Radio One is a station with a difference: Anil Machado

12 Apr,2012

Beginning March 28, Radio One Kolkata made a transition from a station that played a mix of Hindi and Bengali songs to a full-fledged Hindi retro station. The Kolkata station is now a 100 per cent Hindi retro station, playing the biggest hits from the sixties through the nineties. By going completely retro, the FM station aims to create some differentiation in the Kolkata market which has nearly nine FM stations. The decision to go retro was taken after extensive research was conducted, which found that no FM station in Kolkata dwelled into the retro music space and that there is huge potential for a 100 per cent retro music station in the market. In conversation with MxMIndia’s Robin Thomas, Mr Anil Machado, National Programming Head, Radio One shared his view on the reasons for going retro in Kolkata, how the station is different in other markets and the response received. Radio One, a joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC Worldwide is operational in seven metros – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad.


Please throw some light on the decision to go retro in Kolkata?

Radio One is a differentiated station in every market we are currently present in and there is no market better than Kolkata to go 100 per cent retro.  The biggest retro singers are from this market… Kolkata is a market that swears on retro music, that’s grown up to retro music. Our motive is being different in every market and we noticed huge space in retro music that no one was catering to and if they did, then they were catering in time slots. We did our research and found that people of Kolkata are crazy over retro music and that the market is huge. In fact, no other player has dwelled into this space and hence we took the step and went 100 per cent retro in Kolkata.


What genre of retro music will the Kolkata station play?

We would be playing the biggest hits from 60s and 70s all the way through the 90s. You can listen to over forty years of the best music ever churned out in the country. The best of retro music will be played on Radio One Kolkata station. Tune in any part of the day and you will listen to songs you have grown up listening to, and therefore you will end up enjoying the station.


And before going retro, Radio One Kolkata played….?

Before going retro we were playing mainly a mix of Hindi and Bengali wherein Bengali music occupied nearly 25 per cent of the music mix.


You have tried to create a differentiated station across markets…?

We have differentiated content in all our markets. In Mumbai andDelhi, we are the only radio station playing international music. In Kolkata we are a 100 per cent Hindi retro station. In Chennai we are the only 100 per cent request station. In Pune we are a hardcore Bollywood music station whereas others play a mix of Hindi and Marathi. InBangaloretoo we are truly a Bollywood music station whereas others play Kannada music and in Ahmedabad we stand to a maximum music, maximum choice wherein we air only two shows and the rest is back to back music. The others in Ahmedabad market, on the other hand, air approximate six to seven shows whereas we air only two shows.


What’s the kind of response the Kolkata station is generating, particularly from the advertisers?

The response, from both listeners and advertisers, has been overwhelming. Advertisers mainly look at audience profiling and the differentiating factors of the station, and Radio One provides that differentiating factor and the audience profile. Kolkata has nine radio stations and advertisers realize that Radio One is the only FM station that plays 100 per cent retro music, our TG continues to remain the same i.e. 30 years plus listeners. What we have noticed in the Kolkata market is that they breed music from the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, and the people of Kolkata know their music, the singers and lyricist and so on.


Radio One Kolkata went retro towards the last week of March, 2012, yet you didn’t make much noise about it…?

We went retro from the March 28, 2012. I believe that the moment your product is differentiated, it works on the principle of network marketing but, if you are similar to other stations in the same market that is when you would invest heavily in marketing. Therefore, the moment you are a differentiated product, you would automatically stand out from the herd.


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