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Effects of Radio as a Form of Advertising

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Radio Advertising

Executive Summary

Advertising in general expresses the positioning. Powerful advertising is the result of powerful planning. Great ideas and great ad campaigns don't just pop out from no where, they are built on the key communication points that motivate sales.

Radio is entirely a medium of sound, which evokes smells, sensations and visual images which brings the listeners imaginations into play.

Radio advertising is one of the tools of advertising which is effectively used for communication and positioning. It is one of the foundations for effective and successful advertising. Radio can be used effectively for advertisement since it can target the large audience because of its high reach. Radio is good at increasing awareness about the brand and business and helping in building the brand image.

But all this was only for pure academic purpose. With the advent of television radio lost its popularity and thus its purpose with the marketers. This led to sharp declines in the proportion of advertisement spending on radio as compared to other media.

But then came the governments order on liberalization and privatization. This brought about loads of changes in the world of radio broadcasting in India. Prominent and established companies entered the business of FM Broadcasting.

FM broadcasting has breathed a new life into the medium of Radio in the past few months. Could radio now think this as a new phase of its life or a re-birth? Of course yes, people are today talking only Radio---- Radio Mirchi, Radio City, RED, Go and WIN. One will find people with radio sets of different shapes and sizes listening to their favourite music on roads, in hotels, even the bidi shops aired on any of the music channels. The radio channels are now vying against each other to provide their best to the listeners

However one can see that although radio is an excellent medium it has been used to its full potential and various efforts should be taken to improve it as with proper direction radio can reach heights as it is the cheapest and a very good medium.


Through this project my objective has been to understand the following

  • To find out about the current scenario of the radio industry.
  • The reasons for a stunted growth of the industry
  • The various steps in radio advertisement
  • Realizing the needs and wants of consumers and fulfilling them
  • What the various radio stations have to offer the masses.

Research Methodology

Through this project I have made an effort to understand the advertisng tool called radio advertising which is being increasingly recognized by marketers as a powerful tool that helps in finding new customers and retaining the existing ones at a much lesser cost.

Primary Research:

The aim of primary research was to understand radio advertising as it is seen in the corporate world. To understand this I have taken two interview from different fields.

Mr. Madhav Joshi who is currently working in Leo Burnett who helped me understand what all goes into the making of a radio advertisement.

The mode of interview used was an informal one where he answered my questions on one to one basis.

Also Mr. Sudarshan Sahe the senior marketing manager of Radio City gave me an interview and helped me in trying to understand as to how the station works and looks after the needs of its consumers

Secondary Research

The aim of secondary research was to understand as to why radio advertising has been able to grow at a considerable rate as compared to the other media.also the fall out of radio in the last decade .

It was also undertaken to understand how radio advertising is done and what re the current players in the market.

Secondary data collection method: desk research

Secondary data collection sources: internet, books, newspaper articles


Old media don't' die! They just bounce back in new avatars. Not so long ago radio had been written off as fuddy-duddy, down market and not so cool. Television and later “new media” were touted to being the media of the future. But thanks to technology radio is making a comeback. In fact, in its new avatar-fm-radio is all set too become the hippest, coolest and most with -it medium.

FM radio is a new entity altogether and has to deal with new market dynamics. Media owners dealing with new markets will virtually have to draw up their strategies as they go along, create programming that is new, innovative and grab away eyeballs from TV sets and make them tune into their radio sets. It's a whole new challenge and competition is never far away. Ad revenues will also not be easy to come by, as advertisers will expect media players to put their money where their speakers are before they commit large sums of money towards radio advertising. The other challenge for radio in attracting advertisers is the nature of the medium-radio has always considered being a reminder medium. The involvement of listeners to radio is low, Vis a Vis television or print media.

However in spite of the various challenges the emergence of private FM stations is certain to increase the quantum of radio advertising in the country , much like satellite channels did to the quantum of television advertising in the country. That should open up a vast new market of consumers-100 million Indian households own an estimated 150 million radios, outnumbering television sets 3:1.

The geographical area covered by radio in India in India is as high as 98 percent and the penetration level is approximately 97 percent. But FM presently covers only 17 percent of the area and 21 % of the population of India through transmitters. Currently radio has just 2 percent of the 9000 crore Indian advertising market according to an Arthur Anderson's survey. Globally depending on each country, radio has a 5 % to 12 % of the advertising cake. On the higher side are countries like the United States with 13 %, Canada with 12.7% and Spain with 9.1%. FM station executives are not forthcoming on multi-platform strategies as yet. Given that radio has penetrated into 100 million homes and a FM set costs around Rs. 50/- FICCI estimates FM's share up from the present 1.5 percent to 5 % in five years. They have also forecasted that revenues from radio advertising in India will be Rs. Rs. 1200 crores by 2005 and Revenue of radio services is expected to rise to Rs 689 crore by 2008 at a CAGR of 30 per cent.

While TV is a family medium, radio is personalized. Also advertising of certain product seems to work very well while some might not. For example, cellular phone service or auto related products would have a good impact when advertised on radio is primarily known as a “drive time” medium most people who turn in are doing so while commuting. Thus the potential if FM is better is bigger town, as the car population is much bigger. This would be the key when evaluating the medium. Also one must not forgot that radio continues to be a medium that has tremendous reach among the poor and marginalized sections of society.

With the coming of more channels, and the emergence of lifestyle advertising, radio will become a push and pull medium. As said earlier, is not just making a comeback but is being reincarnated into a new avatar.

Some Basic Technical Knowledge

Any radio setup has two parts:

* The transmitter

* The receiver

The transmitter takes some sort of message (it could be the sound of someone's voice, pictures for a TV set, data for a radio modem or whatever), encodes it onto a sine wave and transmits it with radio waves. The receiver receives the radio waves and decodes the message from the sine wave it receives. Both the transmitter and receiver use antennas to radiate and capture the radio signal.

When you listen to a radio station and the announcer says, "you are listening to 91.5 fm “what the announcer means is that you are listening to a radio station broadcasting an fm radio signal at a frequency of 91.5 megahertz. Megahertz means "millions of cycles per second," so "91.5 megahertz" means that the transmitter at the radio station is operating at a frequency of 91,500,000 cycles per second. Your fm (frequency modulated) radio can tune in to that specific frequency and give you clear reception of that station. All fm radio stations transmit in a band of frequencies between 88 megahertz and 108 megahertz. This band of the radio spectrum is used for no other purpose but fm radio broadcasts.

Common frequency band includes the following…

* AM radio - 535 kilohertz to 1.7 megahertz

* FM radio - 88 megahertz to 108 megahertz

AM radio has been around a lot longer than FM radio. The first radio broadcasts occurred in 1906 or so, and frequency allocation for AM radio occurred during the 1920s. In the 1920s, radio and electronic capabilities were fairly limited, hence the relatively low frequencies for AM radio. FM radio was invented by a man named Edwin Armstrong in order to make high-fidelity (and static-free) music broadcasting possible. He built the first station in 1939, but FM did not become really popular until the 1960s.


FM is primarily a music channel, so the question of royalties is relevant. The Indian Protographic Record Society (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance (P) Ltd. (PPL) are supposed to hold all the rights of royalties. They are demanding Rs. 1,500 per hour (as against Rs. 100 per hour, at which they are supplying music to AIR), PPL is demanding a royalty of Rs. 250 per hour of needle time, the actual duration of a piece of music. The IPRS is demanding Rs. 100 per hour. The IPRS claims royalty for the original composers and authors of music.

Cost - Aspect

A Licencee pays Rs. 6000/- per hour.

Add Rs. 1,500/- for the music.

Add Rs. 3,000/- for the technology, salaries and other expenses. An hour long show thus costs Rs. 10,500.

10 - Minutes have been set aside for advertising. One minute is reserved out of 10 - minutes for social awareness advertising.

Thus, advertising time available for sale is 9 - minutes.

In other words, 18 advertisements each of 30 seconds can be accommodate in an hour.

This is the high target. Besides the tariff card should be modest, considering the limited range and listenership supposing a 30 - seconder costs Rs. 500 at prime time for 18 such spots, the total revenue generated is Rs. 9000/- . Another estimate puts the production cost of an hour long programme around Rs. 6,000/-. Add Rs. 6,000/- of the licensee fee to AIR.

Studio hiring costs are between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000 an hour. The total expenses are thus Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 13,000 per hour.

Advent of Format Radio

The arrival of 'Moving Pictures' with sound and then 'Television' were expected to be the death knell for 'Radio'. However Radio has not just survived repeated predictions of its demise but grown tremendously. It has benefited listeners and advertisers alike and earned the status of a 'Constant Companion'... What allowed Radio to accomplish this feat? Read on for the long journey the Radio industry has covered thus far.

It was way back in 1895, that Guglielmo Marconi invented an antenna to send and receive radio signals. It took quite a while before Reginald Fessenden developed the first radio receiver in 1913. However, experts give a lot of credit to David Sarnoff who actually conceived what is called as the "radio music box". It was Sarnoff who suggested that radio should be mass-produced for public consumption. His persistence paid off in 1919 when such sets were available for general purchase. This saw the beginning of what was later looked on as the 'Golden Age of Radio'.

Early 1920s saw the launch of commercial radio. People in households would gather around the radio to listen to their favorite programs much as they do today with TV. Radio became the first medium delivering entertainment to the masses in their homes. The 1st paid announcement on radio was a 10-minute capsule from Howthorne Court; a Queens based Real Estate Company. This era was characterized with 'block programming' wherein radio offered something to everyone. News, drama, sports; live musical recordings would be presented in 30 or 60-minute programs. A network soap opera could be followed by a 15-minute newscast followed by one hour of a concert.

Then in the 1950s TV began to catch the public's attention. Audiences were charmed by the audiovisual experience of TV. A large number of popular shows moved from radio to TV. That was not all, as the radio industry was also losing a large number of talented staff to TV.

At this point in time, radio experts discovered an opportunity that only radio could provide. They realized that radio was the only medium that could be used while doing other things, like getting dressed for work, cooking a meal, traveling to office, studying and more.

Radio turned 'local' and moved to what is known in the industry as 'Format' programming. This era also spawned two of radio's greatest strengths: immediacy and local service. Format radio strategy was based on providing the same kind of entertainment to a selected audience, throughout the day, seven days a week.

As the story goes, Storz and McClendon used to frequent a local malt shop, which had a jukebox. They observed that the customers would usually come and play the same songs that they liked, over and over again. In fact, the staff serving these people would end up playing just the same songs even when the shop was closed.From this insight emerged the "Top 40" format or the "Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR)" format were the most popular hits would be played on a higher rotation.

This led to a change in the way radio time was being sold. Sales people shifted from selling programs to selling commercials. It also led to a shift in the way radio programs were scheduled. As radio was being used as a background medium of entertainment, it had to be relevant to the listener at every point of time in the day. The shows therefore had to be reflective of various day parts in the life of the listener.

Irrespective of the form it came in, format radio definitely made radio not just survive the onslaught of TV but also made it grow tremendously. Being the only medium that could be carried and used wherever you are, it could update you about your world throughout the day while providing you with the entertainment you like all the time. Radio became "The Constant Companion".

The total number of radio sets at the time of independence in 1947 was a mere 275000.at that time a radio receiver used to be a status symbol in this country. But today its possession is taken for granted. According to estimates, there are radio sets in about 105 million households in the country.

History of Indian Radio

For more than 4 decades, the Government of India did not permit private radio stations to broadcast in India. Then history changed its course. In 1993, the Government allowed private FM operators to 'buy' blocks (chunks) on All India Radio, prepare programming content, book commercials from advertisers and broadcast the whole lot. Within 4 years, (1997-98), the FM Radio advertising and sponsorship business grew to Rs. 93 crores with Times of India's Times FM & Mid-Day Group's Radio Mid-Day becoming the main players.

Then, in June 1998 the Government, through its electronic media regulatory body Prasar Bharti, decided not to renew contracts of private FM operators.Not surprisingly, the advertising revenue fell by 50% within a year!

This time, the Government gave the green light to privatize radio in India. July 6, 1999 was the historic day when the Government announced that 150 new FM channels would be licensed across 40 cities.

And in 2000, the Government auctioned licenses for private FM channels to bolster the revenue. And the focus on metros was evident in the bidding. Expecting to collect Rs 800 million from auctioning 108 licenses, the government had to actually face mass withdrawal of bidders because of the huge license fee. A handful of serious bidders chose to remain.

In response to the Government's offer, many companies bid for the licenses to operate in key markets. But the going was not so easy. Many gave up, unable to shell out the high license fee. For instance, the bidding price for the Mumbai license was reportedly to the tune of Rs 9.75 crore. Others dropped out saying the business was not viable. So, in effect, the competition shrank, players consolidated and the Government extended its deadline. Today, there are roughly 10 players who will operate approximately in 37 cities across the country.

The government collected close to Rs 4.6 billion as license fee for the privately run FM radio channels in 40 cities. New Media Broadcasting, a Zee Group company, which focused mainly on the smaller towns, won the largest number of bids.

The first round of bidding - for 76 channels in 26 cities, garnered close to Rs 3.5 billion. The government got the highest bids - Rs 97.5 million from each of 10 broadcast companies - for stations in Mumbai. Interestingly, the bids for Hyderabad and Nagpur came next, each for Rs 77.2 million and Rs 74 million, respectively, while the bids for Delhi were Rs 71.2 million each

Radio is expected to follow the growth of the Television industry, which grew rapidly following the entry of private players

Currently, FM coverage in India is restricted to just 17% of the country, compared to 89% of All India Radio (AIR).

Players in Different Centers


Location of Centers

Number of Centers

Bid amount for first years license (Rs. crore)

Entertainment Network [India]

Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Lucknow, Pune



Hitz FM




India FM




Living Media

Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta



Mid Day Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai



Millennium Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai



Music Broadcasting

Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Bangalore, Patna, Lucknow



Sumangali Publications - Sun TV

Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunalveli



Vertex Broadcasting

Calcutta, Indore, Bhopal, Vishakapatnam



Udaya TV - Sun TV




Incidentally, Music Broadcasting became the first firm in India to commence private FM broadcast from Bangalore in July.

Licence Fee and revenue sharing model

Currently, FM players pay annual licence fees, which go up by 15 per cent every year. Private FM radio sector would shift to a revenue-sharing model from the existing licence fee regime. However, revenue-sharing also exists in the media sector. The objective is to “make FM radio a success story”. It's better to keep the revenue-sharing low than to have a failed project. There has been debate on whether to recommend a revenue-sharing structure or a fixed amount for a period of 10 years; it is firm on revenue-sharing now. Revenue-sharing will follow payment of a one-time entry fee through a process of bidding. Revenue-sharing is quite low at around 4 %.

While the private FM players had sought revenue-sharing in the band of 2-2.5 per cent, the panel has fixed it at 4 per cent.

Setting up new radio stations

After the second round of privatization, the number of FM radio stations targeted is around 300 to 400. The panel also suggested that players wanting to enter the sector in the second round of licensing need to have a technical viability clearance by a financial institution on the financial viability of the project. It has also recommended to the government to release additional spectrum for the use of FM radio companies so that the number of companies operating in one centre can go up.

Future of Radio Industry

FM Radio can play its part in building a stronger business future for India. Providing free-to-air local broadcasts of music and entertainment, helpful information - traffic advisories, community announcements and public service messages provide a real value-added service. But at current levels of advertising support, each radio station is reeling under the brutal financial impact of high costs. With more players in the fray the FM radio industry would grow and also enhance the government's yield from licensing radio naturally.

The new India deserves an active private FM radio sector. It can provide a level playing field with benefits for listeners, for advertisers, employment & career options. Spearhead the government objective of growing the FM radio business in India.

With the government ready to reduce the license fees it will help in attractingnew palyers like reliance which had earlier backed out only due to the entry fees.also government allowing foreign players to enter he Indian market it will help the industry grow. Virgin group has already started exploring the Indian market for suitable partners. various radio stations are coming up with IPO for example Radio Mirchi thus helping them expand.

The future looks bright as the reach of radio is expected to raise post the increase in the number and quality of players in the industry. It is on the basis of these key drivers of growth, it is being predicted that radio's share in the total advertising pie will see an increase in the medium term. There are an estimated 150 million radio sets across the country. The Rs 1.6 billion industry is reported to be growing by 31 per cent every year and should touch the Rs 6.2 billion by 2007, with revenue rising at 23 per cent annually. Also, though radio has only a 2 per cent share in the Rs 6,000 crore Indian advertising market, advertising spending is expected to amount to Rs 500 crore this year.

SWOT Analysis


* Recently, the government has agreed upon revenue-sharing model, which is 4 % for the growth of the radio stations. So that they can develop themselves well because this industry is still in an introduction stage.

* The success of private FM stations, and reveals that radio listenership habits have changed considerably; not only are listeners tuning into it more often but also sticking to radio for longer hours everyday.

* The advertisers, who would depend on word-of-mouth, pamphlets, brochures or ads in local supplements of newspapers, are welcoming the opportunity.

* Radio is considered as a background medium, because people can listen to radio anytime and anywhere they want. It is also a free medium.

* 90% of India has access to radio which is unmatched by any other media.

* Radio also reaches to uneducated village folk who do not read print publications. At the places where the literacy rates are low where people hardly read newspapers and radio is the only medium that they can understand. They can't afford a TV set. Therefore radio is more popular.

* Radio is the least cost medium and it helps to reach mass audience with various backgrounds. Radio offers its reach frequency and selectivity at one of the lowest costs per thousand and radio production is relatively inexpensive.

* Radio is considered as a medium where the “Proximity to purchase” is very high.

* Radio is a complement to another media. Therefore, other media or the advertisers or agency can use this medium for brand recall.


* One of the major weaknesses of Radio is that there is very less differentiation in the programmes that are aired. Most of the stations plays much of the music that is played consist of Hindi Film songs, and therefore it is difficult to differentiate between the programmes of the different channels.

* Fragmented Audience - the large number of the audience in India is fragmented in various remote places. And therefore, the percentage of listener tuned to anyone station is likely very small.

* No proper research available - research is very important for any advertising segment. Research is the main base to attract client and get more revenue. But, in India there is no proper research is available. Many stations are conducting their own research which can be biased.

* Radio-only nature of radio communication is a tremendous creative compromise. An advertiser whose product depends on demonstration or visual impact is at a loss when it comes to radio. And like its radio message creates a fleeting impression that is often gone in an instant. Many advertisers think that without strong visual brand identification the medium can play little or no role in their advertising plans.

* Increase in listenership numbers but no increase in ad revenue. This is the situation that every radio channel is facing.

* Short commercials


* Getting copyright licenses from the government for running mega events which are aired on the AIR radio station and have been restricted to be aired on other private stations.

* Launching a radio station with 24-hour news channel

* Tie-ups with BEST or railway authority for playing the FM in train and in bus.

* The launch of Private Radio FM has managed to create a set of ‘New Listeners' for the medium

* The new radio stations which will come in future they can have venture with the college or university campuses. And can play their station which will exclusively provide with the information relating to that university/college campus.

* With the coming of the many more new players in the radio industry each channels can position themselves quite different from others, like, if some station is targeting the health conscious people then their programming strategy will vary accordingly. And then it is easier for the advertisers also to decide on which channel to advertise.

* Allowing private FM players to start news and current affairs programmes.

* One has to constantly innovate, and that is the challenge. Brand building is thus much more difficult. At the same time, we are very bullish, and gung-ho about this whole enterprise.

* Leaves huge scope for innovation in local market


* The biggest threat to private radio industry players is ALL INDIA RADIO. AIR is the biggest player in India because of its reach, low charges, government channel etc…

* Because of the new government policies there will be more number of stations and then competition will also increase. This is one of the biggest threats it faces. With no particular differentiation in the music. So, there is a fear of losing its brand loyalty.

Advertising in India

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world, with a nominal GDP CAGR of 9.94% over the last 10 years (1995-2005). The nominal GDP for fiscal 2005 was Rs. 30,636 billion. According to CSO estimates nominal GDP growth for fiscal 2006 is estimated at 10.9%. There is a correlation between the economic growth rates of a country i.e. the nominal GDP growth rate, and growth rates of the advertising industry

The Indian advertising spends, as a percentage of GDP, is 0.34%, which lags behind other developed and developing countries

During fiscal 2005, the gross advertising spend in India is estimated at Rs 111 billion, and is expected to grow at 14.2% to reach Rs. 127 billion by fiscal 2006

Segmentation in advertising

The five key industry segments comprise print, television, radio, cinema, and outdoor. These different segments within the industry are at varying stages of growth and corporatization

Media Spends as % of Total Ad Spend











































The Indian television industry has grown rapidly, especially since 1991, which saw the beginning of satellite broadcasting in India. This growth was also aided by the economic liberalization program of the Government. The growth of the satellite television audience saw proliferation of a number of satellite television channels offering more choices to media buyers and consumers of entertainment. Thus, the television broadcasting business, which started off as a single government controlled television channel, now has over 300 channels covering the Indian footprint, resulting in growing ad spends on this medium. Reforms and proliferation of private players were the key reasons for this rapid growth of the share of television in the advertising industry.

Radio Advertising

Radio is still the king when it comes to getting your music. The best way for a new band to get heard by the public and record label executions is over the airwaves.

Paradoxically, radio currently has only a 2.9 per cent share of the total advertising pie in India. Globally, depending on country, radio has a 5 per cent to 12 per cent share of the advertising cake. On the higher side are countries like the United States, with 13 per cent, Canada, with 12.7 per cent and Spain, with 9.1 per cent.

Companies that advertise on FM channels today such as Hindustan Lever (HLL), Dr Morepen, Amul, Castrol, Santro, Britannia, Parle, DSP Merrill Lynch etc are dominating the advertising on each one of the FM channels, be it Radio Mirchi, Go 92.5 Red 93.5 or Radio City.

Today, 70 per cent of the advertising comes from big-budget, national advertisers and the balance 30 per cent comes from retail. It is a known fact that retail advertising will grow because radio presents the perfect advertising medium for local businesses in a local environment. But national advertisers are also operational in the local market, implying that it is as important to them as it is to a retail advertiser, if not more.

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that radio can be integral in exposing a new artist, new product or services to new fans and taking a local market to a national level. Accordingly, it is extremely difficult to obtain meaningful airplay. Putting it bluntly, successful radio promotion revolves around making and managing relationships.

Radio promotion is an art that demands a certain style you may simply neither have nor desire to cultivate. On top of that, it can take a great deal of time to make all the contacts and connections that are required for successful radio promotion.

Advertising agencies that control the national picture will be slow to move on to radio for creative reasons. They have people who love to make television commercials, but don't have anybody who knows how radio works. Here, only about 2.9 per cent of the money spent by advertisers goes to radio, and up till now, all of that went to ALL INDIA RADIO.

However, in revenue terms, money from advertising has gone up. Revenue from commercials on AIR, including on Vividh Bharti and Primary Channel (including FM) rose from Rs 393 million in 1990, to Rs 808.4 million in 2000, & Rs. 600 crores in 2002, representing a growth of about 7.5 per cent per annum.

A clear advantage that radio has is that it can easily target city-based audiences. This makes sense if the advertiser, like a food chain that is opening an outlet in Mumbai, wants to target a specific audience. In such cases, it does not make much sense to advertise on TV, and the print medium is too expensive. Radio is the best bet for such small-scale promotions. It is also aptly suited for local promotions, and once audiences can be targeted, it has tremendous potential to eat into local mediums.

Consumer opinions

The evidence from the qualitative research is that young people feel their local FM station is aimed at people like them, but the advertising is not - they feel, probably quite correctly, that most advertising is aimed at adults.

Because radio is a real-time intrusive medium, they have to sit through the full length of any ads which are for irrelevant products. There was evidence of three sorts of memories:

Relevant : This includes Ads which mentioned areas or names of specific interest, e.g. films, outlets selling favoured brands, concerts

Vague/ not relevant: This includes memories of ads for local garages, cars and insurance companies - little or no specific detail remembered

Sonic Brand Triggers: Much evidence of children's ability to pick up on musical Sonic brand Triggers (SBT's) and sing them out loud.

Pros and Cons of Radio Advertising

Every medium has special strengths and weaknesses that makes it more or less suited to special marketing problems of specific advertising. There is no one medium which is ideal for advertisers or every situation. Radio has a number of characteristics that makes it an ideal vehicle for numerous advertisers as either a primary or secondary medium. Also, there are certain disadvantages of this media which need to be considered.

Advantages of Radio

1. Largest Reach and Frequency

Radio offers an excellent combination of reach and frequency. The average adult listens more than 3 hours a day, radio builds a large audience quickly and a normal advertising schedule easily allows repeated impact on listener. 90% of India has access to radio which is unmatched by any other media. Radio is not only the medium of hearing news but also is a source of entertainment and advertising for the rural masses. Radio also reaches to uneducated village folk who do not read print publications. At the places where the literacy rates are low where people hardly read newspapers and radio is the only medium that they can understand. They can't afford a TV set. Therefore radio is more popular.

2. Broadly Selectivity

Specialized radio formats with prescribed audiences and coverage areas enable advertisers to select the market they want to reach. From a marketing perspective, radio has the ability to reach prospects by sex, age group, ethnic or religious background, income group, employment category, educational level or special interest with a format that adds even greater dimensions to its already strong personal communication environment.

Radio's high overall reach and its ability to provide numerous formats make it a multifaceted medium. Because of the relatively low cost of production, advertisers are able to adapt commercials to the various stations then buy, a strategy that would normally be prohibitively in television.

3. Cost -Efficiency

Radio is the least cost medium and it helps to reach mass audience with various backgrounds. Radio offers its reach frequency and selectivity at one of the lowest costs per thousand and radio production is relatively inexpensive. National spots can be produced for about one tenth the cost of a TV commercial, and local stations often produce local spots for free. Also, radio ads can be produced very quickly.

4. Creativity and Flexibility

Radio is the most flexible medium because of very short closing periods for submitting an ad. This means an advertiser can wait until close to an air date before submitting an ad. With this flexibility of simple formats such as voice only can be created almost immediately to reflect changing market conditions or advertisers can take advantage of special events or unique competitive opportunities in a timely fashion.

Radio also offers timeless, immediacy, local relevance and creative flexibility. The personal nature of radio, combined with its flexibility and creativity, makes radio the choice for numerous product categories. Copy changes can also be made very quickly.

While radio may be one-dimensional in sensory stimulation, it can still have powerful creative impact. Radio has been described as the theatre of the mind. The musical formats that attract audiences to radio stations can also attract attention to radio ads. Audiences that favor certain music may be more prone to an ad that uses recognizable, popular songs.

5. Proximity to Purchase

The mobility of radio and its huge out - of - home audience gives the medium an advantage enjoyed by few other advertising vehicles. In the competitive environment facing most companies, it is imperative that brands achieve consumer reinforcement as near as possible to the purchase decision. Radio's daily frequency offers scope for continued messages and hence the consumers are more likely to remember that product and consumer lend up buying that product.

6. As a Complement to Another Media

In some cases, radio is the primary medium for local advertisers. However for national advertisers and most large local and regional firms, radio is most often used as complementary medium to extend the reach and frequency of primary vehicles in their advertising schedule.

A fundamental marketing strategy for radio has been its ability to successfully work with other media to increase reach and frequency or to reach non-users and light users of other media. The radio industry realizes that the bulk of its revenue comes from advertisers who use radio as a secondary medium.

7. A personal medium

The human voice is the most personal means of communication. Radio gives the advertisers the opportunity to take advantage of the right combination of words, voices, music, and sound effects to establish a unique “one-on-one” connection with prospects that lets you grab their attention, evoke their emotions, and persuade them to respond.

Radio can be targeted by lifestyle formats and is more efficient than other media from a cost and production standpoint. As a result many advertising agencies will move their budgets into radio.

Disadvantages of Radio

1. Misunderstanding

Sometimes there might be a misconception regarding the radio ad as it is only heard. In television the chances of such misconception is less, as it is audio as well as visual.

2. Poor Radio Attentiveness

Just because radio reaches audiences almost everywhere does not mean that everyone is paying attention. When a consumer is listening while doing some work or traveling in a car, he or she often switches stations when an ad comes and divides his or her attention between the radio and road.

3. Fragmented Audiences

The large number of stations that try to attract the same audience in a market has created tremendous fragmentation. If a large number of radio stations compete for the same audience, advertisers who want to blanket the market have to buy multiple stations, which may not be cost effective. However, in radio's quest to continue to fine tune its reach, some advertisers wonder if radio is offering too many narrowly defined options. For those product categories with broad appeal, it is difficult to gain effective reach and frequency without buying several radio stations and networks.

4. Chaotic buying procedures

For an advertiser who wants to include radio as a part of national advertising program, the buying process can be sheer chaos. Since national networks and syndicated broad cast do not reach every geographic market, an advertiser has to buy time in individual markets on a station-by-station basis. This could involve dozens of different negotiations and individual contracts.

5. Short Lived and Halfhearted Commercials

Radio commercials are brief and fleeting. They can't keep like a newspaper or a magazine ad. Radio must compete with other activities for attentions, and it does not always succeed. Only 20 % of time availability restricts the frequency of message exposure.

6. Creative Limitations

The audio-only nature of radio communication is a tremendous creative compromise. An advertiser whose product depends on demonstration or visual impact is at a loss when it comes to radio. Many advertisers think that without strong visual brand identification the medium can play little or no role in their advertising plans.

7. Limitations of Sound

Radio is heard but not seen, a drawback if the product must be seen to be understood. Some agencies think radio restricts their creative options.

8. RJ needs training

It is very important that the Radio Jockey is trained enough to deliver the ad. Sometimes the voice really matters. If the voice is irritating then there is a chance that the campaign may flop.

9. No proper research available

In India, there is no proper research has been available on the area of radio listening, which will be very helpful for the advertisers to decide them on advertising plan and budget and other matter. Therefore, there could be a problem for the marketers in the sense that they might advertise on wrong channel at a wrong time.

Types of Radio Advertising:

1. Network

Advertiser may use one of the national radio networks to carry their messages to the entire national markets simultaneously via stations that subscribe to the networks programs. Networks provide national and regional advertisers with simple administration and low effective net cost per station. The advantage is less paper work and lower cost per station. Disadvantage includes lack of flexibility in choosing affiliated stations the limited no. of stations on a networks roster and the long lead times required to book time.

2. Spot Radio

Spot radio affords national's advertiser's great flexibility in their choice of markets, stations, airtime, and copy. They can tailor commercials to the local market and put them on the air quickly - some stations will run a commercial with as little as 20 minutes lead time.

3. Local Radio

Local times denote radio spots purchased by a local advertiser for local market. It involves the same procedure as national spots. Radio advertising is either live or taped. Most radio stations use recorded shows with live news in between .Likewise, nearly all radio commercials are pre recorded to reduce cost and maintain broadcast quality.

4. Sponsor Programme

Here the advertiser sponsors the whole or part of the programme. The RJ informs the audience about the sponsored company throughout the programme.

5. RJ Mention/What's On Mention

Here the Radio Jockey [RJ] informs the audience the information given by advertiser about the new product launch, sale, exhibition going on at certain place etc.

Radio Stations Divide Their Days And Their Rates.

Radio stations divide their rate cards into dayparts .The exact divisions vary from station to station.

6 am -10 am Morning drive

10 am - 3 pm Daytime

3pm - 7pm Afternoon drive

7pm- 12am Nighttime

12am - 6 am All night

Rating services measures audiences for only the first four day parts because all night listening is very limited and not highly competitive. Heaviest radio use occurs during drive times (6-10 am and 3-7pm) during the week (Monday- Friday).

This information is important to advertisers because usage and consumption vary for different products. For example, radios morning drive time coincides with most peoples desire for a steaming, fresh cup of coffee, so its great time for advertising coffee brands. For the lowest rate , an advertiser orders spots on a run of station (ROS) basis, similar to the ROP in newspaper advertising .However, this leaves total control of the spot placement up to the station. So most stations offer a total audience plan (TAP) package rate, which guarantees a certain percentage of spots in the better day parts if the advertiser buys a total package of time.

Length of Spots

The radio commercials in the test reels consisted of several different spot lengths, ranging from 15 to 60 seconds. The longest commercial played on the radio is 120 seconds. Those however are rare. In theory, one could assume that the longer a spot, the better it will be remembered or at least, the more chance there it that it will be heard. Research on television commercials proved that this theory holds true for the medium television: a doubling or tripling in spot seconds results in duplication in recall.

The spots for advertisement can be for 10 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec and 60 sec. In General,

10 second spot should contain 25 words

20 second spot should contain 45 words

30 second spot should contain 65 words

60 second spot should contain 125 words

If you've never written a spot, 30 seconds sounds like an impossibly short time to get your message across. But take a stop watch and time some spots on the air; you'll see that quite a lot can be accomplished in a short time. In fact, you may find that 60s, unless very well written and well produced, sometimes seem a bit too long.

A 60 does allow you more variety in music, sound effects, and voice and can be useful for political message, the announcement of a new or little-understood service, or other sports with a information/education content.

30 is usually 70 to 80 words long, and a; 60 around 150 to 160 words. The cost of a: 30 is usually about 60% to 75%.

Some stations no longer charge a separate rate for: 30s and: 60s. Instead, they charge a unit rate. In other words, a: 30 costs the same as a: 60. Obviously, this is one case where you might want to use a: 60 to take advantage of the “free” air time. Check the rate cards of the stations you are interested in, or ask your sales rep.

Buying Radio Time

1. Station Rates

While buying procedures to achieve national coverage may be chaotic, this does not mean they are completely without structure. Although the actual buying may be time consuming and expensive if many stations are involved, the structure is actually quite straight forward. Advertising time can be purchased from networks, syndications, or local radio stations. Advertisers generally invest most heavily in local placement. About 80% of annual radio advertising is placed locally. About 15% is allocated to national spot placement and only 5% is invested in network broadcasts. Many stations have local rates for Individual Business and National Rates for Agencies.

Advertiser may use one of the national radio networks to carry their messages to the entire national markets simultaneously via stations that subscribe to the networks programs. Networks provide national and regional advertisers with simple administration and low effective net cost per station.

2. Your Dayparts Buying Options

Most stations offer several options for buying air time:

a) Buying by specific dayparts

b) Buying packages

c) Buying sponsorships or adjacencies

a). Buying specific dayparts

This relates to the time period of purchase. There are five basic dayparts on basis of which advertiser can choose. The time period decision is based primarily on a demographic description of the advertisers target audience. Drive-times dayparts attract a mostly male audience, while daytime primarily female and nighttime is mostly teen. This information combined with programming formats, guides an advertiser in a buying decision.

Putting half your sports into drive time and half into midday is a very safe strategy. Weekend sports can also effectively reach teens.

b). Buying packages

As with magazine buying, radio advertising time is purchased from rate cards issued by individual stations. Run-of-stations ads- ads that stations choose when to run- cost less than ads scheduled during a specific dayparts. The price can also increase if an advertiser wants the ad read live on the air by a popular local radio personality hosting a show during a day part.

Buying packages is an easy, usually low-cost method. Marking a package buy is called buying Run of Station (ROS), Total Audience Plan (TAP), or Best Time Available( BTA). This means simply that you pay to buy a package of sports at a flat rate and the station decides (within certain specified limits) when the sports will run. Stations will usually guarantee to divide your sports fairly between drive times and other dayparts.

c). Sponsorships or adjacencies

A sponsorship is just what its name implies. You are associating your company name with a specific program. The advertisers sponsor the whole or part of the programme. The RJ informs the audience about the sponsored company throughout the programme. “……………. Is brought to you by………”

An adjacency is the next best thing to a sponsorship. If you buy an adjacency, your ad will run every day just before or just after (in other words, adjacent to) the program you specify.

Other fixed-position spots are also available. For example, you may specify that you want your spot to run at 6:13 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Sponsorships, adjacencies, and fixed positions go for premium rates. Sponsorships on top-rated shows can cost up to twice as much as other spots in the same dayparts. Having your name associated with a particular show or event can do a lot to reinforce your positioning, and these premium spots can be so powerful that you may be able to run far fewer spots than you otherwise would, spending less to achieve the same impact.

Sponsorships are like marriages; they're only for people who are ready for a long-term commitment.

3) Frequency

Radio, like most media, requires repetition to have impact. As a general rule, a minimum of 20 spots per week should be aired. There are scheduling strategies that help increase the impact of the spots you place.

Flight and schedule are two words you may hear your radio sales representative use when you plan your advertising. A flight is a group of ads. (“I'm running a flight of 80 ads this month.”) A schedule is the long-term version of a flight. (“I run a schedule of 20 ads a week, six months out of the year.”)

4) How many stations do you need

Just as you should never run too few spots, you should also not run on too few stations. But how many is enough?Generally, you should run on at least two or three stations, but that varies depending on your audience and the number of competing stations in the market.

If your target and audience includes both younger and older people, you may need to buy two or more stations with widely different formats.

There are, however, times when one station will suffice. If your audience is business people, and you can afford to buy drive time on the dominant news/talk station in the market, that may be all you need to succeed.

To really learn who is listening to your spots, survey the local market. These surveys break the audience down by age and sex, break the listening week down into segment, and then tell you how many listeners each station had in each category. Similar survey on listenership has been conducted by IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau)

Producing Radio Commercial

Producing a radio spot can be a lot of fun advertisers often say it's the most fun they ever have in advertising. It can also be simple and inexpensive.

There are three basic elements to work with: the announcer's voice, music, and sound effects. Production can be done in the station's own studios or in an independent production house. Stations are usually well- equipped to produce spots, and they often employ young, creative people whose fresh ideas will keep your spots from sounding like everywhere else's.

It all begins with a good script, which means not just the words, but the combination of words, music, and sound effects. All these are part of the script. Your spot can be clever or straightforward, but it must grab the listener's attention in about three seconds, and it must not leave the listener wondering, “whose spot was that, anyways?”

The following are some of the factors you should have in mind from the first moment you sit down to plan your spot.

1) The Voice

There are two factors concerning voice. First, you should use a voice that is appropriate for your image.

There are two good, low- cost options for achieving this, and one higher- cost option:

a) Using local radio talent

b) Using an amateur voice

c) Hiring professional voice talent.

a) Using local radio talent

If station produces the spot, one of their on-air people risk having the voice be so familiar that the listener doesn't pay attention. If the ad runs only in drive time, one can have the midday announcer do the honors. Get the least familiar voice available. Listeners will be less likely to tune it out.

Female announcers can also be used. Studies have shown that women presenters are just as effective as men; but only a small (but increasing) percentage of all broadcast sales presentations are made by women.

b) Using amateur voices

One great thing about radio is that even an untrained voice can be very effective. In fact, the less the voice sounds like one of the regular announcers, the better.

A woman's voice, a child's, or even your own can make listeners stop and pay attention simply because it's not what they're expecting to hear. A word of caution: Amateurs can sound stiff and false.

c) Using professional voice talent

If a very sleek production value is needed hire voice talent from another station, the local community theater or, in larger markets, from a talent agency. Celebrity voices can sometimes be hired.

2). Music

The power of music can't be overemphasized. There are several options for putting music into your commercials:

a) Have original music produced.

b) Use free music from the station's library.

c) Get permission to use an existing recording by a known artist. (But It's difficult and expensive to obtain the rights).

d) Buy canned music (sound alike) in the style of many popular composers in all large markets who supply such productions for a modest charge.

A lot of radio or TV advertising, can be done having a jingle product. The cost runs anywhere from Rs.600 to a few thousand rupees, and it can be a very worth while investment. A catchy jingle helps potential customers remember you more than almost anything else.

3). Sound Effects (SFX)

various onomatopoeic sounds like eeek, ho ho ho, ding dong, whistle etc. are available at the local radio station. The sound of waves on the shore can help sell your vacation package and bird song can put people in the mood for your spring sale.

Radio is entirely a medium of sound. When you use sound to evoke smells, sensations, and visual images, you bring the listener, more involved with your spot, will be more involved with your ideas.

4. The tapping Session

Once the decision is made about the script, voice, music, and sound effects, it's time to record. At may be just you and the announcer in the studio; the announcer will operate the equipment. At large stations and professional recording studios, an engineer will record the spot while you and the announcer concentrate on the reading.

You should also understand. Be aware that the announcer may have slight interpretation of the reading than you do, and don't expect a performance that could only come from someone reading your mind.

Selling Radio Commercial

Selling radio advertising involves a number of steps. The radio salesperson must be aware that everyone involved in the transaction is looking for different results. The media buyer is looking for efficient cost per point, while the client's goal is to move product. As all radio stations are perceived to be same it is important to build value into the radio station by offering credible benefits that produced results and solutions for prospective clients.

Radio salesperson must begin with the client's needs and marketing goals. The first step in the process is to meet the client to gain as much information as possible about the client and his or her business. After the salesperson has a firm grasp of the advertising problem, the next step is to prepare a proposal. The successful ones begins with the clients problem and sales objectives an move systematically to a solution.

Often the job of the radio sales person must be conducted on a number of levels.

a) An advertiser who is not currently scheduling radio may have to be convinced that the medium in general is for a particular product.

b) The salesperson must move from the general advantages of radio to the advantages of specific station.

c) The radio representative may have to show how radio fits into the media mix currently being used by the advertisers.

Radio advertising faces challenges both from within the industry and from other media as it competes for advertising price.



6 a.m. - 10.00 a.m.

Drive time, breakfast audience, interested chiefly in news

10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

Daytime, program characteristics of station, talk , music, or all-news

3.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.

Afternoon, drive time ; radio prime time and same as morning drive time

7.00 p.m. - 12.00 a.m.

News, music, talk shows

12.00 a.m. - 6.00 a.m.

Music, talk shows

Elements of good radio commercial

Þ Be single-minded, focused. The consumer should not be burdened with too much information. Prioritize the copy points. The central idea should be highlighted.

Þ Research your product or service. Many clients keep tabs on their competition, but they rarely related their features and benefits to factual data. Meaningful statistics can give substantial support to your massage.

Þ Relate to the consumer, Always relate the brand to customers wants and needs. D

Þ Generate extension. The effect of a commercial can be multiplied by achieving extension. A clever phrase or execution can have consumers asking other people if they have heard the spot.

Þ Produce an immediate physical, emotional, or mental response. Laughter, a tug on the heartstrings, or mental exercises of a consumer during a radio spot help seed the memory and aid messages retention.

Þ Use plain, conversational English. Be a clear communicator

Creative Radio Advertising

These are some guidelines for producing creative radio advertisements:-

1. Understand the environment
2. Speak the listeners' language
3. Engage and entertain the listener
4. Keep it simple
5. Judge what you hear, not what you read
6. Production values are important
7. Plan your production
8. Dare to be different
9. Take it seriously

Steps in Radio Ad Production

1. An agency or advertisers appoints a producer

2. The producer prepares cost estimation

3. the producer selects a recording studio

4. With the aid of the casting director, if one is needed, the producer casts the commercial.

5. If music is to be included, the producer selects a musical director and chooses the music or selects stock music.

6. If necessary, a rehearsal is held.

7. The studio tapes music and sound separately

8. The studio mixes music and sound with voices.

9. The producer sees that the master tape is prepared for distribution on either tape or cassettes and shipped to stations.

You are on the air!

Measuring the radio's effect

Effectiveness research requires clarity of objectives - what are the agreed objectives of the overall campaign and of the radio campaign within this? Radio effectiveness can be measured either using continuous research or in stages (“pre & post”) - the pre-stage is normally the week before the campaign, the post-stage in the week after the campaign finishes.

Consumers tend to misattribute radio-advertising memories to other media, particularly TV. This is particularly likely to happen where there is a strong executional link between the two media and/or where there is an history of TV advertising for the brand.

This tendency to misattribute can be offset by using matched samples of listeners and non-listeners. This way, if the increase in advertising awareness is greater among listeners than it is among non-listeners, then the effect can be attributed to radio fairly confidently - even if the listeners think the advertising was in another medium.

Radio research can successfully be done using telephone interviewing - ads can be played down the line. However cases where other media are to be included in the research it might be more appropriate to use face-to-face interviewing.

Commercial recognition is a valuable technique - i.e. playing the ads to consumers. It provides a more robust measure of whether they have heard the campaign, and avoids problems of trying to describe the ads. Brand names can be bleeped out of the commercial, to test whether the campaign is linked to the brand.

1) Defining the research objectives

The key to any successful research is to have a clear understanding of why the research is being conducted in the first place. In other words, what are you aiming to measure?

In broad terms, radio advertising research aims can be categorised into two types:

Þ Marketing issues - to what extent has radio helped to achieve the campaign aims?

Þ Media planning issues - what effect do different media strategies have on the performance of the campaign?

Marketing Issues:- These vary widely and there can be often more than one objective set for a campaign. Below are some typical examples:

ü .Increase sales

ü Increase footfall / store traffic

ü Increase brand awareness

ü Change consumers' perceptions about a brand

ü Broaden consumer appeal

Not all of these aims are best evaluated with consumer survey research - there are specific tools available for measuring sales effects for example.

Media Planning Issues: - In addition to tracking radio's contribution to the success of a campaign, as a secondary aim you might also be trying to test and evaluate the effects of using different media strategies, for example:

- Effectiveness of different spot lengths

- Burst versus continuous activity

- Use of different day part strategies.

If you do intend to test a particular media strategy there are three important considerations to note.

ü Firstly, and most obviously, you must gear the campaign so that you can test the particular media strategy in which you are interested.

ü Secondly, if you are testing a number of media strategies simultaneously, you will need to be able to separate the effects of each using a separate, balanced research “cell” for each media-variable.

ü Lastly, when testing different media strategies, bear in mind that you will still be judging the effects in terms of the overall campaign objectives.

Whatever your research objectives, once you have defined them make sure that they form the core of the questionnaire you use. Any other questions are of secondary importance

2) The Importance of Split Samples

Misattribution of Advertising:-

When asked to consider advertising,

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