Digital is the future, not competition to radio

19 Dec,2011

By Robin Thomas

 

While digital was and probably is still seen as a threat to the growth of print and television, for radio, on the other hand, the digital medium is said to be a complement and not competition.

 

Some examples of digital successfully complementing radio to provide good content are Radio Mirchi’s VAS application – ‘Mirchi Mobile’, which allows mobile users to listen to any Radio Mirchi station from any city by just dialling a particular number across any telecom operator. Radio City’s music portal, PlanetRadiocity, in addition to its extensive music content, offers web radio, said to be India’s first and only multi-genre, live and interactive ‘Web Radio’ station that plays a variety of content 24×7. Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), the Dutch international public broadcaster recently launched a website on sex education. Radio Maska is another internet radio portal available inIndia.

 

Rachna Kanwar

The one common factor among FM radio stations is that they want to stay connected with their listeners even when they are not tuned in. Hence most of them are finding new and innovative ways to engage their listeners online.

 

Radio jockeys are going online by putting up blogs, videos and audio clips of their programmes on their FM station websites. Almost all FM stations today have made their presence felt on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

MxMIndia spoke to couple of FM stations to find out the significance of digital media to FM radio today.

 

Rachna Kanwar, Vice President and Business Head, Digital Media and New Business, Radio City feels that digital medium has helped them connect with their audiences not only in India but even those settled abroad. “With the astounding rate at which the medium is growing, it is obvious that nobody can ignore digital media today.RadioCityhas used the medium effectively to reach out to our listeners. Digital media has also enhanced our engagement with listeners and has helped us in promoting our offerings to a larger audience base,” she said.

 

Rahul Balyan
Amitabh Srivastava

In order to engage the listeners and ensure that they tune in to the radio station, the traditional FM stations will have to continue re-inventing themselves a lot more around what the listeners want and how they want, especially since the choice for a listener will be infinite on digital platforms.

 

Rahul Balyan, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Initiatives, Radio Mirchi said, “We have realised that at least 20 per cent of Radio Mirchi listeners are online, and have a lot to say; the digital platforms allow us to connect them on a one-on-one basis. We have got a tremendous response on Facebook, Youtube, Mobile VAS and our website. All of it is driven by the equity that Radio Mirchi has created with the listeners.”

 

Convergence of traditional broadcasting platforms with digital platforms is perhaps inevitable as digital media has become significant, not only for radio but for all media.

 

Amitabh Srivastava, Country Manager – South Asia, Radio Netherlands Worldwide pointed out: “Digital is the future and not competition to radio and I see a lot of potential for internet or digital radio inIndia.Mobilehas also become very important today as most people listen to radio on their mobile phones and as technology will progress and internet usage grows inIndia, internet radio will also see growth.”

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One response to “Digital is the future, not competition to radio”

  1. absolutely! (what the above speak makes absolute sense!)

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