Q2-2016: TRAI Report: YoY and QoQ Radio ad revenue up 23 per cent

BENGALURU:  The radio industry in India has reported the highest advertisement revenue so far for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 (Q2-2016) as per the latest TRAI report. Advertisement revenue in Q2-2016 reported to TRAI by 236 radio stations was Rs 481.56 crore, or Rs2.04 crore per station. The ad revenue per station reported in Q2-2016 increased 23.17 per cent year-on-year (YoY) as compared to Rs 1.66 crore in (Rs 399.26 crore reported by 241 radio stations) Q2-2015 and 23.81 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) as compared to Rs 1.65 crore (Rs 393.9 crore reported by 239 radio stations) in the immediate trailing quarter.

Before Q2-2016, the previous highest ad revenue was Rs 443.17 crore reported by 241 radio stations in Q3-2015 orRs 1.84 crore per station.

Note (1): (a)100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10 million = 1 crore

(b) The author has taken the liberty to introduce a measure – average revenue per radio station. This is a rough yardstick and may not necessarily be indicative of a station or a networks performance, because factors such as geography and market conditions within the area of operations are among many that will also determine performance.

(c) This report is skewed more towards general financial numbers in terms of revenue and results, and not operational performance.

Trends across 18 consecutive quarters (four fiscal years, plus two quarters of the current fiscal)

Please refer to Fig A below – Ad revenue per station has been calculated based on combined ad revenue figures disclosed by TRAI across 18 consecutive quarters starting Q1-2012 until Q2-2016. During the period, in general, ad revenue from radio stations shows an increasing linear trend as is indicted by the broken black trend line. Over the financial years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, it has been noted that ad revenue increases in the following order from lowest to highest – Q1, Q2, Q4, Q3. It may be noted that in fiscals 2012 and 2013 ad revenue per station was actually higher in Q4 than Q3, but in fiscals 2014 and 2015, it was highest in Q3.

Fig B below shows how ad revenues have changed YoY and QoQ since Q1-2013 until Q2-2016 (across 14 quarters). During this periodboth the YoY and QoQincrease was highest in Q2-2016 at approximately 23 per cent plus each. The previous highest YoY increase was Q2-2014 at 21.31 per cent, while the previous highest QoQ increase was Q3-2013 at 18.85 per cent. While there has never been a YoY decline, in the case of QoQ, revenues have declined in Q1-2013, Q1-2014, Q4-2014, Q1-2015, Q4-2015 and Q1-2016, hence further substantiating the above observations that Q1 of a financial year generally has the lowest ad revenue in a fiscal, while Q3, which is the festival quarter in India, has the highest ad revenue. Further, the QoQ drop in Q4 was not steep, and hence Q4 over the past two fiscals has the next highest ad revenues.

For the year ended March 31, 2015 (FY-2015), the numbers reported by the radio industry for the year were the probably the best (indiantelevision link, radioandusic link) until then. Despite an 8.88 percent QoQ (quarter on quarter) fall in average ad revenue per station in Q1-2016, the ad average revenue per station of Rs 1.65 crore was the best yet for the first quarter over a period of 4 years. In Q1-2015, YoY ad revenue grew 11.90 percent as compared to Q1-2014.Combined with the great Q2-2016 numbers, historical trends indicate that FY-2016 could be an even better year in terms of average revenue per station and overall revenues.

As per the latest TRAI data, the sum of average ad revenues per station for the first two quarters of 2016 at Rs 3.69 crore is already 54.4 per cent of the average ad revenue per station of Rs 6.78 crore for fiscal 2015. As mentioned above, Q1 and Q2 generally report the lowest and second lowest ad revenues respectively in a financial year. Results reported by a few companies for the third quarter ended 31 December 2015 (Q3-2016) indicate that YoY and QoQ revenues have risen.  Add to this the revenue of the new stations acquired in phase III auctions if/once they start operations in the fourth quarter, the radio industry should report substantial revenue increases from FY-2016 onwards.

Let us look at how a few radio networks performed.

Note (2):  (a) This report considers PAT posted by 2 radio companies (ENIL – Radio Mirchi, 32 radio stations; JagranPrakashan – Radio City – 20 radio stations), along with operating results of DB Corp (My FM, 17 stations); B. A.G. Films (Radio Dhamaal, 10 stations); HT Media (Fever FM, 4 stations); and TV Today (Oye! FM, 6 stations), or a total of 6 radio networks that represent 89, or 36.63 percent of the 243 private FM radio stations in Q2-2016.

(b) The Q3-2016 numbers of individual players in this report have been obtained from their filings with regulatory bodies, the TRAI number for Q3-2016 has been extrapolated and could prove to be inaccurate.

(c)Revenues for the sample stations mean Total Income from Operations and generally include ad revenue and other operating revenues.

(d) Phase III and other radio stations acquisitions: ENIL has received permission from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to acquire 4 stations from TV Today Network Limited (Oye! FM), viz., those at Amritsar, Patiala, Shimla and Jodhpur – which the company says have been/will be re-branded and re-launched shortly as Mirchi, adding to its North India network strength. With another 7 stations acquired in phase III auctions, the core Mirchi brand will now be available in 43 cities. There are/will be a total of 39 FM radio stations that JagranPrakashan Limited currently has. This includes the existing 20 radio stations plus 11 stations acquired in phase III auctions and 8 radio stations under the brand Radio Mantra.  Radio Mantra was earlier operated by Shri Puran Multimedia, Jagran’s promoter group. Besides, the group also runs a web radio network with 21 web radio streams under  During the Phase III auctions, DB Corp (My FM) acquired 14 frequencies, through which MY FM will extend its presence to seven states and 30 cities with 31 stations. HT Media acquired 10 radio frequencies during phase III auctions, taking its total radio stations to 14. However these changes are not considered here, for this report pertains to the period before all the new stations have started operations.

(e) In mid-December 2015, Radio Mirchi added two more station, those at Amritsar and Patalia. It is presumed by the author that the addition of these two mare station brought in no significant addition to income to Radio Mirchi in Q3-2016, hence Radio Mirchi’s revenue per station has been calculated on the basis of 32 stations in this paper for that quarter. However, actual facts could be different.

Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) that operates brand Radio Mirchi is the only separately listed radio company in India and one of the most profitable ones by far. It must be noted that in Q2-2016, ENIL’s revenue made up 50.6 per cent of the combined revenue of the six entities in this paper. In Q3-2016, ENIL contributed to 51.6 per cent of combined revenues. Other stations/radio brands of consequence, whose results are within the public domain have been considered in this report.

Please refer to Fig C below. It may be noted that the figure of Rs2.30 crore in blue for All India ad revenue per station is a projection based on certain assumptions made by the author, and could be incorrect.

In Q2-2016 (30 September 2015), combined revenues of the six entities in this report had increased 10.3 per cent YoY and had increased 15.5 per cent QoQ, much lower than the YoY andQoQ increases reported by TRAI (23.17 per cent and 23.81 per cent respectively)

Combined revenues of the 89 radio stations run by the six entities increased 19.2 per cent YoY to Rs 278.16 crore in Q3-2016 (31 December 2016) as compared to Rs 233.41 crore and increased 21 per cent QoQ as compared to Rs 229.95 crore.

Combined operating profit/PAT in Q3-2016 of the six entities declined 11.1 per cnt YoY to Rs 60.31 crore as compared to Rs 67.83 crore, but increased 36.6 per cent QoQ from Rs 44.15 crore.

Music Broadcast Limited (MBL) which runs Radio City reported 14.9 YoY (year-on-year) growth in operating revenue for Q3-2016 at Rs 64.80 crore as compared to Rs 56.39 crore for the corresponding prior year quarter. Revenue in Q3-2016 was 16.7 per cent higher QoQ (quarter-on-quarter) as compared to Rs 55.54 crore in the immediate trailing quarter.

B. A. G. Films Limited Radio segment Radio Dhamaalreported 1.8 per cent QoQ drop in operating revenue growth at Rs 2.18 crore as compared to Rs 2.22 crore and 10 per cent YoY decline in revenue as compared to Rs2.43 crore.

HT Media’s radio segment Fever 104 FM reported a 25 per cent YoY increase in operating revenue to Rs 32.26 crore as compared to Rs 28.81 crore and grew 10 per cent QoQ as compared to Rs 29.34 crore.

ENIL reported 22.9 percent YoY increase in Total Income from Operations (TIO) in the quarter ended December 31, 2015 (Q3-2016, current quarter) at Rs 143.57 crore as compared to the Rs 117.69 crore and 23.5 percent higher QoQ as compared to Rs 116.27 crore in the immediate trailing quarter.

DB Corp’s My FMrevenue increased 25.8 percent YoY at Rs 32.32 crore as compared to Rs 25.69 crore) and a  34.9 percent QoQ  growth as compared to Rs 23.96 crore.

TV Today’s Network Limited radio segment Oye! reported49.4 percent YoY decline in operating revenue at Rs 2.02 crore as compared to Rs 4.00 crore, and 22.5 percent lower operating revenue as compared to Rs 2.61 crore in the immediate trailing quarter.

MBL’s (Radio City) profit after tax (PAT) in Q3-2016 declined 5.4 per cent YoY to Rs 16.17 crore (25 per cent margin) as compared to Rs 17.10 crore (30.3 per cent margin), but increased by more than a third (increased by 34.2 per cent) from Rs 12.05 crore (21.7 per cent margin). PAT for 9M-2016 declined 30.7 per cent to Rs 25.99 crore (15.5 per cent margin) from Rs 37.53 crore (24.9 per cent margin) in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Dhamaal’s operating profit in Q3-2016 was less than a third (down 68.1 per cent) QoQ at Rs 0.23 crore as compared to Rs 0.73 crore and less than a fourth (down 75.5 per cent) YoY as compared to Rs 0.94 crore in Q2-2015.

Fever reported 21 per cent decline in operating profit in Q3-2016 at Rs 7.46 crore as compared to Rs 9.44 crore, but was 94.3 per cent more QoQ than of Rs 3.84 crore.

ENIL’s profit after tax (PAT) in Q3-2016 declined 18.8 percent to Rs 26.99 crore (18.8 percent margin) as compared to Rs 32.84 crore (28.1 percent margin) and was flat QoQ as compared to Rs 26.97 crore (23.2 percent margin) in Q2-2016. The company had entered the Rs 100 crore PAT club in FY-2015 with a PAT of Rs 105.98 crore (24.2 percent margin) on a TIO of Rs 483.48 crore.

My FM reported almost double the operating profit (grew by 98.7 percent) QoQ at Rs 12 crore as compared to Rs 6.04 crore and increased 27.1 percent YoY as compared to Rs 9.44 crore.

Oye! loss in the current quarter was higher at Rs2.54 crore as compared to the operating loss of Rs1.94 crore in Q3-2015 but lower than the operating loss of Rs 5.48 crore in Q2-2016.

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