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Partnership with Spotify opens additional avenues of revenue for us, says Big FM’s Sunil Kumaran

The Country Head, Product, Marketing at Thwink Big, Big FM, says the collaboration will expand the digital reach of the innovative storytelling content that's being produced by Big FM as it will be available to millions of Spotify users across the world

Sunil Kumaran

The lockdown has led to an increase in demand of the podcast genre, which has already been growing continuously. While radio and streaming platforms have been perceived as competitors, a new trend of partnerships has emerged. 

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Spotify and Big FM have entered into a collaboration where Big FM’s marquee content properties and popular shows will be accessible for Spotify consumers, widening Big FM’s digital presence.

“While Big FM already enjoys a huge listenership base, availability of a part of its content on Spotify will allow the radio network to reach hundreds of millions of Spotify users around the world,” it said in a statement. With the partnership, Spotify listeners will get access to 15,000 minutes of Big FM’s content that is split into 13 shows. 

Speaking about the collaboration, Sunil Kumaran, Country Head, Product, Marketing at Thwink Big, Big FM, said it will help their content reach out to newer audiences. “The primary reason is that we want to unlock the potential of what we have been doing and built over a period of time. It is also to support the partners and reach out to a newer audience with our content. Spotify is a strong player growing rapidly in the field of music and podcast. From Spotify’s perspective, it is a completely different set of content that they are venturing into. Spotify already has built its library of content in different genres. This partnership has worked for both the partners beautifully,” he said.

He said the collaboration will act as an additional source of revenue for them as they have invested in producing quality content. “Radio stations like us have been investing in producing new content and especially Big FM, which has become the pioneer of story-telling with shows such as Suhana Safar with Anu Kapoor. We built exclusive marquee content. We understand the consumer and we have built content in the regional market. We know how storytelling in terms of demography works, so that’s the kind of expertise partners like Spotify are tapping into.”

Abraham Thomas, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited, said, “This is an important milestone in our journey as we evolve to an audio entertainment company. Big FM has always been a pioneer in presenting distinctive audio content for its listeners through various formats, properties and campaigns. Our content on Spotify will amplify the reach of our content among our loyal base of listeners while tapping into new ones. We have created yet another avenue for our listeners to explore, experience and enjoy their favourite music and shows at their convenience ensuring they are entertained and informed at all times."

Asked about details of the shows and how will they be played on the platform considering various copyright and licensing issues that might emerge, Kumaran said the radio shows have been adapted accordingly. “Podcasts are like spoken words, we understand the power of storytelling and we ensure the content is modified and presented in such a way that it becomes completely friendly for a platform like a podcast that caters to a certain audience with a different mindset,” he said.

“We take the music part out and we switch it together with the story in a big way that it becomes relevant from a podcast perspective. It is not a straightforward adaptation of what we have on radio,” he added.

Kumaran spoke about the possibility of bringing their branded content to streaming platforms. He said branded content has grown considerably in the past few years for Thwink.

“We have seen a whole lot of branded content in the current times. We are seeing good pieces of work with seamless integration. We would definitely explore the option of getting our branded content platform on Spotify or other platforms. Not as a part of the current partnership, but as a future prospect, we could explore that,” he said.

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