| 21 Feb 2024
"Radio is the new 'Comfort Companion" says, L.V. Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research

MUMBAI: The radio industry has amplified its reach and potential to newer heights amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Through various initiatives and campaigns, the industry has time and again proved to be the most credible source of information and entertainment. In the last few weeks, the industry has seen a major shift in listenership wherein more people tuned in to FM radio stations. Throwing light on the same Mr. L. V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, TAM Media Pvt Ltd spoke about the power of radio and how it will witness a boom in the coming days during his session on Big FM’s ‘The BIG Morning Show - Onward & Upward - The Lockdown Series,’.

The world today is preparing for a ‘new normal’ due to the sudden chaos and uncertainty because of the global pandemic. The pre-lockdown era saw one be able to easily chart out behavioural patterns, be it listening, reading or digital content consumption, that is no longer the case today. With the lockdown leading to consumer behaviour and their patterns changing in a manner no one expected, it is indeed tough to comprehend what the future has in store post the lockdown.

“Radio industry has always stood the test of time for only few can match up to credibility in delivering real-time news as well as the ability to regale and entertain families. Being a bridge that has always fostered a connection between the listener and the real world, radio has over the past few months been the glue towards bringing the family closer in these testing times,” said Mr. Krishnan.

“While one is mandated to wear a mask in the current situation, RJs have been wearing a mask since the inception of the radio. The hidden meaning here is that they have formed a bond with listeners around the country not with their facial expressions, but with their voice and the emotion in it. This has helped millions of Indians across the length and breadth of the country make a shift to a medium that they already connect with. With more time being spent at home engaging in household chores, the tasks feel easier and fun too when radio is playing in the background. Listening to RJs and your favourite music, always helps in lifting the spirits and diminishing anxiety specially during crucial times like these. In addition to that, radio continues to show immense purpose by offering original and fresh content every day.” he further added.

Mr. Krishnan also believes that in these testing times, it is the RJs who’ve been our unsung heroes. “Playing the role of ‘local influencers’ in society, they’ve formed a long-term relationship with the listeners. In this digital age where one experiences a barrage of fake news, it is they who have helped spread awareness and assisted listeners navigate their way through this maze of misinformation and paid news. The medium has ensured a sense of connection with the outside world as everyone continues to remain under lockdown” he added.

Many also believed that the lockdown will affect radio listenership since people are no longer commuting to work, however, according to the RAM data (Wk 13, 2020) during the lockdown 99% of listenership is from those who tune in to radio stations from their residences. It continues to be an in-home listening form of media despite misconceptions to the contrary. Mr. Krishnan believes that being a very personal and distanced form of communication, radio has now become a new ‘comfort companion’ for its listeners.

Talking about the advertising sector, Mr. Krishnan commented, “From an advertising standpoint, things could get back on track as early as September. Given the ability of Radio and Digital to sharply target local audiences, use of both the platforms together is likely to increase. In these changing times, we might also witness a new set of advertisers, therefore bringing in new opportunities for the entertainment medium in the content space.”

The Radio sector in the audio entertainment space is one of the oldest sources of trusted news and key entertainment for families. Radio has always been a bridge that connects the listeners with the real world. With the current pandemic and increase in listenership, radio has once again showcased a high sense of responsibility.