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Internet radio makes a mark in last-mile consumer connect

Radiowalla and Spot Radio, promoted by Venturenet Partners, is taking an innovative approach to building the Internet-based radio business

Ananya Saha | Delhi | March 1, 2012

Now, who does not want to go beyond beaming FM channels? Worldspace was a breather and that is gone too! How do brands reach their consumers through the sound waves if playing a spot on FM station is not a solution for them?

Banking on the fact that consumers engage with a brand through their senses, Spot Radio has been creating custom radio stations for the retail and corporate sector paving the way for a better shopping experience and more efficient brand communication at the last mile of a shopping decision. The content is customised to the specifications and the needs of the brand.

Launched in August 2011, Spot Radio has already partnered with 30 national retail chains, about 2,000 stores nationwide, and is targeted to grow to a record 10,000 sites by the end of the year.

Radiowalla, which is scheduled to launch in April 2012 globally, boasts of initially offering Internet audio channels (music and non-music) created by a world-class professional radio team, with content that is currently unavailable on traditional radio and other internet radio channels. With over 30 Internet radio stations under this platform, Radiowalla promises to be affordable.

Venturenet Partners Private Ltd. (promoters of Radiowalla and Spot Radio), a Bangalore and US-based Internet radio company, has also recently raised its Series A funding from Ojas Ventures Partners to expand its rapidly growing retail audio solution (Spot Radio) and its direct-to-consumer radio service (Radiowalla).

"We are delighted to have Ojas as investors in our company, given their track record of helping early stage entrepreneurs in building businesses. We especially liked the operating experience they bring along our effort of creating value for all stakeholders and consumers,” said Harvinderjit (Harry) Bhatia, Co-founder, Radiowalla.

Riding on the success that WorldSpace had witnessed and with plans to take the digital radio wave to the next level, Anil Srivatsa, Co-Founder and CEO of Radiowalla, said, “We also take care of ad sales, if the retail chain wishes to generate revenue by selling ad spots to the brands. We work on per store-per month basis.”

SpotRadio also manages customer loyalty programmes through interactive services such as sending SMS to receive discounts.

While talking of generating revenues, Srivatsa informed, “Some of Radiowalla’s streaming stations will have commercials. These will not be subscription-based. The stations that do not have commercials will be subscription-based.”

He concluded, “We’re seeing rapidly increasing customer adoption of our solutions, and with this investment by Ojas, we’re confident of accelerating growth, and cementing our position in the digital audio industry.”

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