Web Radio as a Concept Growing Rapidly Online, Interview Rachna Kanwar from Radio City 91.1 FM

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web radioPlanetRadiocity.com, the country’s first web radio portal, lately launched its new web radio station -Radio City Malayalam, the second regional offering from PlanetRadiocity, post Radio City Tamil that was launched a few months back. Now, India’s premium web radio portal enthralls its listeners with two new stations Radio City International & Radio City Love. The web radio stations that went live from 14th February, will feature endless hours of international music & contemporary love hits.

In an exclusive interview to BollywoodTrade.com, Rachna Kanwar, the SVP & Business Head, Digital Media & New Business, at Radio City 91.1 FM, who has spent over 20 years in the Media & Entertainment industry with multi-dimensional experience across Radio, TV, Documentary Films and Internet, speaks about the rapid expansion of PlanetRadioCity and its subsequent benefits…

Web radio is still in the nascent stage of gaining momentum. Isn’t it early to launch two new stations?
Going by how music-lovers are getting their daily fix online these days, we don’t think we need to wait any more in expanding our offering. Over the last few years, we have built a loyal base of listeners on Web Radio. We have seen a steady flow of traffic and a growing interest in various genres of music and Web Radio as a concept is growing rapidly online. We have also realized that the listener on the internet is accustomed to choice and it is our endeavor to give listeners who come to us, music of their choice. The youth of today listens to International Music and therefore it was not a category that we could ignore. Therefore, we decided to launch two radio stations – Radio City International and Radio City Love on Web Radio. This gives our listeners a choice between listening to popular hits and soft love songs, respectively. We believe it is a necessary step in bridging the need gap for International Music for our listeners.

‘Web Radio as a concept is growing rapidly online’

Moreover, what are the plans to make it widely popular among masses?
For us, the first step was to understand the category consumption pattern. We have researched extensively to understand this and then designed our product on the basis of findings. The music mix on the channel keeps in mind popular choice. The music itself will be a big draw for listeners. In addition to this, we will be promoting this actively on Radiocity, our digital platform – Planetradiocity.com as well as our social media entities.

With the Internet medium growing rapidly, why do you think web radio took a longer time to come into existence and begin being popular?
Internationally, Web Radio is a fairly popular concept and we feel that it is gaining momentum in India too. We are the pioneers of this movement in India, and we have been doing this since 2010. Recently, other players have entered the scenario as well. This is definitely an indication that it is becoming popular, which is why everyone wants a piece of the pie. We have been reaching out to listeners all these years, and constantly working on an offering that appeals to them. The impact is surely growing in today’s highly internet-savvy audience. We will continue to evangelize the medium.

With the Internet medium booming, do you see web radio taking over on-air?
I think both on-air and web radio will co-exist and complement each other. Even in the West, they exist together. The point to take in consideration here is the consumer. It is of utmost importance for us to be available to him where he is, so whether he is at home, in his car, or in his office we need to cater to him in a manner that is convenient to him.

Post Tamil & Malayalam, which are the other regional markets you are aiming to enter 
We are evaluating consumption patterns currently and therefore consumption patterns will drive our next steps. We will soon announce our next language stations.

Do you think regional market is more receptive and fast in accepting changes or switching to newer mediums?
We have listeners from all over India. So far, we have explored two Southern markets, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for regional stations and have got tremendous response from both the markets. They are definitely more receptive as newer platforms in regional languages attract a lot of attention. Expansion of the Internet footprint has helped too.

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