Jaldi 5 with Ashwin Padmanabhan: 92.7 Big FM’s rise to No 2 in Mumbai is about content, not just music

10 Feb,2014

While the success of all radio stations is critical, when the all-important Mumbai station sees a steady growth to the No 2, there is some reason for celebration. On the back of turning its format to retro, the 45-station 92.7 Big FM network tasted much success in Delhi. It switched to retro in Mumbai in June 2013 and in around eight months rose to #2 in Mumbai as per RAM figures quoted by the station*.


01. You’ve obviously achieved much with the retro repositioning. First Delhi and now Mumbai. In a country where the youth segment is huge and growing, what would you attribute as the reason for the success of the switch to retro?

The kind music we play today in Delhi, Mumbai and a few more cities across the country is timelines – that’s why we call it as “Hit They Hit Rahenge” The appreciation and love for this music cuts across generation, the fact is the music has meaning, love, emotions and a king of connect that has universal appeal. The other aspect of our programming is that our RJ-speak is honest, responsible, reflects the current environment in the city and seeks to engage and entertain. In fact while we have become the No-2 Radio station in Mumbai, we also have the No 1 Breakfast Show there !


It appears the results on ratings took more time to show in Mumbai as against Delhi. True? And would you be able to attribute any reason for that

Not really, we moved to playing retro music all day in Mumbai at the end of June 2013, so it has taken six months to move to the No 2 spot – which has actually been a rapid growth.


02. In which decade or age segment would you say is there maximum listenership for retro?

The listenership is being driven by the 25+ audience…


03. Have you looked at experimental with retro English or that in other regional languages?

As a brand we will continue to create and deliver content that connects with the masses, English content is still a very small niche. In regional languages: yes. Our Kolkata station is also 100% retro. In Bengaluru, where we are a Kannada station; we have a five-hour Retro Band from 12noon to 5pm.


04. On the back of retro, one finds you have also created some popular shows. For instance, Annu Kapoor has seen a new lease of life after the demise of Antakshari. Comments?

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not just about the music, it’s also about the content that we create. In 2013 and we will continue this year, we invested in creating some really entertaining formats like Suhana Safar, Yadon Ka Idiot Box, Caravan E Ghazal, with brilliant Artists like Annu Kapoor, Nilesh Mishra, Talat Aziz in Hindi;  Sabyasachi in Bengali and Shi Kay Chandru in Kannada. Entertaining content will always be key to get engage with listeners..


05. What next, given that the retro format is easily replicable? In fact the retro zone does exist on other stations too.

Most formats are replicable, it is the content that we build around it that helps in differentiation, and this is our focus, so in other words our success with Retro format is not just about the music, it about delivering superior entertainment to audiences.


*Note: RAM does not supply figures directly to MxMIndia, hence these figures are unverified


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