| 19 Jun 2024
Big FM Mumbai strengthen its shares to 17 per cent

MUMBAI: After changing the programming of the Delhi radio station to retro, Big FM implemented the same strategy to Mumbai over a year back which has yielded them good results.

According to the recent RAM figures shared with Radioandmusic, BIG FM has continued to be the most listened-to radio station in Mumbai, in the last two quarters March-May 2014 and June-August 2014. Meanwhile, Big FM’s (Mumbai) breakfast show with RJ Siddharth and the afternoon show with RJ Rani are the number one shows in the respective time bands.

Big FM’s business head Ashwin Padmanabhan shares the listenership figures with’s Jescilia Karayamparambil.


Do you think BIG FM has taken a risk by turning retro?

We had seen good traction with the change we made in Delhi, so turning the Mumbai station retro was not a risk. Over the past one and a half year, before we changed our programming in Mumbai, we fine tuned and perfected the content there. By then, we had enough of experience and understanding that it would work. With Mumbai what worked further was the product that went on air from day one- it was very polished and well appreciated product. We saw traction in the listenership increasing. I would not term it as a risk, but a well-thought out move. We were very confident that it will yield good results.

How much has the growth in listenership helped in the advertising revenues?

Before we changed our programming in Mumbai, our market share was approximately nine per cent.

According to the latest RAM reports, BIG FM has consistently been on the top of its game with a 16.6 per cent overall listenership share in March-May 2014. Consecutively, in June-August 2014, the radio station strengthened its share to 17.1 per cent which is double our share in terms of listenership.

Due to an increase in listenership two things have happened- the volume of revenue that we are getting and number of clients who are taking to the Mumbai station has more than doubled. Second, our pricing has gone up by 20-25 per cent. I would say that because of our performance, advertisers are willing to pay more for the station. Mumbai station is earning more than double now.

Is Mumbai station running out of inventories?

We are not in a situation where we are playing too much of our inventories that we are spoiling our products. We are playing optimum inventory and maintaining the quality of the inventory and ensuring that listening experiences does not get spoilt for the listener. The hike in the pricing has helped us maintain our inventories in a reasonable level.

I think it has taken lot of efforts to reach the position we are in right now. We got to the place very quickly and we would not like to spoil it.

I believe that any media outlets should ensure maximum content and whoever goes overboard with non-content elements, is bound to suffer. It applies to radio and all the other form of media.

Will there be a price hike again this year?

This is a continuous process. Our performance has improved our demand which has also enabled us to improve the demand of the station. As we continue to perform and present newer shows on air, we will grow.

Which shows are doing well?

Our breakfast show is the number show and the evening drive is the doing well too.

‘Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor’ and ‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra’, are two shows that has gained popularity across all our stations.

Ours show with Talat Aziz, Siddharth and Bhawana Somaaya are working very well. Breakfast Show with RJ Siddharth and Afternoon Show with RJ Rani are the number one shows in respective time bands. We will maintain the momentum and continue launching the shows which would be in same lines to our overall format. This will help us increase the stickiness of the brand amongst the listeners.

Which shows/time slots attract brands to the radio station?

We are seeing huge interest of brands on the breakfast show and Suhaana Safar. These two shows are become kind of iconic for us. There is so much interest for the show on long term basis. We get special request for the spots to be placed on both the show. The brands are requesting for brands spot along with the integration that takes place in a show. That is a very uplifting for us.

What is the change in mentality of advertisers and brands today?

More and more brands looking at radio as a mainstream medium; and more brands understand the strength of the medium. Now, brands are not doing the same thing that they used to do for print and television. Brands like Birla Sunlife, Maxlife, Honda cars and others are doing campaign that is driven by radio. More and more campaign is driven by radio. That is a clear cut appreciation and recognition of the fact that radio as a medium can have campaign exclusively for it. Brands like HUL or P&G almost every quarter do one large property with us in one of the key markets.

Currently, we are doing an exclusive national campaign with Honda Cars. The brand is doing an activity called the ‘Longest drive of amazing India’, where the Honda Car is trying to achieve a record by travelling extensively across the length and breadth of the country. We are exclusively promoting it on radio and it is the only medium to promote the campaign. It was flagged off on 15 September from Jodhpur.

We have finished the big campaign with Benadryl ‘Big Golden Voice Season2’. Brands can see results on the ground so they associate with us.

We have a mini creative agency in our organisation that help the brands set-up some attractive campaign for their product.

What will be next for Big FM?

New programmes are next for Big FM and we continue to drive growth in terms of listenership along with the revenue growth.

In terms of content, Big FM is ready for Phase III?

Big FM is strong in terms of its content. We have worked on good business model. We are very confident that as we get into Phase III, we should be able to deploy our understanding of the consumer in the newer market and mapping it back to good format we have created and learning that we had across market. We will be able to scale up the market.

Will there be any more stations that will turn retro?

Not at this point of time. We would like to build on what we have done and enrich the product before doing the change in any other station.