| 09 Jun 2023
Friends FM head Jimmy Tangree: Our sound has an international packaging with a local feel

MUMBAI: Kolkata based Friends FM, has revamped its programming from retro to youth oriented content. The USP of Friends FM is ‘engaging more and connecting more’. The music played on the radio station is 70- 80 per cent Bollywood, while the rest is the latest Bengali music. And during the weekends, the station plays international music. Friends FM, Head and RJ, Jimmy Tangree reveals the content changes post the revamp, participation on Phase III and much more.

What is your current position in the Kolkata market, after your revamp?

When it comes to positioning, there are various aspects that people take into consideration while determining the market position. I take only one aspect into determining our position in the market, and that is the kind of response I get from the people. We have built our base solidly and increased tremendously in terms of business. This has helped us get newer clients on board. There have been positive signs in terms of response from the city, clients and business.

With the massive shift in programming, has there been a change in ad rates?

Our ad rates are still the same because we have changed our programming, and we wish to further strengthen our base; then we shall take the next step.

What new programmes have been introduced?

We have a couple of new programs. On Sundays we have a show called ‘Friends Junior Express’. It is a one hour show, where kids from the age of four to 12 years co-jock with our RJs. Also on Sunday evenings we have an hour long show called ‘Friends Live’ wherein we feature amateur singers and bands so that you do not have to have a godfather. All you need to do is play good music.

What are the challenges you face in the market?

In 22 years of radio in Kolkata, there has and will continue to be challenges in terms of it being a small market. According to me, radio is not about selling space. Radio is all about customisation, innovation and a 360 degree solution. A lot of business comes in through innovations, and engaging with listeners on-air or on-ground. Even when we are doing an on-ground activity, we go live from the venue and engage with people. We do 21 live updates, on an average daily. We make sure all our activities are live, engaging and full of interactions.

Tell us about your participation in Phase III?

One thing we are very clear about is that we have one station in the city of Kolkata, and we are building up our base. The reason for this is we have just changed from retro to youth hard hitting Bollywood. We were a retro station for seven years, and now we have a new baby. Our sound has an international packaging with a local feel. We are not participating in the bidding, but are going as a station into the third phase as migration. And who knows, as we move forward, a lot could happen in the future.

Any plans to expand out of the city of Kolkata?

Frankly at this point we have no plans of venturing out of Kolkata as we are trying to get things right in the city at least.

Are you planning to tie up with any other live property on such an extensive level?

Yes, we are planning to partner with everything that is happening in the city and take live bytes from the people involved, even if it is a simple launch. If it is happening in Kolkata, it is happening on Friends FM.