| 22 Jul 2024
Rachna Kanwar on Radio City's association with Indie music

MUMBAI: Indie music has managed to make a comeback in a big way. Today, the indie music scene is no different than the commercial music industry. Be it YouTube, music festivals or live gigs, indie music is making its presence felt. And, the radio industry is not leaving this space untapped. One of the leaders in the radio business, Radio City has been promoting independent music.

“We have been associated with Indie music since 2012 and it provides us with an opportunity to go online and reach out to our listeners. Today you can’t ignore online media – it also gives an opportunity to associate with music that is really being embraced across generations. Along with film music, people are also listening to music of Divine, Swarathma. This crossover in the audience’s choice of music is enhancing the popularity of the indie genre. That’s how the brand has been associated with indie music through these years,” said Rachna Kanwar, COO Digital Jagran Group.

To promote this space further, the brand has launched a platform called Radio City Freedom Awards.

“2013 was when we launched our first RCFA. Over the years we have seen a lot of trust not just in entries and voting but the buzz that it generates, we have seen a huge growth. And today, if you see how the awards have shifted up, these are the most definitive awards in the indie space. We are happy to see that the hard work has paid off well,” she added.

RCFA, of course, was not an overnight success. It was in 2012 when the first online web radio station started and that is where the germ for RCFA came from.

Sharing 2018 RCFA plans Kanwar said, “This year we got 16000 votes and around 800 nominations. Every year the whole idea is to grow this property and also add on to the genre of music. Hopefully, the platform will grow bigger owing to its increased reach to more musicians and in the number of nominations .”

Radio City currently has 51 online radio stations in 10 languages playing different genres of music. This not only includes Indie, but gazals, film, non-film, devotional, sufi, and more.

“We are providing Radio City listeners with online options beyond film music – enabling them to experience music in different genres and languages. The objective is to allow listeners to enjoy radio in its true form, like an expert who is curating a playlist for you.” added the COO.

What more does the online station offer? “With a full-fledged team working on various verticals such as programming, marketing, technology and more, the online radio station has flagship properties like ‘Babber Sher’, ‘Love Guru’ and more on-air content in various languages,” she said.

Apart from music, the online station also has an open mike session with poetry and spoken word artiste. This is promoted on the station and later put as podcast for people to play it at their convenience.

The online radio station has had some great response over the years. On account of six months of average, the user traffic is about 2.6 million, listenership is 35 million across 51 online stations.

Before concluding, Kanwar shares some of the properties future plans. “Being in the business of content, we have plans to consolidate the content created on daily basis across stations (non-music content). We want our listeners to enjoy it online. We plan to expand the bouquet of music web-radio with more music genre and probably more languages along with some interesting online properties,” she ends.