| 24 May 2022
G Krishnan: 'Radio is the most innovative of all mediums'

TV Today Network (Oye! FM) executive director & CEO G Krishnan, GK as he is fondly known, is an exceedingly well read Indian media professional with a rich experience of more than two decades in the print, radio and television industry.

Radio Today Broadcasting Ltd, the radio division of India Today Group launched Meow FM in 2007 and latter re-christened to Oye! 104.8 in September 2010 with stations in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar, Patiala, Shimla and Jodhpur.

In the �Glorious Years of FM Radio' series, the media veteran sheds light on FM radio expanding its presence with the threshold of Phase-III, radio's share in advertising pie, and provides a wider perspective on the development of radio business in the past decade.

Private FM broadcasting has completed a decade in India…

�Radio Industry in India has always had a special place in the hearts of the Indian audiences; and on the occasion of Private FM completing 10 years in India; we look back with pleasure at the strides the industry as well as our brand has made. From a handful of frequencies in a limited number of cities; FM has come a long way. Its biggest growth came after the 2nd phase of licencing when FM reached the heartland of India and with further fragmentation most private players had to consolidate their positions and rethink their strategies. I believe it only led to further innovation and strengthened the private FM brands. The medium has set some great benchmarks in this decade.

Of course the medium still has a long way to go in terms of new stations, frequencies; content differentiation and hopefully with the third phase around the corner, private FM will continue to overcome challenges and flourish.

Radio in the total advertising pie …

From the perspective of the share of radio in the total advertising pie; private FM has done reasonably well. The broadcasters were successful in overcoming the traditional advertiser's mindset about radio and inspite of an economic slowdown radio managed to grow and sustain its overall share. With the third phase opening up new markets and opportunities; we hope to increase this share to 10% in the next few years.

The most important aspect of radio that shoulders major responsibility of its functioning…

Radio is the most innovative of all mediums, and every aspect of it lends itself to much creativity. However if we were to pick one component; I would say that it would be a strong and innovative programming team. Programming is always the centre of a strong radio station. Without it; the rest does not matter.

Expectations on the threshold of Phase-III…

All of us have a lot of expectations from Phase-III and while we don't like to speculate; we hope that Phase-III will open doors into new markets for all FM players as well as help each one better differentiate themselves with reference to content. The natural progression would be, increased listenership and better revenues with larger market penetration and depth.

On the business front, radio has proven itself as a serious contender in the media pie with an almost 5% of the media share; we hope to improve this to almost 10% once the third phase is implemented.

Mobility of the medium has increased listenership…

Radio is the one medium that anyone can access on the go. It is the last medium to be consumed before purchase and is available to everybody.  With new and interesting content and a strong connect to bollywood, we add listeners everyday and people stay tuned in longer every time. Advertisers have found radio to be a great medium to not only reach their audiences but also to interact with them. The growing listenership and their involvement in the medium would lead to increase in revenue.

It is difficult for a new medium like Oye to survive among the leading networks in the industry…

Oye is a new entrant in the market and has experimented a whole lot in last few months. However we have had a very clear brand strategy and strong vision in how we wanted Oye! to be perceived. Slowly but surely we are on the threshold of making great things happen.

What works best for Oye…

Oye! has had a very strong programming and marketing focus and everything has flown from a strong vision to strategy. We try to ensure that we are always on the cutting edge of innovation and continue to experiment and change. Being a part of the TVTN Network we have the complete support and legacy of stalwarts in the industry.

FM Radio in the next five years

FM Radio is one of the youngest mediums and while it has achieved significant milestones and set real benchmarks in the last 10 years, this is only the beginning of the journey!!!