One Big Idea by Anil Machado: Being different is not niche, it’s purely ‘Mass’

04 Mar,2013

By Anil Machado, Associate Vice President – National Programming, Radio One


It’s the age of customized content. Everyone accepts this in the online space – using data available online, users are profiled to the littlest detail and then offered content. The concept of customized content has existed from as long as radio has been around. The industry however, has clearly forgotten the basics of radio; it’s a one to one medium and not one to one billion medium.


Audiences differ from place to place. What works in Mumbai rarely works in any other city. The one big idea that is the game changer is differentiated products. Keeping the audience in mind, we must offer differentiation in the product, not only from a network point of view, but from city to city.


Advertisers look for a vehicle that has a well-defined audience irrespective of the data from any research software. There is a huge network of players fighting for the largest share of the listener pie, or the bottom of the pyramid. There are five or more large media players fighting for 60% of the pyramid. The middle part of the pyramid has over 30% of well defined listeners and the only way to target them is by being different. Our research indicated that listeners were bored with what they heard on radio and hence we decided to take the plunge. While everyone in Bangalore had moved into the Kannada space, we took our station into Bollywood, and we saw tremendous success.


Keeping ‘being different’ in mind, we decided to redefine the radio industry in India. Our Mumbai and Delhi stations went International; in Kolkata and Ahmedabad we played Bollywood retro and in Chennai we became a 100% listener request station.


We look back at Bangalore as the place where it all began. Now everyone looks at us as the stations, that has a well-defined listenership and has achieved success by offering a product that is different, yet relevant to our audience. Our content is unique, yet appealing to a large share of the listeners. Mind you, being different is not “niche” it’s purely “Mass — with well-defined listeners.”


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