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Radio Broadcasting was pioneered in India by the Madras Presidency
Club Radio in 1924 but failed due to owing financial difficulties and
gave upon 1927.
Later in 1932 government of India took over broadcasting and
possession of transmitters and began its operations as the ‘India State
In the year 1936, it was renamed “All India Radio’’ (AIR), which was
converted to separate department after independence.
The AIR was and is even now controlled by a Director General, who is
assisted by several Deputy Directors and a Chief Engineer.
In 1957 AIR was renamed as Akashvani and is controlled by the
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
During the period of Independence only a mere 6 radio stations existed
throughout the country but, during 1990’s AIR network extended to
almost 146 AM (Amplitude Modulated) stations.
In the year 1967, Commercial Radio services started in India.
The initiative was taken by Vivid Bharti & Commercial service, from the
headquarters in Mumbai.
Vividh Bharti accumulated revenues from widespread sponsorships and
advertisements. During the mid-1990’s broadcasting was carried on from
31 AM & FM stations.
By 1994, there were around 85 FM stations & 73 short wave stations that
linked the whole nation.
Between 1970 & 1994, the amount of radio receivers increased manifold,
almost five times. From the initial 14 million, the number increased to a
staggering 65 million.
Almost 70 hour of news, entertainment programmes were broadcasted in
1994 in various languages with the help of 32 shortwave transmitters.
As India’s National Broadcaster & also the premier Public Service
Broadcaster, All India Radio (AIR) has been serving to inform, educate &
entertain the masses since its inception truly living up to its motto,
‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’.
One of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of the
number of language of broadcast, the spectrum of socio-economic &
cultural diversity it serves.
AIR home service comprises 414 stations totally located across the
country, reaching nearly 92% of the country’s area & and 99.19% of the
AIR originates programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects.
Programmes of the External Service Division are broadcast in 11 Indian &
16 Foreign Languages reaching out to more than 100 countries.
The News Service Division, of All India Radio broadcasts 647 bulletins daily
for a total duration of nearly 56 hours in about 90 languages / dialects in
Home, Regional, DTH Services.
AIR produces and transmits programmes relating to development
activities in all their facets including extension work in agriculture,
education, health, and family welfare & science and technology.
AIR is switching from analog to digital in a phased manner. The technology
adopted is the Digital Radio Mondale or DRM.
With the target of complete digitization by 2017, the listeners can look
forward to highly enhanced transmission quality in the near future.
FACTS ABOUT AIR
FACTS AT A GLANCE NUMBERS.
1) BROADCASTING CENTRES 414
a)Full-fledged Stations with Studios
i)Local Radio Stations
ii)Stations with studios other than LRS
iii)Community Radio Stations
2) CAPTIVE EARTH STATIONS 32
3) STUDIOS 221
4) AIR’s DTH CHANNEL 21
5) NUMBER OF TRANSMITTERS 600
6) NUMBER OF STATIONS WITH FM TRANSMITTER 380
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI)
IN RADIO SERVICES:
It has been estimated that the FM radio broadcasting sector could need as
much as RS 3500-4500 crore in the few years for Phase III FM radio
expansions for working capital including credit given to advertisers & their
It has also been a reason of argue that since debt is difficult to get, given
poor profitability, operators will have to rely on equity to fund their
expansion plans for which foreign capital is critical.
Due to earlier cap of 26% on foreign investment, the radio never gained
interest and attention of foreign investors.
The FM operators, broadcasters as well as associations are in favours of
enhancement of FDI limits in FM Radio Sectors to 49%. One FM operator has
also suggested 100% FDI for FM radio sector.
Stating that the radio sector is already well regulated & thus, to facilitate
hassle free FDI inflow, most stakeholders have supported that the FDI should
be allowed through automatic route.
The FM operator, who has suggested to allow 100% FDI, has stated to
follow the FIPB route for FDI beyond 49% limit.
Approval of 49% would not only entail infusion of capital but also transfer
of technology, enhancing competitiveness.
PHASE I & II
The thrust areas for Radio Broadcasting were on improvement of program
content, providing wider choice of programs, improving broadcast quality
& enhancing technical features.
With this vision, Phase I was launched in 1999-2000, after which 21
private FM channels became operational in 12 cities.
Government introduced Phase II for FM Radio broadcasting side its policy
notification dated 13 July 2005. After FM Phase II, there are 243 FM
channels in operations in 86 cities.
The main objective of Phase I and Phase II respectively was to attract
investment & to increase reach of FM radio in mayor metros and cities.
PHASE III: A BOOSTUP FOR RADIOSERVICESIN
Phase III of FM Radio will ‘boost’ the radio news sector in the country and
reach out to smaller towns and cities providing quality information to the
This process would give fillup to the expansion of radio services in the
country across 294 cities & 835 channels.
Due to expansion, radio news would reach out to smaller towns & cities
thereby providing quality information to the audiences.
Under the phase III radio expansion, private channels would be allowed to
carry news bulletins of the A.I.R.
FM Radio will now touch 90 percent of the population making it truly a
common mans medium.
As the doors for the expansion have been opened, industry expects to see
30 percent year-on-year growth.
It is expected to result in the creation of strong regional networks.
Phase III offers exciting opportunities for companies to expand both into
new cities and within cities with a second & even third frequency in the
existing large markets.
CHANGESINPHASE IIIASCOMPAREDTOPHASE II:
In Phase III licences will be for 15 years as against 10 years in Phase II.
Total FDI/FII allowed in new regime is 26% as compared to 20% in Phase II.
An operator in Phase III regime may own up to 40% of channels in the
same city subject to three different operators in the city, whereas earlier
policy provided was for only one channel per operator per city.
New regime also gives an operator facility to network its own channels
within the country.
Unlike Phase II, Phase III regime permits the operator to carry the news
bulletins of All India Radio in cinaltered form on mutually agreed terms &
conditions with Prasar Bharti.
As government has rejuvenated its approach towards North Eastern part of
India with its ‘Act East’ policy, FM Phase III Policy also exudes this
Phase III provides much needed support to the FM radio broadcasting
services in cities of North Eastern part of India as in the cities Jammu &
Kashmir and Island territories.
UNDERSTNDING DIGITAL RADIO :
In these systems, the analogue audio signal is digitized, compressed using
formats such a mp2 & transmitted using a digital modulation scheme.
Digital radio broadcasting systems are typically designed for handheld
mobile devices, just like mobile TV systems
Some digital radio systems provide in-band on-channel (iBoC) solutions
they may coexist with or simulcast with analogue AM or FM transmissions,
while others are designed for designated radio frequency band.
It allows software radio implementations, where the transmission
technology is changed just by selecting another piece of software.
In addition to excellent quality, multiple services & power conversation, it
also presents a lot of value added services.
Digital Radio has excellent audio quality.
In the digital format we can operate three or four programmes (channels)
on a single frequency & assume excellent quality of all the channels.
Big advantage of digital mode is that it allows display of any kind of
information along with the song played in the text format during the
UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITY RADIO:
Community Radio is a service offering a third model of radio broadcasting
in addition to commercial & public broadcasting. They serve geographical
communities of interest.
They broadcast content that is popular & relevant to a local, specific
audience but is often overlooked by commercial or mass media
They are generally non-profit owned by the community in which they
operate. Some are even owned by students, universities, municipalities,
churches or trade unions.
Community Radio enables individuals, groups, & communities to tell their
own stories, to share experiences.
Community Radio’s refer themselves by a variety of names. Some are
musical some are militant and some are combination of both.
They are located in the isolated rural villages & even in the heart of the
largest cities of the country. Their signal may reach a kilometre, cover
whole country or be carried via shortwave to other parts of the world.
• RADIO SECTOR EARNS ITS REVENUES BY,
AD-SALES On-air advertising makes up a major part of radio station revenue.
Stations sell airtime to companies that wish to reach the audience
with messages about their products or services. Spots vary in price
depending on their length, the time of the day they run and the
show during which they air. In some cases advertisements are read
by on-air personalities in hopes that more people will pay attention
when their favourite host is the one speaking. These spots tend to
cost more than the traditional commercial.
EVENTS Radio stations often hold special events, sometimes on their own
and sometimes in concert with advertising partners. These
sponsored events serve the dual purpose of attracting new listeners
to the station and bringing in extra revenue through ticket sales and
merchandising. Many talk radio stations will hold annual cruises or
gala dinners during which on-air personalities will mingle with
listeners, give speeches and generally let the public into their world.
Tickets can be at a premium depending on the venue and the
guests, and the proceeds earned by the station can be substantial.
SYNDICATIONS Radio stations are always on the lookout for the next big on-
air personality, in part for the ratings and ad dollars it will
bring the station and in part because of the potential for
syndication that a popular show offers. Radio stations are
able to sell the rights to air one of their shows to other
stations in exchange for big money. Other stations are eager
to fill their airtime with well-known, popular shows and
often will bid against one another for the privilege to do so.
The bigger the show and the more markets it reaches, the
more the host and her contracted station stand to make.
SELLING NEWSCASTS Radio stations with a news focus sometimes sell hourly
feeds and direct news wire product to other stations around
the country. The idea is to eliminate the need for every
station to manage its own staff of reporters and news
anchors to create an hourly broadcast and breaking news
updates. Each station can decide to purchase the feed and
run the news as its own during the appropriate time slot.
These news services are offered by several different stations
and bring in a good deal of revenue.
SOME KEY TRENDS OF RADIO STATIONS :
Increased Social Media Presence :
Radio Stations are taking to social media to accentuate the
entertainment quotient for their listeners as well as to establishing a platform to
have direct interaction with them. Many like Radio Mirchi, Red FM and Radio City
maintain a national page usually as well as city-centric pages. Content on these
pages usually range from videos and pictures of celebrities visiting the studio for
promotion activities to also posts pertaining to polls, contests and quizzes etc.
Content differentiation :
Radio stations are increasingly focussing on differentiation strategies to
break away from the routine so as to increase listenership. Since Bollywood is one
of the profitable categories for the medium, stations have experimented within
this to carve out a niche for themselves. Additionally, radio gives the opportunity
to focus on some very specific local issues. These shows have been generally talk
shows based with little or no music content. Industry players believe that
although these shows garner much attention from the listeners the nature of the
content limits the number of advertisers. Stations are also increasingly looking at
bringing celebrities to capture listenership.
Music based shows with celebrities :
In this format, the differentiation is driven by the presence of a celebrity
from the entertainment industry as RJ’s. The content usually comprises music strewn
with anecdotes or personal experiences or stories about the film industry etc.
Another differentiation strategy adopted by the networks is non-music
content. Radio stations have experimented quite a bit in this aspect with many
regional channels airing plays, or talk shows based programs to focus on issues faced
by the listeners. For example, Radio Mirchi Kolkata has shows which air Radio plays
adapted from classic Bengali stories and novels.
The extent of content differentiation is expected to be much more profound with the
roll-out of more stations in Phase III auctions.
Brand building measures:
With the advent of Phase III and the emergence of new players and new
markets, stations will increasingly feel the need to differentiate themselves from
others. Brand building measures are not confirmed to activations and events but also
doing extensive research on the listeners to find out programming as well content
preferences. Radio Stations used occasion based marketing as well as social issues to
engage with listeners out of their studio. Ensuring their presence in major events in a
city like sporting events like IPL, or elections etc.
Social cause/ issue Based:
Radio stations continue to undertake various social initiatives and had a
forthcoming approach to launch campaigns highlighting social issues. Radio had
always been one of the primary vehicles for the Public Services announcements
pertaining to health, environment, safety, gender issues etc., recently many of them
are tying up with NGO’s or Companies and devising programs or initiative which
addresses some social cause, engaging in community building exercises.
Larger players are also investing in their own award shows to successfully
reach over to he TV audiences and have a cross platform experience. Not only is Radio
becoming an integral part of marketing the entertainment awards but also the
networks are investing in building their own property to enhance their brand.
There is remarkable change in the listenership's in the year 2015 as
compared to 2014.
Radio City topped in terms of market share with 19.1 per cent, followed by
Big FM 18.9 per cent.
Fever 104 recorded the highest Time Spent Listening (TSL) with 6.26, while Bi
FM ranked second with 6.16 TSL.
Radio Mirchi registered 14.6 per cent market share, Fever 104 13.1 per cent
and Red FM 11.7 per cent
Among the programmes, the morning edition of ‘SUHANA SAFAR’ with Anu
Kapoor on Big FM had the highest TARP with 3.8 in 12+ category and 5.4 25+
Radio City 91.1 FM’s ‘KAL BHI AAJ BHI’ with RJ Gaurav was the next popular
show with 3.5 in the 12+ category & 4.3 in 25+ category.
According to Radio Audio Measurement Survey, covering the four metros
Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore the share of audiences turning into Radio
from home and out of the home changed marginally.
2015’s 40th week(i.e. 27septto 03oct) Listenership
METROS TOP RADIO STATIONS MARKET SHARE (in %) TSL
MUMBAI 1. RADIO CITY 17.8% 5.3
2. BIG FM 17.5% 6.01
3. FEVER FM 14.7% 6.23
4. RADIO MIRCHI 13% 4.1
DELHI 1. FEVER FM 19.8% 4.59
2. RADIO MIRCHI 14.1% 3.36
3. RADIO CITY 11.7% 3.39
4. BIG FM 11.5% 3.47
KOLKATA 1. RADIO MIRCHI 20.5% 4.43
2. BIG FM 14.4% 4.47
3. FEVER FM 13.3% 4.43
4. OYE FM 10.6% 3.53
METROS TOP RADIO STATIONS MARKET SHARE (in %) TSL
BANGLORE 1.RADIO CITY 22.3% 9.49
2. BIG FM 21.3% 8.23
3. RADIO MIRCHI 17.1% 7.31
4. FEVER FM 13.6% 7.41
RADIO STATION FREQUENCY TAG LINE OWNER RJ’s
RADIO MIRCHI 98.3 FM “IT’s HOT!” THE TIMES GROUP RJ ROHIT
MY FM 94.3 FM “JIYO DIL SE” BHASKAR GROUP RJ MEENAKSHI
BIG FM 92.7 FM “SUNO SUNAO,
ANIL AMBANI RJ SIDDHARTH
RED FM 93.5 FM “BAJATE RAHO” SUN GROUP RJ MALISHKA
RADIO CITY 91.1 FM “FUN KA
DHAMAAL 24 106.4 FM “DHINCHAK” BAG GROUP RJ MOHNISH
RADIO ONE 94.3 FM “MAXIMUM
MiD DAY & BBC
FEVER FM 104 FM “ITS ALL ABOUT
HT MEDIA LTD. RJ SAYAN
• INCREASED PENETRATION OF DIGITAL PLATFORMS:
With increased proliferation of the digital medium through
smartphones and other portable digital devices, terrestrial radio
stations would find it increasingly difficult to stay relevant among the
younger tech savvy listeners. Most of the industry players believe that
terrestrial radio has to inevitably shift to the digital platform in the
near future. From the advertisers perspective, with the increasing
focus on ROI, digital interfaces are likely to address two most
important aspects which the traditional radio platform does not
provide clearly- measurability and targeting.
Measurability continues to be one of the biggest challenges for
the industry with advertisers and sponsors increasingly shifting their
analytical and consumer to justify their ROI. The importance of a
universally accepted metric to measure listenership cannot be stressed
upon more as historically incorporation of these metrics have
increased the advertisement spent on radio.
• FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN RADIO BROADCAST:
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the radio sector is currently
capped to 26% which industry believes to be the major hindrance for
the growth of the industry. TRAI’s recommendation of increasing the
limit to 49% was in coherence with the suggestion of Finance Ministry
Panel. The approval would not only entail infusion of capital but also
transfer technology, strengthening technology, raising productivity,
enhancing competitiveness etc.
• PRIORITY SECTOR STATUS FOR RADIO:
Radio sector should be given the status of priority sector so
that the bank lending to the sector can qualify under Priority Sector
spending rules. Also, this could enable raising debt from ECB reducing
capital burden on the players.