Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) has entered into a new partnership with the national radio station of India: All India Radio (AIR). Both organisations will work together in the co production called Earth Beat India. The programme will be broadcasted nationally by AIR in English and Hindi every two weeks. BestMediaInfo.com gets into a conversation with Amitabh Srivastava, Country Head - Radio Netherlands Worldwide (India) and Harko Aris, Manager - Marketing & Media Partners, Radio Netherlands Worldwideto
dig deeper into their association, RNWâ€™s future plans and much more.
Q) What does the partnership with AIR mean to you? Harko - Let me just start by saying that our radio station started in the year 1947. We have been in the business for 60 years now. As time passes by we have created websites in 9 different languages. Radio is extremely important to us but we are trying to be in all fields. With respect to our association with AIR, the radio station is extremely important in India in terms of information for us. Partnerships are a great way of reaching people and definitely easier than doing it all by yourself.
Amitabh - We are very excited and this tie up is a major breakthrough for RNW in India.
Q) What are your expectations from the RNW-AIR tie up? Harko - I strongly believe that it is going to be very helpful. The association with AIR has been running very smoothly. The first programme has been aired already. AIR is the worldâ€™s largest broadcaster. And aligning ourselves with the biggest broadcaster means a lot to us. Since its co production in the literal sense, there is an editorial team working from Holland and a team working from here(AIR). We are planning to do once a fortnight programme for a period of one year. It is co production in the real sense.
Q) Tell us something about your co production called Earth Beat India. Harko - It is a programme on sustainability; it covers all subjects that have to do with our footprints on Mother Earth. We are offering international stories with new opinions, green gadgets and greenwash while AIR brings in stories with an Indian perspective.
Q) Besides Earth Beat India, what other contents are you offering? Harko - We are an information based radio station we do not cater to entertainment on our station. We are not aiming at producing content that can be produced here too. We cover subjects like International relations that covers International justice, something people are interested in knowing about, we also cover health issues, environmental and climate concerns and arts and culture. We are also laying special emphasis on Design and Architecture. We would like people to know more on these topics to have a better understanding of Netherlands.
Q) Radio is still being used as a recall medium and not a prime medium. Will that change in the future? Harko - I have all hope to contribute to the change. With RNW establishing base, we hope it stimulates other stations as well. Fm frequency is really costly in India, information is not as popular a sector as entertainment. We are trying to break that and as soon as the market opens, there will be more stations setting up as right now the number is limited.
We are looking at telecom companies and newspapers for tie ups. We are not just focused on Radio.
Amitabh - We have also made a dent in the internet space with in.com which is the highest viewed website. Also, we are in conversation with Telecom companies for our VAS services. We are trying to make our inroads in IPTV as well. We have also digged a cable deal. We feel it is a great way to reach people through their TV sets. We are also in touch with DTH companies. We will be the first international broadcasters to make a dent in it shortly.
Q) How is RNW connected with the internet space? Amitabh - On the internet space, we do realise that there is a lot of traffic in India because of the sheer size. There is also a thought that we are working on which is to dedicate a South Asian portal, as what is seen on our portal is more international and there is a huge demand of content focused on this side. Therefore, there is no point covering news from the sub continent as there are many channels doing the same. The idea is to keep the audience in mind and target them from a European / international perspective.
Q) What are your views on cutting a deal with TV channels? Harko - We do not produce for television. Of course we produce videos but those can be shown through the internet. It is not essential for our programmes. We do not have extensive TV programmes anyway.
Q) How do you plan to build RNW as a brand in India? Amitabh - Firstly, an interview is a good step. Seriously, after getting into the eyes of the media, we felt it was important to be taken to potential partners where we could do some alignment. Our third stage was to conclude the deal. Our strategy was right throughout, plug in the name, get known through the media and create awareness among the general public. It is more B2B than B2C. We are looking forward to a stage where we will be doing B2C as well.