Need to monetize radio-social media connect (+Vdo)

24 May,2012

By Robin Thomas (Videos: Insiyah Rangwala)


Social media has, more or less, become a necessity for every organization today because the consumers are out there and no brand can afford to not be interacting with them. Moreover, social media can also help  brands know their consumers’ thoughts, behaviour, likes and dislikes. It also allows brands to have a two-way communication with their consumers, and thus provides high level of interaction and engagement. And it is not just brands but other media like radio stations which are coming out with innovative ways to connect with their listeners through social media.


At the sidelines of the India Radio Forum (IRF) 2012 industry veterans from the advertising fraternity discussed the importance of social media for radio.


Mr Premjeet Sodhi, COO, Lintas Media Group said: “Social media is certainly important for not only the radio industry today, but also for every other medium. In the long run we will see more integration taking place between social media and radio.”


Mr Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors- Viacom 18 explained: “Social media is growing by the day. Today almost 65 per cent of the people in India are below the age of 35 and 50 per cent are below 25 years of age. I believe this is the fastest growing medium, therefore, it is a very important medium and those that have not got onto social media, must get on before it is too late.”


Mr Suman Srivastava, Founder and Innovation Artist, Marketing Unplugged said: “Social media is important for radio at two levels. One is to connect with the listeners and therefore, get much larger engagement which might even result in an increase in the reach. On the other hand, it is a fantastic medium for radio channels to build their own brands as well as the brands of their advertisers. In the future, I believe, we will see a lot more advertisers using radio and social media together along with, perhaps, ground activations to create events which could have a multiplier effect for those advertisers.”


Speaking on the need for radio to partner with clients, Mr Vinay Bhatia, Customer Care Associate and Senior VP- Marketing, Shoppers Stop said: “The real big partnership for radio and their clients is in the digital space. Digital and radio have to come together and ally in such a way that they deliver joint value to the client, and I don’t think any of this is happening today. Radio is an out of home medium and we are increasingly seeing out of home consumption for digital. I think these two medium can go very well together and brands like ours which have large Facebook pages need content, we need engagement and I think radio channels that provide us that.”


Mr Harshad Jain, Business Head – Radio and Entertainment, HT Media said: “Radio is a medium which is free of cost, it is the cheapest form of entertainment in the country, and if there are issues that can be interlinked with social media, it could call for a good integration. Having said that, it is still early days because radio as a medium still has to catch up big time before it starts integrating with social media.”


While there are calls for integration between radio and social media, the radio industry must also find ways to monetize the radio-social media connect. Mr Sodhi pointed out that while social media can make radio activations richer, it is vital for radio stations to find newer ways to monetize this activation.


Agreeing with Mr Sodhi, Mr Raj Nayak said that no business will work if there is no monetization. He added: “One of the biggest disservice broadcasters have done is that they have not woken up to the digital media.”


So while radio and social media will see more integration in the long run, there is also another school of thought that believes that radio is still at a nascent stage and has a long way to go before it can get into integration with social media. However, monetization is the key for survival of any business and radio stations must find ways to monetize its social media activations.


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