Maharashtra's cultural capital, which hosted only Radio Mirchi for six years, has four FM players now. Each wants to reign over the Pune airwaves.
The competition in the FM radio space just got hotter in Pune, the university town turned second IT hub of the county that also stakes claim to being the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
Pune, that spawned its first radio station during the first bidding process six years ago, stayed a single player city till the second quarter of 2008, when a clutch of three new stations opened shutters and spiced up the competition for existing player, Radio Mirchi.
With an overwhelming young population (university students and IT job holders) that's compounded with a high percentage of immigrant population (some estimates put it at nearly 70 per cent), providing a local flavour through FM is one of the biggest challenges the current crop of FM players face.
Radio Mirchi that launched on 18 October 2002, explored the market in the first phase targeting the entire universe of listeners, but has now decided to focus on the 15 to 35 age group. Says Radio Mirchi Pune programming head Ninad Sonawne, "The city mostly comprises the youth crowd and the medium is used extensively by them. Being a medium for the masses, we have to cater and connect to our users and audience."
Radio City that entered the city on 10 April this year, has decided to follow the same strategy. SFM, the latest entrant to launch in Pune on 22 July, says it will target the masses with energy and pep, encompassing the youth in its fold. "We believe in catering to the masses with a youth flavor and lot of peppiness. Even if the maximum crowd comprises college students, we cannot forget the locals. A radio station is a medium of the masses and hence it should click well with them," reasons SFM project head Nisha Narayanan, who oversaw the launch in the city recently.
Radio One that launched its fifth station in Pune on 12 May, is reluctant to divulge its strategy.
One cannot however, forget the overwhelming presence of All India Radio, which has been available on the popular medium wave for years now, and also carried the Vividh Bharati programming from Mumbai in its FM frequency 101 FM. Unlike Mumbai, however, the Pune station does not separate FM channels like FM