Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hello FM in content pact with BBC Radio; rebrands itself as Radio Hello

Hello FM, owned by Malar Publications Group, has joined hands with BBC Radio to provide some of its content. One of the reasons for this strategic tie-up is the possibility of a Government nod to air news and current affairs, which could help the FM station grow further and allow it to play a much larger role. Hello FM, which is predominantly a Tamil FM station, also plays English songs on weekends and generates its creatives in-house. Hello FM claims to have generated revenues worth Rs 70 million for the first quarter this fiscal, a growth of over 40 per cent as compared to the same quarter last year.

Following this partnership, there will be capsules which will run about 60- 90 seconds long, titled- 'Hello Nimishyam BBC Vishayam' which means- its Hello's time with BBC's content/ insight which will be aired every hour across its seven stations. The content would include lifestyle and entertainment which would include Kollywood, Bollywood, Hollywood and even Sports. This exercise would be launched from August 17, 2009. There will also be a weekly roundup of 'Hello Nimishyam BBC Visheyam' which will be aired on Saturdays as part of its breakfast shows, and a sports roundup as part of its English show on Sundays. Thus there would be two 15 minute capsules on weekends (weekly roundup capsules) while on a daily basis there will be 60 to 90 seconds capsules.

In conversation with exchange4media.com, Rajeev Nambiar, CEO Radio Hello said, "BBC which for the first time has come on board, has seen us as one of the best ways to take their interest forward. We are also excited about the association because this is a relationship which we can leverage on once we get the nod from the I&B Ministry to air news and current affairs as part of our content, nevertheless BBC will be putting across a lot of informative capsules which will see many interesting highlights of subjects that are of interest to our audience."

"These are contents of great value which can bring in new audience for us and once we have the mandate to air news and current affairs we would also have the ability to play a larger role" he added.

A change of name:

In yet another set of development and keeping an eye on the Phase III rollout along with the possibility of getting a nod for multiple frequencies too, Hello FM will henceforth be known as Radio Hello 106.4 FM, the reason being that it was the frequency of the FM station that had taken the centre stage atleast in the south. "More than rebranding we call it a redress. We want a brand name eventually which would be in synonyms with the category of radio so, we want to be known as Radio Hello and not Hello FM.. Secondly, while speaking in Tamil the frequency was always the hero as it had taken the centre stage. We are gearing up for phase III and cultivating a global audience and therefore we want to emphasize on the brand name rather than frequency name."

While the FM station has both television partners and their own print medium, Hello FM will be taking to on-ground extensively in order to promote its name change. For instance one of the onground activity is called 'College Sema Star' which will see the FM station reaching out to nearly 91 colleges in 13 weeks and thus reaching out to over 5lakh students and in this process, the FM station will also short list around 5000 radio talents. Each college and the chosen talent will be allowed to manage the radio station on Sunday which would be in terms of being the RJ of shows, which would continue only for 13 weeks..

"We have very clearly strategized that all our marketing initiatives would be audience contact initiatives. We are not going to run a major mass media campaigns except as part of deliverable for sponsored activities" added Nambiar.

exchange4media.com has also learnt that Hello FM will be hiring new talents at the executive levels. With the phase III launch expected soon, the FM Station also has expansion plan on cards as it does not want to confine to a region alone. "We are looking at expansion and not just confining ourselves to a region. We hope to make this foray either independently or through a strategic alliance" stated Nambiar.

© exchange4media 2009

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