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Radio’s revenue share to spike, expect exponential growth from new stations: Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM

In an interview with, the COO of Red FM reveals the company’s growth plans, talks about the rising revenue potential of radio and strengthening Red FM’s regional play

Nisha Narayana

To fulfil the content needs of brands, there has to be a good idea, credible brand and a value-based proposition that listeners can enjoy, says Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM. She is also hopeful of ending 2018 with decent gains over last year.

In an interview with, Narayanan shared the plans of Red FM for the upcoming year. With the launch of multiple stations in 2018, which are generating decent results, she expects exponential growth rather than linear as well as aggressive numbers on new stations as she feels the radio industry will have a greater share in the overall media pie.

A channel that doesn’t refrain itself from being vernacular or regional and believes to engage listeners through community engagement, Red FM gets 12-15% of its revenue from on-ground events.

“It is not about only money that we look at these events, these are also a very effective medium for us to bring our listeners close to us and enjoy our Bajaate Raho! philosophy,” she said.


How has the year 2018 been for the channel in terms of revenue growth?

It has been a moderate year, which started picking up late but we are hopeful of ending it with decent gains over last year.

This year, you launched stations in multiple locations. What are your plans for next year? What growth target are you eyeing for the next year?

Yes, for some time now, we are busy more in launching and settling our new stations and expanding the footprints of our network. This phase will be over by the end of the fiscal year. Some of these which were launched early last year have already started showing good results in terms of local market share and revenue. We are sure we will catch up fast on others. For the new ones, sky is the limit and so exponential growth is expected rather than linear. We are looking for some aggressive numbers on new stations to make them positive for us as soon as possible.

Rapid growth has been predicted for regional language media. How is Red FM doing?

We are the largest and most popular when it comes to key languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada or even in other parts of the country. We ensure a balanced mix of regional languages in our Jock Talks or music and that differs from city to city on the basis of listeners’ choices observed through internal research.

With content marketing increasingly becoming important, how is Red FM preparing itself to meet the content needs of brands?

A good idea is always welcome and we have been innovating and integrating a lot of such requirements of clients with some good solutions. We have offered not only radio but also other elements as well on such requirements of clients. However, like all good things, there has to be a good idea, credible brand and a value-based proposition that our listeners can enjoy.

On-ground events have become a major source of revenue for Red FM, which others are also trying. How much is this vertical contributing to your P&L?

It’s a 12-15% vertical for us, with a lot of scope to make it bigger. It is not about only money, these events are also a very effective medium for us to bring our listeners close to us and enjoy our Bajaate Raho! philosophy.

What major trends do you forecast in the next year for the radio industry?

We are hopeful of a better 2019 with the share of radio increasing in the overall media pie.

With the completion of FM phase 3, how long will it take to bear fruit?

Normally 24-36 months is what we give to any new station of ours to make it operationally profitable. Some of these that we launched in 2016 and 2017 have started showing positive trends and we are hopeful for others too.

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