Radio One likely to turn English in Mumbai & Delhi

16 Dec,2011

By Robin Thomas


FM radio network Radio One is likely to go English for its Mumbai and Delhi stations, MxMIndia has learnt from industry sources. This shift is likely to take place next month or early February 2012. MxMIndia did not receive any official confirmation from Radio One at the time of writing this, though industry sources have confirmed the development. Radio One, a joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC worldwide, operates in seven cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad.


An English FM radio station in Mumbai and Delhi may add a fair deal of differentiation in music, but what remains to be seen is how advertiser-friendly it will be, given that listenership levels are lower than those playing just Hindi music.


MxMIndia spoke to few industry players on whether Mumbai and Delhi markets will open up to an English FM station. One of them was of the view that an English FM station in Mumbai in particular will create a much needed differentiation in terms of music. There is a market for English audience, but it may take some time to get established, what remains to be seen is how the advertisers will react to this change. Another industry observer was of the view that while there is a market for English music listenership in both Mumbai and Delhi, it could still be challenging for the FM station in terms of revenue generation, as the audience size is small.


On the other hand, Sunil Kumar, MD, Big River Radio feels the fact that there are audiences willing to pay a huge sum for rock concerts, the number of English newspapers, the popularity of serials such as Friends, are sure indications that there is a market for an English FM station. “There is a market for English music listeners, these are the people who have an international or global outlook, they travel abroad and are well attuned to English music. An English FM radio station will bring an additional audience to radio – that is, those who do not listen to radio. Just look at the number of English movie channels, English GECs, news channels, they are doing extremely well. Therefore, for a premium channel you don’t need a large audience but, you can charge huge premium for the audience they deliver to, which is often people in the higher socio-economic group,” he said.


It may be recalled that when Fever FM was launched in Mumbai, it initially aired both Hindi and English songs after which they had to completely switch to Hindi. Radio One too has experimented for long with its English format in its earlier avatar of Go92.5 and Radio Mid-day. Market pressures and the desire to catch up with the more mass Bollywood hit music format got it to go completely in Hindi. Hit FM is the only 24×7 English FM station in Delhi, while Mumbai currently has no fulltime English FM station. The other 24×7 English FM stations in the country are Radio Indigo in Bangalore and Chennai Live in Chennai. All India Radio’s FM Rainbow station also plays English music.


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One response to “Radio One likely to turn English in Mumbai & Delhi”

  1. Babeee98 says:

    I just moved from Chicago and came across Radio One…dont miss my Chicago radio at all..Feel like it followed me all the way to Mumbai..keep it up Radio One…