And to keep the ads pouring in

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    And to keep the ads pouring in

    FM radio doesn’t come cheap

    IF you believe that radio is the poor cousin of television then you will have to think again. For advertising rates of various private FM channels are much higher than some television channels.

    Advertising industry sources said that according to the rate cards of various FM channels, the ad rates for a 10 second spot at prime time (drive time) is between Rs 2,500 3,000 for 10 seconds. Even in Mumbai, where FM operations have completed a year, the ad rates of successful FM channels average between Rs 900 1,000 for a 10 seconder.

    Media planners said that radio channels are demanding a premium because of the novelty factor. During the launch period, the curiosity surrounding the medium is so high that a large number of people tune in to sample the fare. Listenership can go up by 300 500 per cent in a very short period.

    “Radio can attract a much larger listenership compared to television. The whole approach towards buying on radio channels is to increase the reach,” said a Mumbai based media planner.

    Defending the high ad rates, Mr Nandan Srinath, Station Head, Radio Mirchi, Delhi, said, “We have to realise that radio is not a cheap medium. While radio cannot completely substitute television, it is effective in a particular geography. Smaller channels could charge low ad rates, but one could get as many ears in Delhi alone as the channels get eyeballs across the country.”

    And to keep the ads pouring in, there’s a slugfest for listenership. On offer are a whole lot of promotions and freebies. The Ispat Star promoted Radio City has tied up with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), while Radio Mirchi has entered into an alliance with Club HP for offering free petrol.

    Along with this, a host of freebies such as a free holiday or shopping vouchers cheap jerseys are being thrown in as prizes for various contests. So you have Radio Mirchi’s Kitne Mirchi Hai contest, Red FM’s Maai Ka Laal contest and Radio City’s Citi Bajao promotion.

    “This is all being done to get the listeners in. It is still early days and radio channels want to create a dedicated set of audiences,” said Ms Sumita Das, General Manager, Enterprise Nexus.

    Officials in the radio companies, however, said that these initiatives are paying off. Ms Praveen Malhotra, Vice President and Station Head Radio City, said, “The response to the free fuel offer till date has been overwhelming. Over a lakh cars carrying Radio City 91 FM stickers have a chance to win free fuel.”.

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