Plex issue forces radio stations to change marketing plans

Plex issue forces radio stations to change marketing plans

MUMBAI: The ongoing producer-multiplex tussle has already had the plexes enforcing new programming strategies to garner revenues through alternate streams. And now the tug-of-war has also compelled a few radio stations to change their marketing activities.

Until the commencement of the strike, radio stations were giving away movie tickets of new releases through on-air contests in a bid to attract more listeners. But now with the strike on, a few of them have changed course.

Instead of movie tickets, HT Media-owned Fever FM has changed its strategy and is giving away merchandise and vouchers like lunch vouchers, shopping coupons and music CDs instead of movie tickets ever since the strike commenced.


Says Fever FM national marketing & promotions head and station head (Delhi) Neeraj Chaturvedi, "Giving away multiplex tickets is a very small part of our programming. Currently we are not giving away any movie tickets from any of our stations. Unlike other stations, we give away tickets only when it‘s a contest related to Bollywood. Giving away tickets don‘t add much spike to the station. Thus, the producer-multiplex strike has not made an impact on us. Even if it doesn‘t resolve and such contests don‘t happen for a month, our programming will not be affected."

Few of its multiplex partners include Wave and PVR Cinemas in Delhi and Fun Cinemas, Sterling and Inox in Mumbai. "These are all short-time tie ups and we haven‘t tied up with any multiplex ever since the strike started."


However Big 92.7 FM is still continuing with its strategy of giving away movie tickets but with a change - they are giving tickets of single-screen theatres also. However, if multiplexes have good movies running, they are also giving away those tickets.


Big 92.7 FM SVP and marketing Anand Chakravarthy says,
"Three years ago, giving away movie tickets was a very big thing but now it‘s a very small part of the programming."


When asked if the listener-participation in such movie- oriented contests has gone down, Chakravarthy quips, "In the South, the participation has not been affected, as movies continue to release. Similar is the case with the East with Bengali movies hitting the screen continuously. However, the Hindi belt has seen slight reduction, although it‘s not dramatic".


Red FM national marketing head and station head (Mumbai) Anuj Singh seconds the statement thus. "We don‘t think that the strike has really affected the listener‘s interest in winning free tickets. The participation has been healthy and continues to be so. The participation rate is dependant not only on the gratification but also on the contest, the mechanism, on-air push, etc."


With movies being one of the pillars of Red FM‘s programming and no major releases recently, the dearth in content has been compensated with IPL and the General Elections.


The strike has however not prompted Radio One to change its strategy. According to Radio One, national marketing head and station head (Bangalore) Shyju Varkey, the station is still continuing to give movie vouchers to its listeners. "We give open movie tickets. Listeners can choose the timing and the movie which they want to catch up. Although there are no Hindi movies releasing, there are a lot of English and regional movies that they can watch."


The station however isn‘t tying up with single-screen theatres to help its listeners with Hindi movie tickets. "Tying up with single-screen theatres restrict our breed of choice to cater to our listeners Hence, we are not considering tying up with them," adds Varkey.


Meanwhile, Radio Today‘s Meow radio station has not altered any of its plans. "We don‘t give away movie tickets. So, this strike is irrelevant to us," says Radio Today COO Anil Srivatsa.



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