| 03 Aug 2021
We will always have a huge percent of local content besides Bollywood: Nisha Narayanan

MUMBAI: Boasting of the tagline, ‘Bajate Raho’, RED FM, which is one of the ever-shining radio stations of India, has made its mark in the radio industry. From being categorized as the ‘Contemporary radio station’ to being known for their local content, they have mastered it all.

With the tagline, ‘Bajao For A Cause’ Red FM has supported campaigns like the ‘Palna initiative’, which took a call on ‘Child welfare’ and ‘Ek. No Wall’ that spoke about the common sanitation problem, through Malishka’s Pothole song. Besides, RED FM has always stood up for many such campaigns, which are a ‘common man’ concern. In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, RED FM COO Nisha Narayanan talks about RED FM’s focus on local content, social campaigns, Musicom Season 2 and more.

When it comes to RED FM’s brand philosophy, Nisha Narayanan broadly explains, “We, as an FM channel, are local in nature and as a network, you can’t ignore the ‘local’ concern. So the endeavor is to take up things, which are affecting people and, therefore, raise it and bring it to the notice of everyone. We will always have a huge percent of local content besides Bollywood.”

She exemplifies, “Malishka’s pothole campaign, which we had done this year also, has generated a great response. The response clearly is about what people are going through. We have been trying to articulate the message, we want to convey in a musical or a digital form.”

Further speaking about campaigns, RED FM, recently, has got associated with the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, which is dedicated to the eradication of child labour and exploitation by educating and mobilizing the public. They believe in engaging the private sector to prioritize children in their business models, building the capacity of on-ground partners and advocating for the protection of children in national and international policies.

On associating with this foundation, Nisha Narayanan says, “It was a brilliant initiative for a happy childhood and was a part of ‘Bajao For A Cause’ campaign. Every year, we do a ‘Bachpan Bajao’ for a cause and we take up these issues. So, this year, it was in association with the Kailash Satyarthi Foundation. RED FM has been very close to causes related to children. This cause is a ‘Bachpan Bachao’ fund, wherein we decided to tie up with them against child labour. So, I think, as a medium, radio is a very powerful one. I don’t want to call these ‘social’ issues anymore these are basic concerns. Child labour is one of the biggest tragedies in our country and we should raise these concerns.”

This year, RED FM is also associated with Satyarthi’s foundation to raise funds for ‘Surakshit Bachpan’, where listeners can donate.

When asked about the support RED FM gets when they come up with something like this, Nisha told, “The government is very supportive of these campaigns and, in fact, they have gone out of their way to be supportive to all these concerns and causes, we do.”

Apart from the above, RED FM is also prepping itself up for its IP Musicom Season 2, which happens to be a concoction of music and comedy. This season will showcase Indian stand-up comedian Kanan Gill, along with the young band, ‘When Chai Met Toast’. They will travel across five different cities that will kick-start from Delhi NCR. The tour will, later, head to Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, and end in Mumbai. The tickets are priced from INR 750 onwards.

Nisha spoke about the upcoming Musicom Season 2, as she said, “The objective is to get entertainment and live events into smaller areas and also to work very closely with artist, brands and curating innovative properties. Nonetheless, we also want to focus a lot on regional/vernacular content. We do big-ticket events that are bigger concerts, with an audience of 15000-20,000. We also believe in doing smaller, ticketed, activities, which are more auditorium based. Comedies and music are a great genre. Hence, we thought of marrying these two and bringing them together.”

The last Musicom Season 1 had Independent bands like Indian Ocean, but this time it’s Chai Met Toast. On this, Narayanan added, “We will definitely focus on independent music and bands as well. I think, the Independent music scene is a very strong space. There is brilliant music that comes out. At radio, we are, often, blamed for not playing independent music in our regular playlist, but I think RED FM is making that effort to support independent music industry. We are looking for, both, original bands and music. The objective of Musicom is also to work with bands that create original music."

On the roadmap of RED FM, Nisha Narayanan revealed, “The roadmap clearly, at this point, is on expansion, where we are launching all new stations. Primarily, we are also trying to consolidate our different verticals, whether it is on ground, also, digitally. Also, in terms of digital, Red FM digital space is growing at a very fast pace. We are trying to see what we can do bigger and better in the digital space.”

She further revealed that RED FM wouldn’t repeat what they have done earlier. “We have tried and tested new things and initiatives. We need to create new IP’s and verticals. Innovation is integral to all of this. I want to create new ideas, think out of the box, which is our focus. So, we are not only expanding but also consolidating our market on the other side. And yes, as far as the revenue focus is considered, we definitely need to increase our revenue generation. Thus, looking at our revenue generation, in terms of content, digital, on ground, is our focus area, in terms of business too," mentioned Nisha Narayanan.

RED FM has also been, quite, busy in terms of network expansions, “We have launched one station at Dehradun and a retro one (Magic FM) in Hyderabad. We have also launched a few more in Dhule, Muzzafarpur and are yet-to-launch more of them, which are in the process," she added.

Lastly, Nisha Narayanan dropped hints about RED FM coming up with something on 15 August, which would be a multi-city campaign in the market.