FM advertisement revenue up by Rs 216 crore in 2013-2014: TRAI

MUMBAI: Radio is not just an affordable means for mass communication but is also very popular, thanks to its wide coverage, terminal portability, low set up costs and affordability.

The medium is seeing a strong growth of advertisement revenue according to TRAI’s annual report for the year 2013-14. From Rs 1191 crore in 2012-2013 it rose to Rs 1407 crore in 2013-2014, up by Rs 216 crore. Not only this, the medium has been growing at a steady pace since 2008-09. From Rs 539 crore in 2008-09, it rose further by Rs 717 crore, Rs 1017 crore, and Rs 1078 crore for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively.

India has definitely seen a spurt in the number of private FM radio stations. But the number has been stagnant for the year’s 2013 and 2014 with 242 private FM radio stations. In 2008 there were a total of 210 private FM radio stations. This increased to 241 in 2009 and went up by 245 in 2010 and continued till 2012. The number dropped to 242 in 2013 and has been still till 2014.  Besides the 242 private FM radio stations operational as of March 2014, there is also the public service broadcaster- All India Radio (AIR) having a network of 277 stations and 432 broadcast transmitters (148 are MW, 236 FM and 48 SW). In India FM Radio broadcasting, due to its versatility, is considered as the main medium to provide entertainment, information and education within the radio sector.

With a view to further expand the spread of FM services to other cities particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern states and island territories and to address certain other issues, the government on 25 July 2011 issued consolidated policy guidelines on phase III of expansion of FM radio broadcasting through private agencies. “The phase III is intended to extend FM radio’s reach to 294 cities with additional 839 FM radio stations thereby boosting the regional growth of FM radio stations. It is expected that post phase III, FM radio will cover around 85 per cent of the territory of the country,” states the report.

The scheme to rope in private broadcasters for FM radio has significantly contributed to enhance the coverage and provide good quality of reception to radio listeners. This has also encouraged local talent and generated employment opportunities in various cities.

The radio sector in the country witnessed another expansion with the opening up of Community Radio Stations (CRS). The annual report highlights that there is a huge    potential    in   India   for establishment of CRS given the vast landscape of this country, numerous languages, various cultures and diverse social stratification.

Community Radio is known to serve the purpose of networking of small communities with an objective to focus on the common man’s day-to-day concerns and help them realize local aspirations. As on March 2014, out of the 194 licenses issued for the setting up of community radio stations, 161 community radio stations have become operational. 

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