Big FM hopes to find listeners in smaller cities

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 20, 2017

Big FM, which runs 92.7 FM channel, is widening its reach with newer stations in tier I and II cities in Maharashtra, UP, Bihar and North East.

The FM channel, which claims to reach 50 million people per week, is also looking to expand its portfolio of original shows even as it is mulling to enter into digital radio.

“Radio is about music. We operate in 61 stations and are looking at more stations. We have recently acquired new stations and are expanding our reach in those cities,” Praveen Malhotra, Chief Business Officer, BIG FM, told BusinessLine.

Last year, Subhash Chandra-owned Zee Group had acquired 49 per cent stake in Reliance Broadcast Network. RBNL used to operate 92.7 Big FM. Zee Media has the right to buy the remaining 51 per cent stake after the lock-in period expires. Under the regulatory norms, at least 51 per cent shareholding needs to be held by the licence holder for a minimum period of three years from the date the channels were operationalised.

Asked if the integration with Zee has been completed, Malhotra said that the process is still ongoing. She did not divulge any details on the same.

Malhotra said that Big FM has 100 per cent coverage in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand with a total of 13 stations. She said that the company launched five new stations in Maharashtra (Pune, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad), five in UP and Bihar (Lucknow, Varanasi, Patna, Gorakhpur and Muzzafarpur), four new stations in key cities of the North-East region (Agartala, Itanagar, Aizwal, Shillong).

Retro theme

The radio network, which has retro programme positioning, said it will expand its retro theme. “Newer stations such as Lucknow and Pune will also stick to the retro-programming content,” she said, adding that, “consumer insights dictate our choice of music. We will constantly evaluate our content based on feedback from our listeners”.

Meanwhile, Malhotra said that it also strengthening its digital play where some curated digital content goes on the social media platforms of the network, thereby providing an extended reach to the advertisers across a different set of audience.

Speaking on radio advertisement, Malhotra said that it has been growing eight to nine per cent annually for the whole industry. “It is the primary source of our revenue,” she added.

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Published on September 20, 2017
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