Big FM is on a launching-spree. After five stations in Maharashtra, the channel launched five more in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Of the 14 frequencies the radio station had won, it already launched 10 stations. The remaining four will be launched by mid-June in the North East --Agartala, Shillong, Aizawl and Itanagar. North East has very few stations and the launch will be a boost to the medium in the region.
The network launched the new stations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on May 23. The stations are operating under the frequencies 94.3 in Lucknow, 95 in Varanasi and Patna, and 92.7 in Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur.
Big FM had conducted an extensive on-ground research to identify listening preferences, habits and gaps across the new markets in this region. Based on the recommendations of the research, the network launched several new shows in Bhojpuri and ensured that all RJs in these cities are multilingual in both Hindi and Bhojpuri. A mix of Hindi and Bhojpuri music will be heard in Varanasi, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur.
The network will begin to air its original programming line-up during the early morning time band from 5 am with Anup Jalota’s ‘Seher’ followed by ‘Bhakti Sagar’, the first Bhojpuri devotional show in the region with renowned folk singer Malini Awasthi, from 6 am to 8 am. The morning shows will also include ‘Big Chai’ between 8 am and 10 am, hosted by RJ Shikha in Varanasi and Gorakhpur and RJ Vijeta in Patna and Muzaffarpur. The afternoon time band will include ‘Big Memsaab’ followed by Bhojpuri Tanatan, an hour-long show dedicated to Bhojpuri music as well as the news and trivia about Bhojpuri movies. ‘Big Chokha’ consisting of engaging content and contests will entertain listeners from 4 pm onwards across Varanasi, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur stations.
In the new markets, Big FM will introduce its most heard and award-winning shows ‘Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor’ along with its national show ‘Yaadon ka Idiot Box’ and ‘Lamhe with Mantra’. The stations will also witness the launch of Big FM’s newest offering #Salim, a show based on the most fascinating and technical aspects of music, hosted by acclaimed musician Salim Merchant.
Like in Maharashtra, the launch in Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna was supported by a massive on-ground four-day RJ Marathon titled ‘Studio on Wheels.’ The marathon addresses the issues of women’s safety and respect. In keeping with the frequencies, the RJs are going live on-ground for 94.3 hours in Lucknow and 95 hours in Varanasi and Patna. A 360 degree marketing campaign will follow.
Spreading awareness on the noble initiative, RJs are encouraging citizens to pledge their support towards the cause, with an aim to collectively work towards addressing the issue by sending a message on the WhatsApp number 9918860943 for Lucknow, 9794309695 for Varanasi and 7250436795 for Patna or by pledging online with the hashtag #careforher.
Speaking about expanding its reach in the region with the new frequencies, Tarun Katial, CEO, Big FM, said, “The acquisition of five new frequencies in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is part of our strategy to systematically build clusters in key regions with focus on markets with limited media penetration. Our network’s reach in the region now gives advertisers and stakeholders an opportunity to break new ground in untapped markets that intrinsically have immense potential. While the cities we are newly venturing into are tied by common strings, we will try and localise our offerings to cater to the unique demands of each market, both from the listener and stakeholder perspective.”