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Effectiveness and Growth of Radio Advertising in India

Info: 20196 words (81 pages) Dissertation
Published: 18th Oct 2021

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Tagged: MediaAdvertising

Executive Summary

Advertising in general expresses the positioning. Powerful advertising is the result of powerful planning. Great ideas and great ad campaigns don’t just pop out from no where, they are built on the key communication points that motivate sales.

Radio is entirely a medium of sound, which evokes smells, sensations and visual images which brings the listeners imaginations into play.

Radio advertising is one of the tools of advertising which is effectively used for communication and positioning. It is one of the foundations for effective and successful advertising. Radio can be used effectively for advertisement since it can target the large audience because of its high reach. Radio is good at increasing awareness about the brand and business and helping in building the brand image.

But all this was only for pure academic purpose. With the advent of television radio lost its popularity and thus its purpose with the marketers. This led to sharp declines in the proportion of advertisement spending on radio as compared to other media.

But then came the governments order on liberalization and privatization. This brought about loads of changes in the world of radio broadcasting in India. Prominent and established companies entered the business of FM Broadcasting.

FM broadcasting has breathed a new life into the medium of Radio in the past few months. Could radio now think this as a new phase of its life or a re-birth? Of course yes, people are today talking only Radio—- Radio Mirchi, Radio City, RED, Go and WIN. One will find people with radio sets of different shapes and sizes listening to their favourite music on roads, in hotels, even the bidi shops aired on any of the music channels. The radio channels are now vying against each other to provide their best to the listeners

However one can see that although radio is an excellent medium it has been used to its full potential and various efforts should be taken to improve it as with proper direction radio can reach heights as it is the cheapest and a very good medium.


Through this project my objective has been to understand the following

  • To find out about the current scenario of the radio industry.
  • The reasons for a stunted growth of the industry
  • The various steps in radio advertisement
  • Realizing the needs and wants of consumers and fulfilling them
  • What the various radio stations have to offer the masses.

Research Methodology

Through this project I have made an effort to understand the advertising tool called radio advertising which is being increasingly recognized by marketers as a powerful tool that helps in finding new customers and retaining the existing ones at a much lesser cost.

Primary Research

The aim of primary research was to understand radio advertising as it is seen in the corporate world. To understand this I have taken two interview from different fields.

Mr. Madhav Joshi who is currently working in Leo Burnett who helped me understand what all goes into the making of a radio advertisement.

The mode of interview used was an informal one where he answered my questions on one to one basis.

Also Mr. Sudarshan Sahe the senior marketing manager of Radio City gave me an interview and helped me in trying to understand as to how the station works and looks after the needs of its consumers

Secondary Research

The aim of secondary research was to understand as to why radio advertising has been able to grow at a considerable rate as compared to the other media.also the fall out of radio in the last decade .

It was also undertaken to understand how radio advertising is done and what re the current players in the market.

Secondary data collection method: desk research

Secondary data collection sources: internet, books, newspaper articles


Old media don’t’ die! They just bounce back in new avatars. Not so long ago radio had been written off as fuddy-duddy, down market and not so cool. Television and later “new media” were touted to being the media of the future. But thanks to technology radio is making a comeback. In fact, in its new avatar-fm-radio is all set too become the hippest, coolest and most with -it medium.

FM radio is a new entity altogether and has to deal with new market dynamics. Media owners dealing with new markets will virtually have to draw up their strategies as they go along, create programming that is new, innovative and grab away eyeballs from TV sets and make them tune into their radio sets. It’s a whole new challenge and competition is never far away. Ad revenues will also not be easy to come by, as advertisers will expect media players to put their money where their speakers are before they commit large sums of money towards radio advertising. The other challenge for radio in attracting advertisers is the nature of the medium-radio has always considered being a reminder medium. The involvement of listeners to radio is low, Vis a Vis television or print media.

However in spite of the various challenges the emergence of private FM stations is certain to increase the quantum of radio advertising in the country , much like satellite channels did to the quantum of television advertising in the country. That should open up a vast new market of consumers-100 million Indian households own an estimated 150 million radios, outnumbering television sets 3:1.

The geographical area covered by radio in India in India is as high as 98 percent and the penetration level is approximately 97 percent. But FM presently covers only 17 percent of the area and 21 % of the population of India through transmitters. Currently radio has just 2 percent of the 9000 crore Indian advertising market according to an Arthur Anderson’s survey. Globally depending on each country, radio has a 5 % to 12 % of the advertising cake. On the higher side are countries like the United States with 13 %, Canada with 12.7% and Spain with 9.1%. FM station executives are not forthcoming on multi-platform strategies as yet. Given that radio has penetrated into 100 million homes and a FM set costs around Rs. 50/- FICCI estimates FM’s share up from the present 1.5 percent to 5 % in five years. They have also forecasted that revenues from radio advertising in India will be Rs. Rs. 1200 crores by 2005 and Revenue of radio services is expected to rise to Rs 689 crore by 2008 at a CAGR of 30 per cent.

While TV is a family medium, radio is personalized. Also advertising of certain product seems to work very well while some might not. For example, cellular phone service or auto related products would have a good impact when advertised on radio is primarily known as a “drive time” medium most people who turn in are doing so while commuting. Thus the potential if FM is better is bigger town, as the car population is much bigger. This would be the key when evaluating the medium. Also one must not forgot that radio continues to be a medium that has tremendous reach among the poor and marginalized sections of society.

With the coming of more channels, and the emergence of lifestyle advertising, radio will become a push and pull medium. As said earlier, is not just making a comeback but is being reincarnated into a new avatar.

Some Basic Technical Knowledge

Any radio setup has two parts:

  1. The transmitter
  2. The receiver

The transmitter takes some sort of message (it could be the sound of someone’s voice, pictures for a TV set, data for a radio modem or whatever), encodes it onto a sine wave and transmits it with radio waves. The receiver receives the radio waves and decodes the message from the sine wave it receives. Both the transmitter and receiver use antennas to radiate and capture the radio signal.

When you listen to a radio station and the announcer says, “you are listening to 91.5 fm “what the announcer means is that you are listening to a radio station broadcasting an fm radio signal at a frequency of 91.5 megahertz. Megahertz means “millions of cycles per second,” so “91.5 megahertz” means that the transmitter at the radio station is operating at a frequency of 91,500,000 cycles per second. Your fm (frequency modulated) radio can tune in to that specific frequency and give you clear reception of that station. All fm radio stations transmit in a band of frequencies between 88 megahertz and 108 megahertz. This band of the radio spectrum is used for no other purpose but fm radio broadcasts.

Common frequency band includes the following…

  • AM radio – 535 kilohertz to 1.7 megahertz
  • FM radio – 88 megahertz to 108 megahertz

AM radio has been around a lot longer than FM radio. The first radio broadcasts occurred in 1906 or so, and frequency allocation for AM radio occurred during the 1920s. In the 1920s, radio and electronic capabilities were fairly limited, hence the relatively low frequencies for AM radio. FM radio was invented by a man named Edwin Armstrong in order to make high-fidelity (and static-free) music broadcasting possible. He built the first station in 1939, but FM did not become really popular until the 1960s.


FM is primarily a music channel, so the question of royalties is relevant. The Indian Protographic Record Society (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance (P) Ltd. (PPL) are supposed to hold all the rights of royalties. They are demanding Rs. 1,500 per hour (as against Rs. 100 per hour, at which they are supplying music to AIR), PPL is demanding a royalty of Rs. 250 per hour of needle time, the actual duration of a piece of music. The IPRS is demanding Rs. 100 per hour. The IPRS claims royalty for the original composers and authors of music.

Cost – Aspect

A Licencee pays Rs. 6000/- per hour.

Add Rs. 1,500/- for the music.

Add Rs. 3,000/- for the technology, salaries and other expenses. An hour long show thus costs Rs. 10,500.

10 – Minutes have been set aside for advertising. One minute is reserved out of 10 – minutes for social awareness advertising.

Thus, advertising time available for sale is 9 – minutes.

In other words, 18 advertisements each of 30 seconds can be accommodate in an hour.

This is the high target. Besides the tariff card should be modest, considering the limited range and listenership supposing a 30 – seconder costs Rs. 500 at prime time for 18 such spots, the total revenue generated is Rs. 9000/- . Another estimate puts the production cost of an hour long programme around Rs. 6,000/-. Add Rs. 6,000/- of the licensee fee to AIR.

Studio hiring costs are between Rs. 500 – Rs. 1000 an hour. The total expenses are thus Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 13,000 per hour.

Advent of Format Radio

The arrival of ‘Moving Pictures’ with sound and then ‘Television’ were expected to be the death knell for ‘Radio’. However Radio has not just survived repeated predictions of its demise but grown tremendously. It has benefited listeners and advertisers alike and earned the status of a ‘Constant Companion’… What allowed Radio to accomplish this feat? Read on for the long journey the Radio industry has covered thus far.

It was way back in 1895, that Guglielmo Marconi invented an antenna to send and receive radio signals. It took quite a while before Reginald Fessenden developed the first radio receiver in 1913. However, experts give a lot of credit to David Sarnoff who actually conceived what is called as the “radio music box”. It was Sarnoff who suggested that radio should be mass-produced for public consumption. His persistence paid off in 1919 when such sets were available for general purchase. This saw the beginning of what was later looked on as the ‘Golden Age of Radio’.

Early 1920s saw the launch of commercial radio. People in households would gather around the radio to listen to their favorite programs much as they do today with TV. Radio became the first medium delivering entertainment to the masses in their homes. The 1st paid announcement on radio was a 10-minute capsule from Howthorne Court; a Queens based Real Estate Company. This era was characterized with ‘block programming’ wherein radio offered something to everyone. News, drama, sports; live musical recordings would be presented in 30 or 60-minute programs. A network soap opera could be followed by a 15-minute newscast followed by one hour of a concert.

Then in the 1950s TV began to catch the public’s attention. Audiences were charmed by the audiovisual experience of TV. A large number of popular shows moved from radio to TV. That was not all, as the radio industry was also losing a large number of talented staff to TV.

At this point in time, radio experts discovered an opportunity that only radio could provide. They realized that radio was the only medium that could be used while doing other things, like getting dressed for work, cooking a meal, traveling to office, studying and more.

Radio turned ‘local’ and moved to what is known in the industry as ‘Format’ programming. This era also spawned two of radio’s greatest strengths: immediacy and local service. Format radio strategy was based on providing the same kind of entertainment to a selected audience, throughout the day, seven days a week.

As the story goes, Storz and McClendon used to frequent a local malt shop, which had a jukebox. They observed that the customers would usually come and play the same songs that they liked, over and over again. In fact, the staff serving these people would end up playing just the same songs even when the shop was closed.From this insight emerged the “Top 40” format or the “Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR)” format were the most popular hits would be played on a higher rotation.

This led to a change in the way radio time was being sold. Sales people shifted from selling programs to selling commercials. It also led to a shift in the way radio programs were scheduled. As radio was being used as a background medium of entertainment, it had to be relevant to the listener at every point of time in the day. The shows therefore had to be reflective of various day parts in the life of the listener.

Irrespective of the form it came in, format radio definitely made radio not just survive the onslaught of TV but also made it grow tremendously. Being the only medium that could be carried and used wherever you are, it could update you about your world throughout the day while providing you with the entertainment you like all the time. Radio became “The Constant Companion”.

The total number of radio sets at the time of independence in 1947 was a mere 275000.at that time a radio receiver used to be a status symbol in this country. But today its possession is taken for granted. According to estimates, there are radio sets in about 105 million households in the country.

History of Indian Radio

For more than 4 decades, the Government of India did not permit private radio stations to broadcast in India. Then history changed its course. In 1993, the Government allowed private FM operators to ‘buy’ blocks (chunks) on All India Radio, prepare programming content, book commercials from advertisers and broadcast the whole lot. Within 4 years, (1997-98), the FM Radio advertising and sponsorship business grew to Rs. 93 crores with Times of India’s Times FM & Mid-Day Group’s Radio Mid-Day becoming the main players.

Then, in June 1998 the Government, through its electronic media regulatory body Prasar Bharti, decided not to renew contracts of private FM operators.Not surprisingly, the advertising revenue fell by 50% within a year!

This time, the Government gave the green light to privatize radio in India. July 6, 1999 was the historic day when the Government announced that 150 new FM channels would be licensed across 40 cities.

And in 2000, the Government auctioned licenses for private FM channels to bolster the revenue. And the focus on metros was evident in the bidding. Expecting to collect Rs 800 million from auctioning 108 licenses, the government had to actually face mass withdrawal of bidders because of the huge license fee. A handful of serious bidders chose to remain.

In response to the Government’s offer, many companies bid for the licenses to operate in key markets. But the going was not so easy. Many gave up, unable to shell out the high license fee. For instance, the bidding price for the Mumbai license was reportedly to the tune of Rs 9.75 crore. Others dropped out saying the business was not viable. So, in effect, the competition shrank, players consolidated and the Government extended its deadline. Today, there are roughly 10 players who will operate approximately in 37 cities across the country.

The government collected close to Rs 4.6 billion as license fee for the privately run FM radio channels in 40 cities. New Media Broadcasting, a Zee Group company, which focused mainly on the smaller towns, won the largest number of bids.

The first round of bidding – for 76 channels in 26 cities, garnered close to Rs 3.5 billion. The government got the highest bids – Rs 97.5 million from each of 10 broadcast companies – for stations in Mumbai. Interestingly, the bids for Hyderabad and Nagpur came next, each for Rs 77.2 million and Rs 74 million, respectively, while the bids for Delhi were Rs 71.2 million each

Radio is expected to follow the growth of the Television industry, which grew rapidly following the entry of private players

Currently, FM coverage in India is restricted to just 17% of the country, compared to 89% of All India Radio (AIR).

Players in Different Centers


Location of Centers

Number of Centers

Bid amount for first years license (Rs. crore)

Entertainment Network [India]

Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Lucknow, Pune



Hitz FM




India FM




Living Media

Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta



Mid Day Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai



Millennium Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai



Music Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Bangalore, Patna, Lucknow



Sumangali Publications – Sun TV

Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunalveli



Vertex Broadcasting

Calcutta, Indore, Bhopal, Vishakapatnam



Udaya TV – Sun TV




Incidentally, Music Broadcasting became the first firm in India to commence private FM broadcast from Bangalore in July.

Licence Fee and revenue sharing model

Currently, FM players pay annual licence fees, which go up by 15 per cent every year. Private FM radio sector would shift to a revenue-sharing model from the existing licence fee regime. However, revenue-sharing also exists in the media sector. The objective is to “make FM radio a success story”. It’s better to keep the revenue-sharing low than to have a failed project. There has been debate on whether to recommend a revenue-sharing structure or a fixed amount for a period of 10 years; it is firm on revenue-sharing now. Revenue-sharing will follow payment of a one-time entry fee through a process of bidding. Revenue-sharing is quite low at around 4 %.

While the private FM players had sought revenue-sharing in the band of 2-2.5 per cent, the panel has fixed it at 4 per cent.

Setting up new radio stations

After the second round of privatization, the number of FM radio stations targeted is around 300 to 400. The panel also suggested that players wanting to enter the sector in the second round of licensing need to have a technical viability clearance by a financial institution on the financial viability of the project. It has also recommended to the government to release additional spectrum for the use of FM radio companies so that the number of companies operating in one centre can go up.

Future of Radio Industry

FM Radio can play its part in building a stronger business future for India. Providing free-to-air local broadcasts of music and entertainment, helpful information – traffic advisories, community announcements and public service messages provide a real value-added service. But at current levels of advertising support, each radio station is reeling under the brutal financial impact of high costs. With more players in the fray the FM radio industry would grow and also enhance the government’s yield from licensing radio naturally.

The new India deserves an active private FM radio sector. It can provide a level playing field with benefits for listeners, for advertisers, employment & career options. Spearhead the government objective of growing the FM radio business in India.

With the government ready to reduce the license fees it will help in attractingnew palyers like reliance which had earlier backed out only due to the entry fees.also government allowing foreign players to enter he Indian market it will help the industry grow. Virgin group has already started exploring the Indian market for suitable partners. various radio stations are coming up with IPO for example Radio Mirchi thus helping them expand.

The future looks bright as the reach of radio is expected to raise post the increase in the number and quality of players in the industry. It is on the basis of these key drivers of growth, it is being predicted that radio’s share in the total advertising pie will see an increase in the medium term. There are an estimated 150 million radio sets across the country. The Rs 1.6 billion industry is reported to be growing by 31 per cent every year and should touch the Rs 6.2 billion by 2007, with revenue rising at 23 per cent annually. Also, though radio has only a 2 per cent share in the Rs 6,000 crore Indian advertising market, advertising spending is expected to amount to Rs 500 crore this year.

SWOT Analysis


Recently, the government has agreed upon revenue-sharing model, which is 4 % for the growth of the radio stations. So that they can develop themselves well because this industry is still in an introduction stage.

The success of private FM stations, and reveals that radio listenership habits have changed considerably; not only are listeners tuning into it more often but also sticking to radio for longer hours everyday.

The advertisers, who would depend on word-of-mouth, pamphlets, brochures or ads in local supplements of newspapers, are welcoming the opportunity.

Radio is considered as a background medium, because people can listen to radio anytime and anywhere they want. It is also a free medium.

90% of India has access to radio which is unmatched by any other media.

Radio also reaches to uneducated village folk who do not read print publications. At the places where the literacy rates are low where people hardly read newspapers and radio is the only medium that they can understand. They can’t afford a TV set. Therefore radio is more popular.

Radio is the least cost medium and it helps to reach mass audience with various backgrounds. Radio offers its reach frequency and selectivity at one of the lowest costs per thousand and radio production is relatively inexpensive.

Radio is considered as a medium where the “Proximity to purchase” is very high.

Radio is a complement to another media. Therefore, other media or the advertisers or agency can use this medium for brand recall.


One of the major weaknesses of Radio is that there is very less differentiation in the programmes that are aired. Most of the stations plays much of the music that is played consist of Hindi Film songs, and therefore it is difficult to differentiate between the programmes of the different channels.

Fragmented Audience – the large number of the audience in India is fragmented in various remote places. And therefore, the percentage of listener tuned to anyone station is likely very small.

No proper research available – research is very important for any advertising segment. Research is the main base to attract client and get more revenue. But, in India there is no proper research is available. Many stations are conducting their own research which can be biased.

Radio-only nature of radio communication is a tremendous creative compromise. An advertiser whose product depends on demonstration or visual impact is at a loss when it comes to radio. And like its radio message creates a fleeting impression that is often gone in an instant. Many advertisers think that without strong visual brand identification the medium can play little or no role in their advertising plans.

Increase in listenership numbers but no increase in ad revenue. This is the situation that every radio channel is facing.

Short commercials


Getting copyright licenses from the government for running mega events which are aired on the AIR radio station and have been restricted to be aired on other private stations.

Launching a radio station with 24-hour news channel

Tie-ups with BEST or railway authority for playing the FM in train and in bus.

The launch of Private Radio FM has managed to create a set of ‘New Listeners’ for the medium

The new radio stations which will come in future they can have venture with the college or university campuses. And can play their station which will exclusively provide with the information relating to that university/college campus.

With the coming of the many more new players in the radio industry each channels can position themselves quite different from others, like, if some station is targeting the health conscious people then their programming strategy will vary accordingly. And then it is easier for the advertisers also to decide on which channel to advertise.

Allowing private FM players to start news and current affairs programmes.

One has to constantly innovate, and that is the challenge. Brand building is thus much more difficult. At the same time, we are very bullish, and gung-ho about this whole enterprise.

Leaves huge scope for innovation in local market


The biggest threat to private radio industry players is ALL INDIA RADIO. AIR is the biggest player in India because of its reach, low charges, government channel etc…

Because of the new government policies there will be more number of stations and then competition will also increase. This is one of the biggest threats it faces. With no particular differentiation in the music. So, there is a fear of losing its brand loyalty.

Advertising in India

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world, with a nominal GDP CAGR of 9.94% over the last 10 years (1995-2005). The nominal GDP for fiscal 2005 was Rs. 30,636 billion. According to CSO estimates nominal GDP growth for fiscal 2006 is estimated at 10.9%. There is a correlation between the economic growth rates of a country i.e. the nominal GDP growth rate, and growth rates of the advertising industry

The Indian advertising spends, as a percentage of GDP, is 0.34%, which lags behind other developed and developing countries

During fiscal 2005, the gross advertising spend in India is estimated at Rs 111 billion, and is expected to grow at 14.2% to reach Rs. 127 billion by fiscal 2006

Segmentation in advertising

The five key industry segments comprise print, television, radio, cinema, and outdoor. These different segments within the industry are at varying stages of growth and corporatization

Media Spends as % of Total Ad Spend











































The Indian television industry has grown rapidly, especially since 1991, which saw the beginning of satellite broadcasting in India. This growth was also aided by the economic liberalization program of the Government. The growth of the satellite television audience saw proliferation of a number of satellite television channels offering more choices to media buyers and consumers of entertainment. Thus, the television broadcasting business, which started off as a single government controlled television channel, now has over 300 channels covering the Indian footprint, resulting in growing ad spends on this medium. Reforms and proliferation of private players were the key reasons for this rapid growth of the share of television in the advertising industry.

Radio Advertising

Radio is still the king when it comes to getting your music. The best way for a new band to get heard by the public and record label executions is over the airwaves.

Paradoxically, radio currently has only a 2.9 per cent share of the total advertising pie in India. Globally, depending on country, radio has a 5 per cent to 12 per cent share of the advertising cake. On the higher side are countries like the United States, with 13 per cent, Canada, with 12.7 per cent and Spain, with 9.1 per cent.

Companies that advertise on FM channels today such as Hindustan Lever (HLL), Dr Morepen, Amul, Castrol, Santro, Britannia, Parle, DSP Merrill Lynch etc are dominating the advertising on each one of the FM channels, be it Radio Mirchi, Go 92.5 Red 93.5 or Radio City.

Today, 70 per cent of the advertising comes from big-budget, national advertisers and the balance 30 per cent comes from retail. It is a known fact that retail advertising will grow because radio presents the perfect advertising medium for local businesses in a local environment. But national advertisers are also operational in the local market, implying that it is as important to them as it is to a retail advertiser, if not more.

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that radio can be integral in exposing a new artist, new product or services to new fans and taking a local market to a national level. Accordingly, it is extremely difficult to obtain meaningful airplay. Putting it bluntly, successful radio promotion revolves around making and managing relationships.

Radio promotion is an art that demands a certain style you may simply neither have nor desire to cultivate. On top of that, it can take a great deal of time to make all the contacts and connections that are required for successful radio promotion.

Advertising agencies that control the national picture will be slow to move on to radio for creative reasons. They have people who love to make television commercials, but don’t have anybody who knows how radio works. Here, only about 2.9 per cent of the money spent by advertisers goes to radio, and up till now, all of that went to ALL INDIA RADIO.

However, in revenue terms, money from advertising has gone up. Revenue from commercials on AIR, including on Vividh Bharti and Primary Channel (including FM) rose from Rs 393 million in 1990, to Rs 808.4 million in 2000, & Rs. 600 crores in 2002, representing a growth of about 7.5 per cent per annum.

A clear advantage that radio has is that it can easily target city-based audiences. This makes sense if the advertiser, like a food chain that is opening an outlet in Mumbai, wants to target a specific audience. In such cases, it does not make much sense to advertise on TV, and the print medium is too expensive. Radio is the best bet for such small-scale promotions. It is also aptly suited for local promotions, and once audiences can be targeted, it has tremendous potential to eat into local mediums.

Consumer opinions

The evidence from the qualitative research is that young people feel their local FM station is aimed at people like them, but the advertising is not - they feel, probably quite correctly, that most advertising is aimed at adults.

Because radio is a real-time intrusive medium, they have to sit through the full length of any ads which are for irrelevant products. There was evidence of three sorts of memories:

Relevant : This includes Ads which mentioned areas or names of specific interest, e.g. films, outlets selling favoured brands, concerts

Vague/ not relevant: This includes memories of ads for local garages, cars and insurance companies - little or no specific detail remembered

Sonic Brand Triggers: Much evidence of children's ability to pick up on musical Sonic brand Triggers (SBT's) and sing them out loud.

Pros and Cons of Radio Advertising

Every medium has special strengths and weaknesses that makes it more or less suited to special marketing problems of specific advertising. There is no one medium which is ideal for advertisers or every situation. Radio has a number of characteristics that makes it an ideal vehicle for numerous advertisers as either a primary or secondary medium. Also, there are certain disadvantages of this media which need to be considered.

Advantages of Radio

1. Largest Reach and Frequency

Radio offers an excellent combination of reach and frequency. The average adult listens more than 3 hours a day, radio builds a large audience quickly and a normal advertising schedule easily allows repeated impact on listener. 90% of India has access to radio which is unmatched by any other media. Radio is not only the medium of hearing news but also is a source of entertainment and advertising for the rural masses. Radio also reaches to uneducated village folk who do not read print publications. At the places where the literacy rates are low where people hardly read newspapers and radio is the only medium that they can understand. They can't afford a TV set. Therefore radio is more popular.

2. Broadly Selectivity

Specialized radio formats with prescribed audiences and coverage areas enable advertisers to select the market they want to reach. From a marketing perspective, radio has the ability to reach prospects by sex, age group, ethnic or religious background, income group, employment category, educational level or special interest with a format that adds even greater dimensions to its already strong personal communication environment.

Radio's high overall reach and its ability to provide numerous formats make it a multifaceted medium. Because of the relatively low cost of production, advertisers are able to adapt commercials to the various stations then buy, a strategy that would normally be prohibitively in television.

3. Cost -Efficiency

Radio is the least cost medium and it helps to reach mass audience with various backgrounds. Radio offers its reach frequency and selectivity at one of the lowest costs per thousand and radio production is relatively inexpensive. National spots can be produced for about one tenth the cost of a TV commercial, and local stations often produce local spots for free. Also, radio ads can be produced very quickly.

4. Creativity and Flexibility

Radio is the most flexible medium because of very short closing periods for submitting an ad. This means an advertiser can wait until close to an air date before submitting an ad. With this flexibility of simple formats such as voice only can be created almost immediately to reflect changing market conditions or advertisers can take advantage of special events or unique competitive opportunities in a timely fashion.

Radio also offers timeless, immediacy, local relevance and creative flexibility. The personal nature of radio, combined with its flexibility and creativity, makes radio the choice for numerous product categories. Copy changes can also be made very quickly.

While radio may be one-dimensional in sensory stimulation, it can still have powerful creative impact. Radio has been described as the theatre of the mind. The musical formats that attract audiences to radio stations can also attract attention to radio ads. Audiences that favor certain music may be more prone to an ad that uses recognizable, popular songs.

5. Proximity to Purchase

The mobility of radio and its huge out - of - home audience gives the medium an advantage enjoyed by few other advertising vehicles. In the competitive environment facing most companies, it is imperative that brands achieve consumer reinforcement as near as possible to the purchase decision. Radio's daily frequency offers scope for continued messages and hence the consumers are more likely to remember that product and consumer lend up buying that product.

6. As a Complement to Another Media

In some cases, radio is the primary medium for local advertisers. However for national advertisers and most large local and regional firms, radio is most often used as complementary medium to extend the reach and frequency of primary vehicles in their advertising schedule.

A fundamental marketing strategy for radio has been its ability to successfully work with other media to increase reach and frequency or to reach non-users and light users of other media. The radio industry realizes that the bulk of its revenue comes from advertisers who use radio as a secondary medium.

7. A personal medium

The human voice is the most personal means of communication. Radio gives the advertisers the opportunity to take advantage of the right combination of words, voices, music, and sound effects to establish a unique “one-on-one” connection with prospects that lets you grab their attention, evoke their emotions, and persuade them to respond.

Radio can be targeted by lifestyle formats and is more efficient than other media from a cost and production standpoint. As a result many advertising agencies will move their budgets into radio.

Disadvantages of Radio

1. Misunderstanding

Sometimes there might be a misconception regarding the radio ad as it is only heard. In television the chances of such misconception is less, as it is audio as well as visual.

2. Poor Radio Attentiveness

Just because radio reaches audiences almost everywhere does not mean that everyone is paying attention. When a consumer is listening while doing some work or traveling in a car, he or she often switches stations when an ad comes and divides his or her attention between the radio and road.

3. Fragmented Audiences

The large number of stations that try to attract the same audience in a market has created tremendous fragmentation. If a large number of radio stations compete for the same audience, advertisers who want to blanket the market have to buy multiple stations, which may not be cost effective. However, in radio's quest to continue to fine tune its reach, some advertisers wonder if radio is offering too many narrowly defined options. For those product categories with broad appeal, it is difficult to gain effective reach and frequency without buying several radio stations and networks.

4. Chaotic buying procedures

For an advertiser who wants to include radio as a part of national advertising program, the buying process can be sheer chaos. Since national networks and syndicated broad cast do not reach every geographic market, an advertiser has to buy time in individual markets on a station-by-station basis. This could involve dozens of different negotiations and individual contracts.

5. Short Lived and Halfhearted Commercials

Radio commercials are brief and fleeting. They can't keep like a newspaper or a magazine ad. Radio must compete with other activities for attentions, and it does not always succeed. Only 20 % of time availability restricts the frequency of message exposure.

6. Creative Limitations

The audio-only nature of radio communication is a tremendous creative compromise. An advertiser whose product depends on demonstration or visual impact is at a loss when it comes to radio. Many advertisers think that without strong visual brand identification the medium can play little or no role in their advertising plans.

7. Limitations of Sound

Radio is heard but not seen, a drawback if the product must be seen to be understood. Some agencies think radio restricts their creative options.

8. RJ needs training

It is very important that the Radio Jockey is trained enough to deliver the ad. Sometimes the voice really matters. If the voice is irritating then there is a chance that the campaign may flop.

9. No proper research available

In India, there is no proper research has been available on the area of radio listening, which will be very helpful for the advertisers to decide them on advertising plan and budget and other matter. Therefore, there could be a problem for the marketers in the sense that they might advertise on wrong channel at a wrong time.

Types of Radio Advertising

1. Network

Advertiser may use one of the national radio networks to carry their messages to the entire national markets simultaneously via stations that subscribe to the networks programs. Networks provide national and regional advertisers with simple administration and low effective net cost per station. The advantage is less paper work and lower cost per station. Disadvantage includes lack of flexibility in choosing affiliated stations the limited no. of stations on a networks roster and the long lead times required to book time.

2. Spot Radio

Spot radio affords national's advertiser's great flexibility in their choice of markets, stations, airtime, and copy. They can tailor commercials to the local market and put them on the air quickly - some stations will run a commercial with as little as 20 minutes lead time.

3. Local Radio

Local times denote radio spots purchased by a local advertiser for local market. It involves the same procedure as national spots. Radio advertising is either live or taped. Most radio stations use recorded shows with live news in between .Likewise, nearly all radio commercials are pre recorded to reduce cost and maintain broadcast quality.

4. Sponsor Programme

Here the advertiser sponsors the whole or part of the programme. The RJ informs the audience about the sponsored company throughout the programme.

5. RJ Mention/What's On Mention

Here the Radio Jockey [RJ] informs the audience the information given by advertiser about the new product launch, sale, exhibition going on at certain place etc.

Radio Stations Divide Their Days And Their Rates.

Radio stations divide their rate cards into dayparts .The exact divisions vary from station to station.

6 am -10 am Morning drive

10 am - 3 pm Daytime

3pm - 7pm Afternoon drive

7pm- 12am Nighttime

12am - 6 am All night

Rating services measures audiences for only the first four day parts because all night listening is very limited and not highly competitive. Heaviest radio use occurs during drive times (6-10 am and 3-7pm) during the week (Monday- Friday).

This information is important to advertisers because usage and consumption vary for different products. For example, radios morning drive time coincides with most peoples desire for a steaming, fresh cup of coffee, so its great time for advertising coffee brands. For the lowest rate, an advertiser orders spots on a run of station (ROS) basis, similar to the ROP in newspaper advertising .However, this leaves total control of the spot placement up to the station. So most stations offer a total audience plan (TAP) package rate, which guarantees a certain percentage of spots in the better day parts if the advertiser buys a total package of time.

Length of Spots

The radio commercials in the test reels consisted of several different spot lengths, ranging from 15 to 60 seconds. The longest commercial played on the radio is 120 seconds. Those however are rare. In theory, one could assume that the longer a spot, the better it will be remembered or at least, the more chance there it that it will be heard. Research on television commercials proved that this theory holds true for the medium television: a doubling or tripling in spot seconds results in duplication in recall.

The spots for advertisement can be for 10 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec and 60 sec. In General,

10 second spot should contain 25 words

20 second spot should contain 45 words

30 second spot should contain 65 words

60 second spot should contain 125 words

If you've never written a spot, 30 seconds sounds like an impossibly short time to get your message across. But take a stop watch and time some spots on the air; you'll see that quite a lot can be accomplished in a short time. In fact, you may find that 60s, unless very well written and well produced, sometimes seem a bit too long.

A 60 does allow you more variety in music, sound effects, and voice and can be useful for political message, the announcement of a new or little-understood service, or other sports with a information/education content.

30 is usually 70 to 80 words long, and a; 60 around 150 to 160 words. The cost of a: 30 is usually about 60% to 75%.

Some stations no longer charge a separate rate for: 30s and: 60s. Instead, they charge a unit rate. In other words, a: 30 costs the same as a: 60. Obviously, this is one case where you might want to use a: 60 to take advantage of the “free” air time. Check the rate cards of the stations you are interested in, or ask your sales rep.

Buying Radio Time

1. Station Rates

While buying procedures to achieve national coverage may be chaotic, this does not mean they are completely without structure. Although the actual buying may be time consuming and expensive if many stations are involved, the structure is actually quite straight forward. Advertising time can be purchased from networks, syndications, or local radio stations. Advertisers generally invest most heavily in local placement. About 80% of annual radio advertising is placed locally. About 15% is allocated to national spot placement and only 5% is invested in network broadcasts. Many stations have local rates for Individual Business and National Rates for Agencies.

Advertiser may use one of the national radio networks to carry their messages to the entire national markets simultaneously via stations that subscribe to the networks programs. Networks provide national and regional advertisers with simple administration and low effective net cost per station.

2. Your Dayparts Buying Options

Most stations offer several options for buying air time:

a) Buying by specific dayparts

b) Buying packages

c) Buying sponsorships or adjacencies

a). Buying specific dayparts

This relates to the time period of purchase. There are five basic dayparts on basis of which advertiser can choose. The time period decision is based primarily on a demographic description of the advertisers target audience. Drive-times dayparts attract a mostly male audience, while daytime primarily female and nighttime is mostly teen. This information combined with programming formats, guides an advertiser in a buying decision.

Putting half your sports into drive time and half into midday is a very safe strategy. Weekend sports can also effectively reach teens.

b). Buying packages

As with magazine buying, radio advertising time is purchased from rate cards issued by individual stations. Run-of-stations ads- ads that stations choose when to run- cost less than ads scheduled during a specific dayparts. The price can also increase if an advertiser wants the ad read live on the air by a popular local radio personality hosting a show during a day part.

Buying packages is an easy, usually low-cost method. Marking a package buy is called buying Run of Station (ROS), Total Audience Plan (TAP), or Best Time Available( BTA). This means simply that you pay to buy a package of sports at a flat rate and the station decides (within certain specified limits) when the sports will run. Stations will usually guarantee to divide your sports fairly between drive times and other dayparts.

c). Sponsorships or adjacencies

A sponsorship is just what its name implies. You are associating your company name with a specific program. The advertisers sponsor the whole or part of the programme. The RJ informs the audience about the sponsored company throughout the programme. “……………. Is brought to you by………”

An adjacency is the next best thing to a sponsorship. If you buy an adjacency, your ad will run every day just before or just after (in other words, adjacent to) the program you specify.

Other fixed-position spots are also available. For example, you may specify that you want your spot to run at 6:13 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Sponsorships, adjacencies, and fixed positions go for premium rates. Sponsorships on top-rated shows can cost up to twice as much as other spots in the same dayparts. Having your name associated with a particular show or event can do a lot to reinforce your positioning, and these premium spots can be so powerful that you may be able to run far fewer spots than you otherwise would, spending less to achieve the same impact.

Sponsorships are like marriages; they're only for people who are ready for a long-term commitment.

3) Frequency

Radio, like most media, requires repetition to have impact. As a general rule, a minimum of 20 spots per week should be aired. There are scheduling strategies that help increase the impact of the spots you place.

Flight and schedule are two words you may hear your radio sales representative use when you plan your advertising. A flight is a group of ads. (“I'm running a flight of 80 ads this month.”) A schedule is the long-term version of a flight. (“I run a schedule of 20 ads a week, six months out of the year.”)

4) How many stations do you need

Just as you should never run too few spots, you should also not run on too few stations. But how many is enough?Generally, you should run on at least two or three stations, but that varies depending on your audience and the number of competing stations in the market.

If your target and audience includes both younger and older people, you may need to buy two or more stations with widely different formats.

There are, however, times when one station will suffice. If your audience is business people, and you can afford to buy drive time on the dominant news/talk station in the market, that may be all you need to succeed.

To really learn who is listening to your spots, survey the local market. These surveys break the audience down by age and sex, break the listening week down into segment, and then tell you how many listeners each station had in each category. Similar survey on listenership has been conducted by IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau)

Producing Radio Commercial

Producing a radio spot can be a lot of fun advertisers often say it's the most fun they ever have in advertising. It can also be simple and inexpensive.

There are three basic elements to work with: the announcer's voice, music, and sound effects. Production can be done in the station's own studios or in an independent production house. Stations are usually well- equipped to produce spots, and they often employ young, creative people whose fresh ideas will keep your spots from sounding like everywhere else's.

It all begins with a good script, which means not just the words, but the combination of words, music, and sound effects. All these are part of the script. Your spot can be clever or straightforward, but it must grab the listener's attention in about three seconds, and it must not leave the listener wondering, “whose spot was that, anyways?”

The following are some of the factors you should have in mind from the first moment you sit down to plan your spot.

1) The Voice

There are two factors concerning voice. First, you should use a voice that is appropriate for your image.

There are two good, low- cost options for achieving this, and one higher- cost option:

a) Using local radio talent

b) Using an amateur voice

c) Hiring professional voice talent.

a) Using local radio talent

If station produces the spot, one of their on-air people risk having the voice be so familiar that the listener doesn't pay attention. If the ad runs only in drive time, one can have the midday announcer do the honors. Get the least familiar voice available. Listeners will be less likely to tune it out.

Female announcers can also be used. Studies have shown that women presenters are just as effective as men; but only a small (but increasing) percentage of all broadcast sales presentations are made by women.

b) Using amateur voices

One great thing about radio is that even an untrained voice can be very effective. In fact, the less the voice sounds like one of the regular announcers, the better.

A woman's voice, a child's, or even your own can make listeners stop and pay attention simply because it's not what they're expecting to hear. A word of caution: Amateurs can sound stiff and false.

c) Using professional voice talent

If a very sleek production value is needed hire voice talent from another station, the local community theater or, in larger markets, from a talent agency. Celebrity voices can sometimes be hired.

2). Music

The power of music can't be overemphasized. There are several options for putting music into your commercials:

a) Have original music produced.

b) Use free music from the station's library.

c) Get permission to use an existing recording by a known artist. (But It's difficult and expensive to obtain the rights).

d) Buy canned music (sound alike) in the style of many popular composers in all large markets who supply such productions for a modest charge.

A lot of radio or TV advertising, can be done having a jingle product. The cost runs anywhere from Rs.600 to a few thousand rupees, and it can be a very worth while investment. A catchy jingle helps potential customers remember you more than almost anything else.

3). Sound Effects (SFX)

various onomatopoeic sounds like eeek, ho ho ho, ding dong, whistle etc. are available at the local radio station. The sound of waves on the shore can help sell your vacation package and bird song can put people in the mood for your spring sale.

Radio is entirely a medium of sound. When you use sound to evoke smells, sensations, and visual images, you bring the listener, more involved with your spot, will be more involved with your ideas.

4. The tapping Session

Once the decision is made about the script, voice, music, and sound effects, it's time to record. At may be just you and the announcer in the studio; the announcer will operate the equipment. At large stations and professional recording studios, an engineer will record the spot while you and the announcer concentrate on the reading.

You should also understand. Be aware that the announcer may have slight interpretation of the reading than you do, and don't expect a performance that could only come from someone reading your mind.

Selling Radio Commercial

Selling radio advertising involves a number of steps. The radio salesperson must be aware that everyone involved in the transaction is looking for different results. The media buyer is looking for efficient cost per point, while the client's goal is to move product. As all radio stations are perceived to be same it is important to build value into the radio station by offering credible benefits that produced results and solutions for prospective clients.

Radio salesperson must begin with the client's needs and marketing goals. The first step in the process is to meet the client to gain as much information as possible about the client and his or her business. After the salesperson has a firm grasp of the advertising problem, the next step is to prepare a proposal. The successful ones begins with the clients problem and sales objectives an move systematically to a solution.

Often the job of the radio sales person must be conducted on a number of levels.

a) An advertiser who is not currently scheduling radio may have to be convinced that the medium in general is for a particular product.

b) The salesperson must move from the general advantages of radio to the advantages of specific station.

c) The radio representative may have to show how radio fits into the media mix currently being used by the advertisers.

Radio advertising faces challenges both from within the industry and from other media as it competes for advertising price.



6 a.m. - 10.00 a.m.

Drive time, breakfast audience, interested chiefly in news

10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

Daytime, program characteristics of station, talk , music, or all-news

3.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.

Afternoon, drive time ; radio prime time and same as morning drive time

7.00 p.m. - 12.00 a.m.

News, music, talk shows

12.00 a.m. - 6.00 a.m.

Music, talk shows

Elements of good radio commercial

Þ Be single-minded, focused. The consumer should not be burdened with too much information. Prioritize the copy points. The central idea should be highlighted.

Þ Research your product or service. Many clients keep tabs on their competition, but they rarely related their features and benefits to factual data. Meaningful statistics can give substantial support to your massage.

Þ Relate to the consumer, Always relate the brand to customers wants and needs. D

Þ Generate extension. The effect of a commercial can be multiplied by achieving extension. A clever phrase or execution can have consumers asking other people if they have heard the spot.

Þ Produce an immediate physical, emotional, or mental response. Laughter, a tug on the heartstrings, or mental exercises of a consumer during a radio spot help seed the memory and aid messages retention.

Þ Use plain, conversational English. Be a clear communicator

Creative Radio Advertising

These are some guidelines for producing creative radio advertisements:-

1. Understand the environment
2. Speak the listeners' language
3. Engage and entertain the listener
4. Keep it simple
5. Judge what you hear, not what you read
6. Production values are important
7. Plan your production
8. Dare to be different
9. Take it seriously

Steps in Radio Ad Production

1. An agency or advertisers appoints a producer

2. The producer prepares cost estimation

3. the producer selects a recording studio

4. With the aid of the casting director, if one is needed, the producer casts the commercial.

5. If music is to be included, the producer selects a musical director and chooses the music or selects stock music.

6. If necessary, a rehearsal is held.

7. The studio tapes music and sound separately

8. The studio mixes music and sound with voices.

9. The producer sees that the master tape is prepared for distribution on either tape or cassettes and shipped to stations.

You are on the air!

Measuring the radio's effect

Effectiveness research requires clarity of objectives - what are the agreed objectives of the overall campaign and of the radio campaign within this? Radio effectiveness can be measured either using continuous research or in stages (“pre & post”) - the pre-stage is normally the week before the campaign, the post-stage in the week after the campaign finishes.

Consumers tend to misattribute radio-advertising memories to other media, particularly TV. This is particularly likely to happen where there is a strong executional link between the two media and/or where there is an history of TV advertising for the brand.

This tendency to misattribute can be offset by using matched samples of listeners and non-listeners. This way, if the increase in advertising awareness is greater among listeners than it is among non-listeners, then the effect can be attributed to radio fairly confidently - even if the listeners think the advertising was in another medium.

Radio research can successfully be done using telephone interviewing - ads can be played down the line. However cases where other media are to be included in the research it might be more appropriate to use face-to-face interviewing.

Commercial recognition is a valuable technique - i.e. playing the ads to consumers. It provides a more robust measure of whether they have heard the campaign, and avoids problems of trying to describe the ads. Brand names can be bleeped out of the commercial, to test whether the campaign is linked to the brand.

1) Defining the research objectives

The key to any successful research is to have a clear understanding of why the research is being conducted in the first place. In other words, what are you aiming to measure?

In broad terms, radio advertising research aims can be categorised into two types:

Þ Marketing issues - to what extent has radio helped to achieve the campaign aims?

Þ Media planning issues - what effect do different media strategies have on the performance of the campaign?

Marketing Issues:- These vary widely and there can be often more than one objective set for a campaign. Below are some typical examples:

  • Increase sales
  • Increase footfall / store traffic
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Change consumers' perceptions about a brand
  • Broaden consumer appeal

Not all of these aims are best evaluated with consumer survey research - there are specific tools available for measuring sales effects for example.

Media Planning Issues: - In addition to tracking radio's contribution to the success of a campaign, as a secondary aim you might also be trying to test and evaluate the effects of using different media strategies, for example:

  • Effectiveness of different spot lengths
  • Burst versus continuous activity
  • Use of different day part strategies.

If you do intend to test a particular media strategy there are three important considerations to note.

Firstly, and most obviously, you must gear the campaign so that you can test the particular media strategy in which you are interested.

Secondly, if you are testing a number of media strategies simultaneously, you will need to be able to separate the effects of each using a separate, balanced research “cell” for each media-variable.

Lastly, when testing different media strategies, bear in mind that you will still be judging the effects in terms of the overall campaign objectives.

Whatever your research objectives, once you have defined them make sure that they form the core of the questionnaire you use. Any other questions are of secondary importance

2) The Importance of Split Samples

Misattribution of Advertising:-

When asked to consider advertising, consumers will turn their thoughts to the most salient source they can think of - this tends to mean TV. Television, as the medium with the most active expectations, tends to dominate memories of advertising, with the result that campaigns in all other media are, to varying extents, attributed to television in the consumer's mind.

This misattribution is disproportionately likely to happen with radio and is still more likely to happen when radio campaigns are creatively synergistic with TV executions.

Avoiding Misattribution: Using Split Samples:-

The simplest solution to the problem of measuring true radio awareness is to split your sample into two parts: listeners (target consumers who have been listening to the radio stations which carried the advertising) and non-listeners (people who do not listen to those stations, but who are the same as the listeners in all other

If the only difference between the two samples is their radio listening, then any differences in their awareness or attitudes to the advertised brand can be reasonably attributed to radio - regardless of where they think they have seen or heard the advertising.

It is particularly important to use split samples where radio is part of a mixed media schedule in order to gauge the true radio effect.

Which Option Should You Choose:-

Neither of the two approaches above is necessarily better than the other. However, the second method has the advantage of questioning people who will have the same history of exposure to the brand. Local distribution levels for the brand will also be the same.

The key point is that the listener and non-listener samples must be matched as closely as possible in terms of demographics, media consumption and weight of exposure to the brands' advertising in other media. This ensures that any differences can confidently be attributed to radio ad exposure.

3) Where to do the research

Test And Control Samples In Different Areas:-

This involves taking two matched samples of respondents in different geographical areas and comparing their advertising responses - one sample will live in the advertised area, the other in an area where no radio advertising ran.

In this way, it will be possible to compare the results among those who have been exposed to the campaign with the results among those who have not - thus giving you a measure of radio's effectiveness.

It is important to match the media consumption of the samples (e.g. how much TV they watch etc) as well as their demographics, as this could affect response. It is equally important to ensure weight of advertising for your brand in all other media is the same for both samples.

The two geographical areas should also be comparable - (or “typical”) in terms of media and product consumption as a whole.

Test and Control Samples within the Same Area

In this second approach, all of the research is done within the same area.

One part of the sample will comprise people who do listen to the station(s) on your radio schedule, whilst the other part of the sample will comprise people who do not listen to any station on the schedule. In this way it will be possible to compare the results of those who have been exposed to the campaign to those who have not giving you a measure of radio's effectiveness.

4) When to do the research

The ideal research method is to monitor advertising activity on a continuous basis, since this allows movements in advertising response to be compared directly to current advertising activity. Often, however, continuous radio research is impractical on grounds of cost unless it forms part of ongoing advertising tracking.

Typically, radio research is conducted in two stages - a pre-campaign and a post campaign study.

The pre-campaign study should be conducted as close to the start of the radio campaign as possible - preferably during the week immediately preceding the radio campaign. This will establish the base levels of whatever is being measured (eg brand awareness).

The post campaign study should be conducted as soon as possible after the radio campaign has ended - ideally during the first week after the campaign has come off air.

In some instances one considers conducting more than two stages of research. For example, it might be worth slotting in an additional research phase during a particularly long advertising campaign or sponsorship. Similarly, having done the post-research, consider adding an additional stage of research some weeks after a campaign has ended in order, say, to track decay in brand awareness.

5) The research sample and sample sizes

Sample Sizes

Generally speaking, the larger the sample the better. However at some point, the cost of an increased sample size becomes cost prohibitive and contributes little extra to statistical robustness.

6) Method and questionnaire

Telephone research is often used for assessing the effect of radio campaigns: the method is adaptable and can often be cheaper than face-to-face interviewing. Radio ads can successfully be played down the phone to respondents.

Face-to-face interviewing may also be preferable if respondents need to be shown visual ad material such as stills from TV ads.

Commercial recognition is a valuable technique - i.e. playing the radio ads to consumers - as this is the best “memory jogger” of all. It also delivers a larger sample of people who are identifiable as having definitely heard the campaign: this is useful when analyzing them for their attitudes to the brand.

When playing the radio commercials in order to measure commercial recognition, two different approaches can be taken: blind or branded.

Blind By bleeping out all brand references in each execution and asking whether the commercial has been heard before and then asking for the brand name, it is possible to see whether creative treatment has successfully linked the message to the brand.

Branded - this allows prompting for brand-specific data, (e.g. attitudes to the advertising/feelings about the proposition), whilst giving a true measure of ad recognition.

A fairly straightforward questionnaire will take around 10-15 minutes to run through - much longer and respondents will begin to lose interest and concentration!

Radio with other media

Most brands tag radio to their existing communication plans. Reason enough for us to study the role of Radio vis-à-vis other key media.

'what Radio can add' to each medium on three key parameters - a) Planning, b) Communication and c) Detailing of communication points.

Radio with Television

Characteristics of Television

TV has traditionally been the most powerful and popular advertising medium for people in the media business. This is mainly because it does most things well - coverage, frequency, image, persuasion, demonstration, impact etc.

Traditionally a high-cost medium, the downside with TV is that the audience is now fragmented across many different channels, production costs are extremely high and viewers are increasingly avoiding ad breaks.

What radio can add:

In planning

Radio's main contribution is a dramatic increase in frequency of exposures, either in the same period as the TV campaign or later to extend the campaign over time; radio can be used for regional or local exposure booster; radio can be used to reach light viewers; it extends TV messages to key times of day when TV audiences are lower or when product relevance is higher; radio also allows tighter targeting against audiences thus reducing wastage.

In communication

Given that Radio is perceived as personal medium, radio can bring brands closer and speak to the consumer at their level; radio has a culture of response where listeners frequently interact with their station which they see as accessible.

In detail

Radio allows activity to be geographically varied; radio can allow a fast turnaround for new initiatives; low production costs mean multiple copy messages can be varied round the core TV communication Sonic Brand Triggers. Sonic Brand Triggers are sounds, which consumers recognize and associate with certain brands.

Example of powerful SBTs:

"Britannia Ting Ting Ting"

They help to ensure that TV and radio advertising is well branded. They leave a brand impression with even the most passive TV viewer or radio listener, as they tend to rely on rhythm and music, which are absorbed at very low involvement levels. A sound, which has been successfully established on TV, can be transferred on to radio.

Radio with Newspapers

Characteristics of Newspapers

Newspaper brings 'immediacy' to a communication. Newspapers also have the authority of the written word, and are good at presenting detail. As a print medium, the national press suffers from clutter and from the fact that the reader can and does edit ruthlessly to avoid advertising.

What radio adds:

In planning

Radio adds frequency, and this is real frequency in that exposures take place in real time; radio also reaches non-readers so it can significantly increase coverage; in most sectors, adding radio also means increased share of voice thus overcoming clutter

In communication

Radio brings intrusiveness to a press campaign, and there is less ad avoidance; it can bring to life ideas, which may seem flat on the page; radio can more strongly convey the brand's tone. Radio brings brand messages closer to the individual, speaking in a more personal way than press; radio allows brands to emphasize specific key times of day.

In detail

Flexibility means radio allows geographical variation on top of a national press campaign.

Radio with Outdoor

Characteristics of Outdoor

The strength of outdoor advertising lies in its ability to suddenly confront the consumer with an idea or a challenge, in a very public way. Like radio, posters also operate within time which people think of as free - typically travelling time.

The weaknesses of outdoor advertising mainly stem from three issues: it has no editorial context, it uses extremely simple, striking ideas to be effective,and it suffers from relatively expensive production.

What radio adds:

In planning

Radio adds real frequency, in the sense that additional exposures to the advertising are played in full rather than having the listener look away or ignore; radio offers far tighter targeting which means reducing wastage; radio also offers tighter timing - within time of day, day of week or even week of month.

In communication

Radio allows more information to be conveyed, which is useful for explaining or persuading; radio allows multiple copy; radio brings brands closer, as listeners identify with their radio station and see it as aimed at people like them; radio is better able to communicate the tone or character of a brand.

In detail

Radio offers speed of production compared with the lengthy process of poster print deadlines; it also allows localized copy variation relating to a national poster execution.

Radio with Magazines

Characteristics of magazines

Magazines are useful to advertisers because of the relationship they have with the readers, who consume them in a personal way. They allow targeting by lifestyle and interest group. In many magazines the ads are seen as part of the magazine experience.

Weaknesses of magazines include the fact that lead times can be very long depending on the title's frequency of publication, the high levels of clutter, and the reader's inclination to simply turn the page.

What radio adds:

In planning

Radio adds frequency and also extends coverage well beyond the magazine readership; radio allows tighter timing - time of day, day of week etc; radio also offers a greater share of voice for most categories, which means overcoming clutter.

In communication

Radio brings intrusiveness to a magazine campaign, and there is less ad avoidance; radio can bring to life ideas which might seem flat on the page; radio can more strongly convey the advertising tone of voice. It allows brands to speak to consumers close to certain activities - driving, cooking, housework etc

In detail

Radio offers fast turnaround within the long copy deadlines of magazines, and the opportunity for geographical variations.

Recall of advertising. At the post-stage, you will be seeking to detect spontaneous and prompted awareness.

Commercial recognition - playing the ads to respondents.

Thoughts on what the main message of the ads was

Creating the right mix

A fieldwork was conducted by IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau) to know about the listeners which encompassed the entire Mumbai urban agglomeration through a random sampling of 6,000 households and 3,600 individuals.

With the growing salience of Radio, IRMB believes that time is ripe for a continuous Radio audience measurement system. IMRB International decided to launch RADAR RADIO LISTENERSHIP SYSTEM - the continuous radio audience measurement system in Mumbai.

The findings have helped many radio stations to develop. The following is the standard procedure involved in calculating the listenership of a radio station.

The research can be undertaken by the research agency voluntarily to be sold later to companies, or on particular request by a company.

  • A project is selected and a deadline is given.
  • All the interviewers are informed of the above and a questionnaire is given.
  • A sample size is decided which is spread all over the target city / town etc.
  • When the questionnaires are filled, they are complied and sent to the analysis department

Then the analysis findings are forwarded to the research department and published

At the country level:

Total awareness of radio stations

Gender of radio audience

Socio Economic Classification

Listenership by time slots



While the overall reach of radio in India is high it can be seen above that awareness of private radio channels is not much. Prasar Bharti(AIR) has the highest awareness which is due to the fact that it is a government channel with a pan India coverage and enjoyed monopoly when the radio space was shut for private players. Being the only service provider it was able to penetrate deep into the Indian market. The private fm players mainly having license for big cities and towns although are gaining awareness in cities and towns they are still in their growth stage and for them to be known everywhere they have to diversify geographically and reach the rural population where the radio is a very important medium of entertainment. Which is why the new entrants are vying for their share of the pie and encouraging the government to release more airwaves for them.

Radio is very popular with the sec D/E market due to its cheap cost. Radios are now available at prices below Rs.50 which make it very affordable. While the sec A, B have a wider variety of entertainment available to them radio is not widely used. However with new players entering the market and providing them with the content they want the trend is now changing more people are switching on their radio sets even in these categories, specially the teenagers !

When an advertiser places an advertisement he has to make sure that his target audiences are met through this medium. Various shows are held by the radio stations. In order to meet the requirements of its listeners and its corporate audiences.

As the 7.30 to 11 slot is the most important slot because many listeners are tuned in the shows are generally family oriented as everyone mostly listens to them and news programs on government owned stations. on the other and the 11-2 slot has the women segment listening while the nights are more concentrated on teens. giving the advertisers a vast array to meet their specific target markets.

Based on these findings most of the radio stations have categorized their shows and advertisement rates to meet the needs of its audiences which can be seen in the various positions of the stations. For marketers it then becomes necessary to identify the audience they want to target and respectively book their airtime so as to reach the right audience with the right mix at the right time

All India Radio

A.I.R, which is a national service planned, developed and operated by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting under the Government of India.Sound broadcasting started in India in 1927 with the proliferation of two privately owned transmitters in Bombay and Calcutta. It was changed to All India Radio in 1936 and it came to be known as Akashwani since 1957 to inform, educate and entertain the masses.

All India Radio is one of the largest radio networks in the world in terms of reach. When India attained Independence in 1947, AIR had a network of six stations and a complement of 18 transmitters.

All India Radio has a network of 283 broadcasting centers with 146 medium frequency (MW) transmitters, 50 high frequency (SW) transmitters and 87 FM transmitters. With broadcasts in 24 languages and 146 dialects (home services), and another 10 foreign languages in external services, A.I.R.'s coverage exceeds 90% of India, reaching over 98% of the people in the largest democracy of the world. Add FM radio and you have a formidable arsenal.

AIR has a three-tier system of broadcasting, namely, national, regional and local.

National channel of All India Radio started functioning on May 18, 1988. It caters to the needs of the people, through its transmitters at Nagpur, Mogra and Delhi beaming from dusk to dawn. It transmits centrally originated news bulletins in Hindi and English, plays, sports, music, newsreel, spoken word and other topical programs, to nearly 76% of the country's population fully reflecting the broad spectrum of national life.

The Regional Stations in different States form the middle tier of the broadcasting. Including North-Eastern Service at Shillong disseminates the vibrant and radiant cultural heritage of the Northeastern region of the country.

New initiatives by AIR

Change is in the AIR. Prasar Bharati now plans a 24-hour news radio station - not on FM, but on shortwave. For FM it has other ideas - classical music channels to start with in Bangalore and Lucknow and to be extended across the country later.

AIR, which produces more than 300 bulletins daily, will also cash in on phone bulletins. The service, which is on in Patna, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Delhi at different numbers, will be launched across the country with a four-digit common number. AIR planned and developed special packages for the North East and J&K, focusing on the rich cultural heritage, development of infrastructure and the changing scenario in the state. Prasar Bharati is also planning to fill the vacancies in regional stations, especially in North East and J&K, setting up radio clubs and maximizing AIR revenue.

Prasar Bharati is set to launch a major campaign aimed at repositioning and total branding of the two FM Channels of All India Radio (AIR). Prasar Bharati is positioning AIR FM Rainbow as a channel offering a buffet fare - Hindi Music, Western Music, Chat shows, Helplines etc. and for this it is launching a campaign in select cities. The publicity campaign of AIR is focused on projecting AIR as the world's oldest and largest radio network both in terms of geographical and population reach and the only source for news and entertainment for people in remote places. AIR as the radio network that communicates with people in their language broadcasting in 24 languages and 146 dialects contributes to the enrichment of Indian classical music and broadcast fast and accurate. It will promote and publicize sports events covered by AIR besides popularizing existing services like Radio on Demand and News on Phone.

The entire publicity campaign of AIR is being designed by Prasar Bharati's ad agencies. The ad agencies have been asked by the Prasar Bharati to make a strategy presentation, recommending a suitable positioning for AIR Channels, a marketing plan and publicity plan with suitable media mix.


Radio City, a venture promoted by Star and Music Broadcast Private Ltd (MBPL), was launched on 21st May 2002. MBPL is a company backed by P.K.Mittal, family and Associates. The company has received the license to set up radio stations across the country in six cities - Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Nagpur and Lucknow. The Mumbai license was secured for Rs 10 crores. STAR India's radio division would provide or take charge of advertisement sales, marketing and programming. Radio City aims to reach out to listeners across demographic barriers.

Target audience

Radio City is not looking at any particular segment to target, and is trying to create a brand name. The idea is to create the brand and then to move on to specific target programming. Radio City's market strategy is backed up by six months of intensive research in Bangalore. Intensive research is being carried out to ascertain demographic profiles of radio listeners, so as to enable more targeted programming in the future.

The 4 P's


For listeners - Music, information, a portfolio of entertainment programming 24 hours a day, in mix of Hindi and English

For corporate and retailers: - The airtime.


Intensive (all over Bombay) also, Selective in the sense that it has set up radio stations across the country in six cities - Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Nagpur and Lucknow.


Advertisement rates


Radio city is one of the top 3 stations in the city. This is thanks to its promotions, a perfect blend of English and Hindi music, teamed up with professional, vivacious RJ's.

On the promotion front, the channel undertook huge promotion campaign in the initial stages of its launch.

1. The Television “fun ka doze har roz” ad campaign.

2. Hoardings all over the city.

The channel is into sponsoring events especially college festival around Bombay city.

Advertising with Radio City

Radio City also hopes to provide an effective advertisement medium. This is to fulfill the aspirations of national advertisers seeking vast local reach as well as to local advertisers to access an organized medium for projecting their products and services.

Radio City has managed to attract advertisements, from small local stores as well as big brands like Tanishq, IBM and HLL. Star India is in-charge of providing the content, besides advertising, sales and marketing support.

Radio City will have a four-hour slot in its 24-hour broadcast for advertisement, breaking to a 10-minute projection in every hour's programmed. Radio city is trying to drive the market by encouraging the ad spends on radio to increase from two per cent to the world average of 10 per cent.

National advertisers are all familiar with the concept of advertising. The retail market, on the other hand, involves one-on-one sales and education as to how advertising will help the brand. So they talk to them about radio, probably create a radio spot, make them listen to it, tell them this is how the brand will sound when on radio. The process is pretty lengthy. Because of this the strength of our retail sales team is three times that of our corporate sales team because in retail sales there is this job of exploration and education, and of breaking new ground whereas with national advertisers, it is a question of marketing a new medium and educating people about it rather than having to explain the concept of advertising per se. Hence, the success rate with national advertisers is a lot higher than in the case of retail advertisers.

GO [92.5FM]

Unconverted Image

GO 92.5 FM was launched on 10th May'2002 by mid day group. The wonderful world of Go 92.5 FM, “The Sound of Mumbai” from Mid Day multimedia limited, trailblazing media company.

Radio Midday seem to have found a niche for themselves and clearly positioned themselves as 'the English Channel with a local/Indian image'. Therefore, a focus on international artists popular in India. Not to say that big Indian artists with big fame do not feature in their mix. So if the advertiser wants to target a niche population with a fastidious ear for English music you know where to be! It delivers the best international chart topping hits and the most with - it bollywood sounds, belting out the best hits non stop 24 hours a day. It does not only concentrate on Hindi or English but emphasizes on the attractive blend of both the world.

Target Audience:

Mid-Day's Go 92.5 FM now targets only the socio economic category (SEC) A and B1, target audience is young, and more westernized. It primarily plays English music. They are clear on their strategy and have already started catering to a certain set of audience that is mature, white-collar and upwardly mobile. Providing an attractive blend of 50:50 Hindi & English programmes, the channel targets the age group of 15 to 45 year old, educated, white collar executive whose needs are clearly English music and programming. Go92.5 FM targets the upscale Mumbaikars, Corporate aiming to serve the cream class of Mumbai can select go92.5fm as a part of their communication programme.

The 4 P's


For listeners: the station is focusing on music of course, along with sports, entertainment and business, with a heavy local flavor, to get an edge.

For corporate and retailers: The airtime


Intensive in Bombay and exclusive because it does not have a presence in any other city.


Advertisement rates (Refer to annexures)


Its presence is made known through hoardings, displays at traffic signals etc.

Go is a youth-centric station and they felt that better way to make their presence better to partner with college festivals

Marketing initiatives

Go 92.5 has in fact re-christened itself as Mumbai's College Radio station. In complete tandem with the festivities, the station had also launched a 13-week College Radio hunt some time back, which was presented by Colgate Fresh Energy Gel. Wherein auditions would be held for potential talent and the finalists would then be exposed to in house training sessions, which would equip them with the capabilities of hosting radio programmes of their own.

Advertisements with GO 92.5FM

GO 92.5, indulge in experimental big stuff. There are two effects of this kind of the new programming. First, when the client presents the germ of an idea, their immediate reaction is ‘yes'. Then they out how do they juggle it, how they'll fit it in and this programming mantra helps them in that. That ways they try to be the preferred destination when an existing client wants to sponsor an event or a radio property.

Second, there are many new clients that will come in, especially with the coming in of the 11-2 afternoon slot. At that time, they can have consumer durables on the channel. Not just a LG CDMA but a LG refrigerator and AC can also be advertised. So, it is a double positive impact on advertisers.

90% of their advertisers are the large tickets. That is by virtue of the audience profile that Go are bringing. They have retailers also. They have a classified section on the station called Mumbai bazaar. But those are basically the advertisers who are very keen to be on the station.

There has been a sizeable increase in channel spends on Go 92.5 and they have had the majority of the revenue coming in from niche English channels such as Star Movies, Star World, Zee English, Zee MGM, AXN and Discovery. A few big Hindi properties such as Awaaz and Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hain have been promoted extensively as well.

The top advertisers on Go 92.5 in September 2003 were Coca Cola, Max New York Life, Tata AIG, Asian Paints, Colgate, Orange, Kellogg's, Discovery, BPL Mobile, Cadbury, McDonald, Alitalia airways, Timex watches, HLL, STAR network that is star world and movies, Sony Entertainment TV, Zee TV and Tata Indicom. Other advertisers are Tata Motors, Bazee.com.

Go does not plan to hike rates because they are looking at consolidating at the current rates and also trying to minimize the discounts they give to our clients on the rate card. The station is seeing a 50-60 per cent quarter on quarter growth. During the first half of 2003-04, the station has garnered total revenues of Rs 1.36 crore.

RED [93.5FM]

“Red is in your Head”, screams the advertisement of Red FM, the 24-hour FM radio channel from the Living Media stable. The much-awaited Red FM on 93.5 MHz hit the airwaves in Mumbai first on June 26, 2002, followed by Delhi and Kolkata. Described, as a bright, energetic and passionate Apparently, RED FM has spent close to Rs 17.87 crores as license fees for the three centers of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata for the first year. An additional Rs 20 crores has been invested on infrastructure etc in these three cities. And in the second phase,

Red FM may not be modest but it is certainly witty, reliable, friendly, warm, uncomplicated and honest. The ‘take aways' are plenty - everything that the station says and does is of relevance to its listeners.

Target Audience

93.5 Red FM caters to 25-plus age group. Because it is more a mature audience.
They changes everything in terms of how we play music and the RJs we have according to this target group

The 4 P's


For listeners: The programming mix has non-stop music interspersed with Red FM's ‘crisp' and ‘entertaining' updates on traffic, weather, city-specific events and the latest buzz on everything current.

For corporates and retailers: the airtime


Intensive in Mumbai and selective all over the country because it has other stations in Delhi and Kolkatta.


Advertisement rates. (Refer to annexures)


Red Fm is affiliated with some clubs and pubs, which promote the station. Also it has a tie up with shopping malls like crossroads and ‘Groove' a music store. They have 100 hoardings all over Mumbai city. Moreover, innovative methods like painting Double Decker buses; trains etc have also been adopted.

Marketing initiatives

It stays connected with youth by being in touch with the committees of various colleges in order to collaborate with them on internal festivals. Every committee hosts its own festival and Red has been in touch with committees from Jai Hind, KC, HR and nearly every other college in North Mumbai.

With in a few days of launching, they carried a DJ live on turntables from their studios. Recently, for the first time in India, they went on air live from a night club like Velocity and received a huge response from the listeners.


Red Fm does not go to sell radio spots but works like a consultant with the client. Based on the need of the advertiser, they suggest the best ways of achieving the objective. So if a retailer wants to announce his sale and he does not have a big budget, their job is to suggest that instead of a 30 second spot, play a 10 second spot through the day. Endorsing advertising on RED is not just about buying spots, but is a total experience, tailored to the customer's needs. Red is also focusing, towards the influence of one station with the other, use their strengths and improve co-ordination between the three stations; this is an important task in terms of helping the advertiser.

Red's current advertisers profile includes both retail clients and corporates, they form a healthy percentage of advertisers. They have other high profiled clients like Sony Entertainment, Zee, LG, Coke, Hutch, Idea, HT, ICICI Prudential, State Bank of India, Metlife, Kotak Mahindra and Dabur among others.

Red FM was launched six months late; and therefore they faced a major drawback in terms of losing out on a number of corporates. However, none of them have refused to consider them in their media plan; the shortcoming is only in terms of delay, as they had already freezeed their media budget for the year.

They normally charge around Rs. 4,000/- and the rates might increase or decrease depending upon the need of the advertisers, length of the commercial.

Their revenue only from Bombay is more than two crore. The normal jingle length is 10 seconds and again here rates will differ on the basis of the sound effects, music, background conversation, face-to-face conversation. They do produce jingles according to the advertisers and if the advertiser or the client wants to use that jingle somewhere else in some other media, then the client has to pay substantial amount of money to radio station because if they produce a jingle that is their assets.

They take 100 % money in advance from the direct client. And from the non-accredited ad agency. The do give some discounts to the accredited ad agency.

There are several questions that RED FM identifies before making a time-band suggestion. Is it a women's product? Is it male-oriented? Is it a retailer? If it is a retailer, they could slot it in the 11-6 time band when people are going to the market or when a housewife might be listening to the radio while cooking.

If there were a programme on beauty tips, we would advise a cosmetics brand to advertise on that programme; similarly, if there were a cookery show, there would be food-related brands advertising on it. For male dominated products, they would advise the drive time hours or the late night show; surveys reveal that a number of men like tuning in to radio just before sleeping.


Radio Mirchi belonging to the Times of India Group is in an enviable position to encash into a monopoly the 10-year license period for FM radio in the 12 cities it won. Radio Mirchi has landed this gift indirectly from Reliance and Zee who chickened out of the FM radio business after instigating a bidding war resulting in unviable and exorbitant license fees (Rs. 9 crores annual fees for Mumbai).

On April 23, 2002, the Radio Mirchi private FM station, owned by Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Times Group, debuted in Mumbai, on 98.3 FM. Radio Mirchi is now present in seven Indian cities and is the only company with private FM radio stations in all four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. they are also the only private FM radio broadcaster in the cities of Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune.

As the punch line says, 'it is hot.' They have a very clearly defined position - they are a contemporary hit radio station, and their Target is around 18 to 35 - SEC A and B and in that too mainly youth and housewives. This segment addresses about 12 lakh listeners

The 4 P's


For listeners: 90% of the music played on RM is Hindi and contemporary English hits are played keeping in mind the tastes of their TG. Since radio is a free to air medium, which reaches the lower end of the audience spectrum, RM later made a conscious decision to go Hindi. Hence it quickly became a mass channel with Hinglish being its prime lingo and having a wide audience appeal..

For corporates and retailers: the airtime


Intensive in Mumbai and selective all over the country since it is established in cities like Kolkatta, Delhi, Chennai.


The advertisement rates. (Refer to annexure)


The marketing strategy of Radio Mirchi revolves around two crucial pegs - create hype around the name Radio Mirchi, plug Radio Mirchi through the other media that The Times Group owns.it also does a lot of tie-ups and contests for the consumers

Marketing strategies

Radio mirchi has also tied up with various shopping malls, retail showrooms, pubs for continuous advertisement of their channel to make people aware of the temptations given by the channels to them. Radio mirchi has two main objectives behind doing an extensive marketing which are-

  • To create the Top of the Mind recall in the relevant Target Audience.
  • Connect with the growing Radio listening population in Mumbai.

A very large factor that contributed towards the establishing the brand of RADIO MIRCHI was its catchy slogan “it's hot”. However the slogan by itself was incomplete without the voices that accompanied it. CELEBRITIES and film stars that repeated every so often “hi I'm -------- I'm hot and I'm Radio Mirchi!!” big names that generated curiosity and excitement and compelled the listener to refrain from flipping the dial.


Radio Mirchi charges the highest rate of Rs 2,000 for a 10-second slot, the rest of the FM channels charge anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 for a 10-second slot.

Radio Mirchi gives 45 lakhs weekly listeners as per Radar study. There is an average listenership of 45 minutes per day on the station. The rates are so reasonable that advertisers can afford 10 or 15 spots a day and run the campaign for 15 days or three weeks at a fraction of the cost that you will incur in print or Television. There are about more than 300 advertisers on Mirchi. Today it is fashionable to be on radio.

Radio mirchi sells independently and does not offer any print package deal even though they belong to Times Group - they are an independent company. Most of the national advertisers on radio mirchi today want to buy all the stations on air. So they have package deals for them also.

There is very little retail advertising on radio. In Indore more than half of Mirchi revenue comes from retail. In Ahmedabad and Pune it is probably about 25 to 40% of the business. But in Mumbai it is at 10%.

Currently radio mirchi has hiked their prices because they know that Radio Mirchi today is one of the best radio channels and they offer value to the advertisers who spend on their station. While all the other stations offer more slots and run ads for over 15 minutes, they offer ten minutes per hour on Radio Mirchi. There is huge inventory pressure on them and therefore they had to increase the ad rates. Currently, on an average, there are 125 to 175 brands advertising on Radio Mirchi.

In most cases, stations offer discounts on what is on their rate cards. On an average, across the five stations, the effective ad rate going for a ten second spot would be anywhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 2000. Clients buy effective rates and they buy a combination of spots like prime time, non prime time and the likes.

IMRB conducts research for radio mirchi which is after every 15 days to know exactly what the listeners actually want to lend their ears to. Hence, accordingly, they have implemented the changes in the time slots of the different shows on air. So when the advertisers wants to advertise on radio, radio mirchi can provide them with the more information and help them to decide on the time slots and frequency etc…

According to the study conducted:-

  • Mirchi delivers highest number in terms of listenership among Housewives and working men.
  • Radio Mirchi delivers highest number in terms of listenership among the Radio Listening student population.
  • Radio Mirchi emerges up as the No. 1 channel and delivers high numbers with Daily listenership at 24.63 lacs.

Future Plans:-

Radio Mirchi is looking radio Industry from the long term point of view. They are interested in some of the bigger cities for instance, Bangalore, Hyderabad, definitely Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Lucknow and Kanpur. That will still take us to about 15 frequencies. But this country can have 5,000 radio stations. Mirchi would eventually look at having a presence in every nook and corner of this country, which means going into the smaller towns.

Case Study On Airtel

Airtel, India's leading cellular operator in the private sector. Operating in more than 23 cities it has been able to attain a high number of customer and is now regarded as one of the best cellular services being provided in India. Its major competitors are orange and R.I.M and various other providers.

Airtel is creating an attitude of being people friendly and thus gaining huge share in the market. However it has a long way to go as no one is ever safe in this market and one has to keep up its good work going.

With increasing competition airtel is now going in for more of radio advertising as against the television . the reason being the huge radio boom with the large number of customers tuning into radio more often than ever. Airtel saw this as an opportunity to grab the most number of customers through radio and their started spending more on radio than ever before.

Promotional strategies adopted by Airtel through radio:

uff Uff Mirchi! Hai Hai Mirchi!

Airtel is now the first GSM service provider to tie up with a radio channel for the users benefit. The radio channel in question happens to be Radio Mirchi.

To avail this innovative tie-up, the users need to dial 646 from their Airtel enabled mobile handsets. They can then listen to some popular programmes of the channel like, Mirchi Movie of the Month, Bappi-da Da Gyan, Mr. Hotpot Crackpot, Devdas - the Asli Batliboi and Ding Dong - Mona Sing a Song.

Pre-paid and post-paid customers of AirTel can access this service. For this, users have to pay a Value Added Service (VAS) rate of Rs.6 per minute with no extra subscription charges.

Recently, there has been an increasing demand of listening to FM channels through mobile handsets. Nokia first introduced FM enabled phones, where users can listen to any FM channel through their handsets. Airtel's tie-up allows users to listen to one channel only. Among CDMA service providers, through the R World of Reliance handsets, users can listen to songs.

For a long time now, radios have offered services to its users free of cost. With regard to this particular trend, it does become quite doubtful as to how long Airtel's 'mirchi effect' will last with the charge rates as high as Rs.6 per minute.

Airtel - radio ad jingles







Jingle made by airtel basically targets its own customers by saying that wherever they go they will be able to avail of airtel services anywhere. And would also be convenient for its customers to recharge their mobile phones in these centers. This all shows about their care for their customers.


The vibrant voices airing music shows on twenty odd private FM radio stations in major cities do not reflect the viability worries and restrictions that haunt this industry.

The basic problem in the Radio space in India is the excessive Government control and regulation. In order to let the industry to grow the government needs to give it some space. Though the Supreme Court decision in 1995 declaring airwaves as public property led to the entry of a number entrants challenging the monopoly of All India Radio, nothing much changed as regards to government control. The government charged a very heavy license fee for entering the market, did not allow broadcast of news and current events nor was there a scope of a foreign player entering the Indian market.

One way to get over the license fee crisis in the radio broadcasting industry is for the government to drop the bidding-driven process for setting radio license fees because it is this system that leads to the viability crisis. They should in fact, as recommended by the TRAI, go in for a system more prevalent worldwide - revenue sharing. Under this system, stations will pay the government a certain % of their gross revenue every year.

The Government should review its ban on private stations airing news and current affairs, currently a monopoly with All India Radio. This could attract potential listeners on the move who want their daily share of the happenings around the world. But with the government citing national security as the reason for not doing so leaves little hope of this happening, atleast in the near future.

A llowing foreign players to enter the Indian market could also spell a boon for the Indian company gain from the expertise and superior technology of the foreign player. The consumer will also benefit as the industry can now tap into a larger basket (the foreign players) for greater variety.


Radio has many natural advantages that make it an excellent choice for an advertising medium. These advantages include high amount of time spent listening, superior target ability, superior listener loyalty, ad recall and message retention, and much more which can be attributed to the ‘low cost of ownership' feature of RADIO as a medium.

Consumers spend 85% of their time with ear-oriented media, such as Radio, but spend only 15% of their time with such eye-oriented media as newspapers and magazines. Yet advertisers spend 55% of their money on eye media (print) and only 45% of their money on ear media such as Radio and television.

Radio's share in the total advertising budgets of companies is likely to grow from 2 per cent to 5 per cent in the next three years, with an expected growth rate of about 10 to 12 per cent every year. In fact, the fortunes of radio advertising are likely to change with the advent of private players like Star India, Bennett Coleman & Co, Living Media, Mid Day etc.

The opening of the FM market is a new phenomenon and the maturing of the market will take its own evolutionary path. Interestingly, the private FM players have a huge opportunity in grabbing a bigger chunk of the radio advertising pie as, despite All India Radio's enormous reach (97 per cent of the population), its revenues have declined.

In such a scenario, where the cheapness of radio is likely to ensure that the bulk of radio advertisers are those that go for a one-city-local-audience strategy, greater reach may not necessarily translate into a marketing advantage. Ultimately content and packaging will be the king.

However, what will spell out the difference between success and failure will be neither size nor niche. It would be just plain old quality of programming and the explosion of contests and sweepstakes offered by the Radio Stations currently. One aping the other is an honest testimonial to justify this statement.

In the end Radio offers tremendous opportunities for advertisers and media planners need to explore various options by which they can effectively use radio in their media mix. Conversely, broadcasters need to develop the market by being more responsive to the advertiser's needs. This will provide an opportunity for the market to arrive at the final verdict on the effectiveness of the medium.


Radio City - National Rate Card

30 Secs spot buy rates (in Rs.)

Programme category





07:00 - 11:00

17:00 - 20:00

Radio active





11:00 - 17:00

20:00 - 22:00

Radio Mix





22:00 - 00:00

Radio Master Blaster





Round the clock

Radio Ga Ga





Terms and conditions:-

Minimum acceptable radio spot/ commercial duration will be 10 seconds.

In case any programme, which is being offered in this package, gets discontinued, the advertiser will move the spots to the programme replacing the discontinued programme in the same rate category.

To ensure proper and timely release of the spots, release orders should be given to MBPL through Star India Pvt. Ltd. At least 2 weeks prior to the date of airing of the first spot.

All bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking. The agency/advertiser must provide DATS at least fifteen days prior to first spot airing date. The sponsorship material must be sent four weeks prior to start date of the sponsorship of any programme.

All invoices should be settled by the advertisers/agency within 30 days from the date of the receipt of invoice.



Red fm is currently operating in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkotta, under the brand name 93.5 RED FM, Asli Masti.

Our rate card per 10 seconds(1 unit) of airtime is as listen as below:

Individual City Rates

















Super Prime Time:

Mornings 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Evenings 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Prime Time:

Morning 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Morning 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Evenings 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Evenings 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Sponsored Shows:

Super Prime Time + 25 % premium

Radio mirchi rate card

Day Parts

Time Band







7 a.m - 8 a.m








8 a.m - 12 a.m

Family /Drive







12 a.m - 5 p.m

Housewife / Traders/ Youth







5 p.m - 10 p.m








10 p.m - 7 a.m

BPO's / Youth / Drive







Minimum jingle length

The minimum jingle duration will be considered as 10 sec.

Over 10 seconds, jingle length would be counted in multiples of 5 seconds. E.g. A 23 second jingle would be billed as 25 seconds

Jingle production charges


Jingle cost






Rs. 7,000


Rs. 7,000


Rs. 5,000


Rs. 5,000









0700-1100 hrs

Good Morning Mumbai (GMM)
Jaggu & Taranna
Rate: 1500/-

Big Brunch (0800-1200 hrs)
Rate: 1250/-

1100-1400 hrs

The Midday Show
Rate: 1000/-

Sunday Midday Show (1200-1600 hrs)
Rate: 1000/-

1400-1800 hrs
1700-1800 hrs

College Radio
Orange Request Hour
Rate: 1250/-

Mumbai Matinee (1600-1800 hrs)
Travel Guy
Rate: 1000/-

1800-2100 hrs

Horn Ok Please
Rate: 1500/-

Mumbai Top 20 (1800-2100 hrs)
Rate: 1250/-

2100-0000 hrs

Rate: 1250/-

Bacardi Breezer Vivid Nights
Rate: 1250/-

Nineties on 925
Rate: 1250/-

0000-0100 hrs

Midnight Shift
Rate: 750/-

Live DJ Set
Rate: 750/-

Midnight Shift
Rate: 750/-

*All rates are per 10 seconds of airtime
Super Prime Time Band (0800hrs-1000hrs) and (1800hrs-2000hrs)
*SPTB will attract a 50% premium on card rates.


While working on this project I visited some of the radio stations and they gave me some information

However to support the same I have done some most of the research work from the following text books:

  • The advertising handbook by Dell Dennison
  • Direct Marketing Management by Mary Lou Robert and Paul Berger.

Newspapers and Magazines

  • Times of India
  • Economics Times
  • Business Standard
  • Financial Express

Various websites were also visited such as,












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