Tuesday, January 24, 2012

India's Radio One, partly BBC owned, will switch from Hindi to "English/International."

"New Year has brought a baggage full of surprises for the radio and music industry. 94.3 Radio One, a joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC worldwide has taken a giant leap to go international in the two metros; Delhi and Mumbai. Radio One MD Vineet Singh Hukmani in conversation with Radioandmusic.com, reveals the business strategy behind the huge change in the two metros, stresses on the fact that there is a huge market for an English radio station and claims that the station will offer better ROI to advertisers. Excerpts: Q: Radio One is going English in Delhi and Mumbai… VSH: We researched clients and listeners about what they thought were the problems in radio and we got a clear answer; all radio stations sound the same. We had begun to correct this problem across our markets but now the change we make will be highly audible in Mumbai and Delhi. We want Radio One to be different, intelligent, international and involving to 'English speaking' Indians who have a global outlook. Q: Do you think there is a market for an English FM station in the highly dominated Bollywood music culture? VSH: There is a huge misconception about English per say in radio circles. Famous speeches like 'freedom at midnight' or 'tryst with destiny' by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru were made in English on radio. Indians today 'thrive' globally because of their comfort with English as against the Chinese or many other 'non English adopting' countries. So if English or an international feel can do well in infotainment in Print, TV, Internet, Cinema, Outdoor then WHY NOT IN RADIO?. The audience is ready. The radio medium is lagging behind on this front and we aim to correct it. English / International beckons with open arms! The listener and advertiser have already embraced it in other media and they will do so in Radio too." (Radioandusic.com, 10 Jan 2012)