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Paving the way for a new era of the radio industry – From the diary of a woman leader Radio, by constantly reinventing itself and building synergies with digital media, has now become the newest place for media innovation

By Rachna Kanwar

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Over its century of existence, Radio has seen many media revolutions. And yet, it has not just survived those but continues to thrive despite it all. The last decade, in particular, has witnessed an even greater degree of change in media consumption than the past 100 years but Radio, by constantly reinventing itself and building synergies with digital media, has now become the newest place for media innovation. The "local feel "approach has already been bearing fruit, and now with Digital media exploding in regional languages and small-town India, Radio and Digital synergy is set to experience a golden phase. Radio has morphed into a unique model which is both, familiar and futuristic.

Here's a look at how we are paving the way for a new era of radio industry.

Developing a digital-first approach

The new era of radio is being defined by how leaders are integrating digital-first strategies. This applies to not just connecting with the listeners online on social media platforms but also creating content for the Digital Native. This content route is the prime reason for radio's rapid growth across various digital platforms as it leverages its existing strength and assets. The integrated approach of radio plus digital has enabled the medium to engage with advertisers and listeners while staying relevant across platforms. The radio content lends beautifully to audio podcasts online and the studio facilitates myriad video creation opportunities. By covering a vast array of genres and content categories, radio is truly set to redefine its extent and showcase its true potential with the advancement of technology and digitization.

RJs influencers rise on Radio + Digital

The biggest asset of Radio is its RJs and the connect they enjoy with the listeners. No other medium enjoys this level of intimate connect with its consumers. In the age of Digital creators and social media influencers the voice of RJ influencers is a distinct and powerful one. RJs have been gaining increased popularity as social media influencers as their credible and trustworthy voice has empowered them. They are adept at content creation and engaging with the audiences, the two most powerful tools online. Brands enjoy the complimentary role they play while integrating social media influence to a Radio campaign.

Women being the changemakers

One important aspect that has been changing the face of radio is the way women leaders are redefining the narrative of the industry. Women leaders have been breaking the old mould and creating an impact in the media industry and specifically in the radio sector. Their unique points of view and creative inputs have led to strategic decisions change that have changed the face of radio and digital. This just goes to show how increasing diversity achieve the desired business outcomes. As per a study by International Finance Corporation, businesses with gender diversity create a greater return on equity and outperform those with low gender ratios during times of crisis and volatility. It was noted that high-performing businesses were nearly 50% more likely to have men and women given equal influence in strategic decisions. Radio City has always focused on gender parity and has been recognized as one of India's Best Workplaces for Women in 2019 as well as ranked 4th in "Best Large Workplaces in Asia' in 2020, according to the GPTW survey.

Expanding offerings through innovation

The radio industry has been imbibing new age digital trends such as digital IPs, video interviews, etc. to drive reach and relevance even deeper than earlier. Given how these innovative content delivery strategies are seeing a higher adoption rate in tier 2 and tier 3 markets, radio's credibility in dispensing value-added content along with brand offerings will sweeten the overall platform's resonance with the audience. This will also allow brands to leverage the merit of radio's increasing influence coupled with its cost-effectiveness, to build media strategies that amplify brand messages to the masses, economically and efficiently.

As the radio industry ushers in a new era, it is imperative to remember that the audience will continue to prefer quality content over the platform that it is streamed on. Focused content strategies are helping radio pave its own way amidst intense competition from new-age media platforms. The evolution of digital media has gained a higher adoption rate with rich audio playing a major benefactor in both, audio and video platforms. Due to these opportunities, brands, across categories, have been investing in radio and digital that seamlessly synergize to achieve deeper impact.

Rachna Kanwar

Chief Operating Officer, Digital Media, Radio City & Mid-day

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