On growth trends for 2009:
The overall growth in the radio industry for 2009 will be between 10-15% compared to last year, where growth was in excess of 55%. There are about 250 private FM channels in 75-80 towns and this number is not likely to increase until phase 3 is approved, which depends to a large extent on the new government.
Communication issues: Prashant Panday, chief executive officer, Radio Mirchi. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
On radio’s unique selling point:
The reach, for instance, is much higher in radio than in print. Also, the frequency is higher for radio which can reach different people at different times rather than print. The advantage over TV is that radio can deliver local- and state-wide audiences to advertisers.
On the threat from digital media:
I don’t see these platforms as a threat but we (radio industry leaders) are demanding from the (information and broadcasting) ministry that there should be a level-playing field.
There are foreign direct investment restrictions on radio but there are no such restrictions on the digital media.
On the challenges facing radio:
We have yet to effectively communicate the advantages of radio to advertisers and agencies. Even the quality of creative ads are not as good as those on TV.