Jagran Prakashan owned Music Broadcast Ltd has said that FM channels will get a major boost during the current Phase III Policy expansions with close to 60 per cent of urban India being covered under it.
The company, which is in the process of raising Rs 400 crore through an IPO, said it will be using its the funds to retire its debts and also fund its expansion. MBL operates radio channels under the name ‘Radio City’, ‘Radio Mantra’ and also operates its own online web radio portal planetradiocity.com
“Currently, FM covers only about 40 per cent of urban India. The Phase III policy will see a major increase in the coverage area with close to 60 per cent of urban India coming under its folds. We expect a radio listenership base to grow significantly,” Apurva Purohit, Director, Music Broadcast Network and President Jagran Prakashan told Business Line .
JPL runs Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, Midday, Naiduniya and Punjabi Jagran besides outdoor media agency. In 2014, JPL had acquired Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd for Rs 434 crore from private equity firm India Value Fund Advisors and Star Group in an all cash deal.
The company currently operates close to 39 radio stations in six different languages. As on March 31, 2016, MBL’s radio stations reached out to over 49.60 million listeners in the 23 cities, as per AZ Research.
Purohit said that the company will develop local content to expand its audience.
Speaking on the listenership, Purohit said the listenership for its terrestrial FM stood at 4.9 crore. Radio industry growth is expected to be at a CAGR of 16.9 per cent from 2015 to 2020.
During the period of fiscal 2014 and 2016, among the private radio stations, Radio City had average listenership share in Bengaluru and Mumbai with 24.1 per cent and 17.2 per cent respectively
Asked about its advertising volume, Purohit said that the company's revenues were dependent on advertisers. “With our footprint increasing, we expect the revenues to go up,” she said.
As per available data, the company’s advertising volume in the top 14 cities increased from 48.21 million seconds in fiscal 2014 to 63.72 million seconds in fiscal 2016.
Purohit also attributes the growth in FM channels to increased mobile phone penetration.
According to survey by a radio spot management firm AirCheck, the highest consumption of FM radio was through mobile phones at 71 per cent followed by radio sets 53 per cent and web 21 per cent.
Radio City reported revenue of Rs 226.76 crore for FY-16 as compared to revenue of Rs 200.84 crore in the previous fiscal.
Radio City competes with Zee owned Big FM, Bennett Coleman owned Radio Mirchi, HT's radio station Radio Nasha.