Interesting times ahead for four Indian markets as Radio Mirchi acquires Oye! FM

Saturday 25 July, 2015
Photo: Shutterstock

With India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) granting permission to Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL) owned Radio Mirchi to buy TV Today group’s Oye FM stations in four markets, the stage is set for tougher competition to get a share of listeners and advertisers.

Radio Mirchi had entered an agreement with TV Today to buy all of its seven Oye! FM stations in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar, Jodhpur, Patiala and Shimla. 

The MIB rejected its proposed buyout in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata on the grounds that Mirchi is already present in these markets and ENIL can't hold more than one radio license in a particular city.

However, Mirchi’s entry into the four northern cities of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Shimla Himachal Pradesh and Amritsar and Patiala in Punjab and Shimla would bring it in direct competition with Reliance group’s BIG FM in all these markets and with Dainik Bhaskar group’s MY FM in Amritsar and Jodhpur.

While all networks are keen to get another station in the metros in the upcoming Phase III auctions, research has shown that Tier II and III towns have overtaken metros when it comes to self-employment and purchasing power. 

Mirchi’s entry may also spice up the current music formats in these four cities.

While Oye! FM was positioned as a Bollywood-oriented station, Mirchi focuses on Bollywood and regional content, BIG’s main focus has lately been retro programming and MY FM relies on playing songs based on their tempo and day-part.

When it comes to advertising, according to MY FM, the retail local advertisers share in the ad-pie is at 65 percent as against 35 percent of the national advertisers.

In addition to traditional radio advertisers, realty, local life-style, education and other categories in the local market like health and movies have also opened up to advertising on the medium.

Speaking to exchange4media, MY FM’s CEO Harrish Bhatia said: Radio is a local medium only and that is where the opportunity lies because there are advertisers in those markets who do not have any corporate offices and have no idea how to make themselves a brand. Radio gives them value for money and the only medium that they can afford.”

Commenting on acquisitions of new stations by existing players, he told the publication: Consolidation is good for the industry because that means more focused players will play a dominant role.”

Country India
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