I see is revenue not growing as per the expectations of the broadcasters. And the biggest reason is the price war. The dropping of rates is the biggest challenge all of us face. We are not allowing ourselves to grow at a rate comparable with other mediums  We – all  broadcasters together -- will have to take a collective stance on this. Otherwise we ourselves will be the cause of the downfall of our super medium.