Friday 27 April 2012

15 Minutes of Fame…Reloaded!

After my last post…15 Minutes of Fame…! perhaps it was the benevolence of lady luck, I got twice lucky on 94.3 Radio One and won a neat 94.3 Radio One wrist watch and couple passes to  Super Six party at The Zuri, Bangalore.
However once all the three goodies were timely received from 94.3 Radio One and consumed, I deemed it appropriate to share this experience with the readers of this blog and comment upon my perceived value/satisfaction gained, from these prizes. So here we go:

1st Rank - Couple Passes to Movie of our choice
Date: 30th March 2012
Time: 3:50 PM
Radio Jockey: MJ Anjaan
A chance to have an on-air chat with the station jockey and be heard across the airwaves tipped the balances in its favor.  Since passes to the multiplex were valid up to 2013, it gave flexibility to choose the date/time/movie. Third, since the prices of movie tickets vary based on the time of the day and day of the week, it entirely depends upon the winner to squeeze the maximum out of the multiplex passes.
2nd Rank - 94.3 Radio One Wrist Watch
Date: 13th April 2012
Time: 9:55 PM
Radio Jockey: MJ Pratik
The primary reason is the perceived value of the gratification relative to the movie tickets. Second, unlike the first instance, it did not present an opportunity for on-air interaction with the station jockey. But what earned it a place ahead of the Super Six Party passes is its tangibility (unlike the perishable nature of movie tickets). Whenever I will look at the watch, I’ll be reminded of my participation in this contest and the name of the station, which is printed on the watch, as a reminder J
3rd Rank - Couple Passes to Super Six Party at The Zuri on 21st April 2012
Date: 19th April 2012
Time: 9:45 PM
Radio Jockey: MJ Pavithra
Well, what earned it a third rank was the distance of this place from our home. It was a drive of 27 Kms one way! The silver lining was seeing MJ Pijosh (94.3 Radio One Jockey) in person dishing out some great beats J and sampling a new place which otherwise wouldn’t have got a trial from us ;-)
It is pertinent to understand that these ranks are in relation to one another. If I win a kilogram of gold in a contest on 94.3 Radio One, it will top all the three gratifications listed over here. Also, a person from a different demographic/psychographic profile (say a college goer) may rank the gratification differently. The factors I bore in mind for these rankings are VALUE, UTILITY and EXPERIENCE. Experience will have interplay with regards to the TANGIBLE/INTANGIBLE nature of the gratification. For example, in the case of couple entry passes for two events, where the value of the passes are the same, and they deliver the same utility that is a nice evening with your lady love or your knight in shining armor...the deciding variable will be the experience derived from each of the two events (say an Opera v/s Soccer Match). Bottom-line…gratification filters the TG. Number of youth participating in a contest for winning passes to a disco will be more compared to older people.
Nonetheless it was a great experience to win three goodies in a span of 20 days doing something which is enjoyable that is listening to radio. In no manner the economic principles of Marginal Utility or Law of Diminishing Returns apply to winning, once you win you look forward to win again…and I do look forward to get lucky again…time to pick up some winning vibrations J

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Win a Baby!

There are events which are spaced in time and place, but when overlaid on each other, they present unique perspectives.
One such event was the recent release of the movie Vicky Donor…dealing with the taboo subject of sperm donation but overall has earned good reviews from trade/critics.
Another was the “Win a Baby Contest” run by HOT 89.9 FM, a Canadian radio station in Ottawa. The station ran this contest in the fall of 2011 wherein five couples were chosen by the station to receive up to three fertility treatments valued at $35,000. On Thursday March 29, 2012, one of the five couples announced that the treatment they received courtesy the radio station has resulted in a pregnancy. The campaign won the station “Radio Promotion of the Year” at the Canadian Music Week.
It’s not that this campaign from 89.9 FM did not get its share of controversy or rebuttal.  Pain is personal and having to expose that in order to have a chance of getting a treatment … is a sad state of affairs” - Beverly Hanck, Infertility Awareness Association of Canada.
When producers are leaving no stone unturned to promote their movies, do you think a similar campaign for the promotion of the movie Vicky Donor would have been a good idea?
I don’t have an objective answer to this question, do you have one?

Friday 13 April 2012

Imagine TV Will Be Missed…!

NDTV Imagine, which later got rechristened to Imagine TV upon being bought by Turner from NDTV, has now drawn curtains on its business operations on 12th April 2012.
The trade portals are flush with pieces on Imagine TV since Thursday 12th April 2012, when the news first broke out, with analysis from trade pundits to long and short editorials to reactions from the producers of the shows that were on-air on Imagine TV. What stake I have in this…well I’ll miss the relationship that I nurtured with Imagine, as a viewer and also for the business I did with the channel!
When the channel was launched in Jan 2008, little did I know that my relationship with the channel will extend beyond being a viewer. Later in 2008 when I joined Reliance BIG Entertainment Private Limited – Division BIG Music, I was tasked with driving monetization of BIG Music catalogue vide licensing the tracks to TV Channels for synchronization in their various shows. During this period I graduated from being a casual viewer to a viewer with a keen eye on the shows broadcast by Imagine, to come up with ideas on how the songs owned by BIG Music could be synchronized on these soaps/shows. Being a regular visitor with CDs of new song releases to Lotus Business Park, which was just a stone’s throw away from my Office in Maruti Chambers, Andheri (West), Mumbai became a routine. NDTV Imagine had its erstwhile office in Lotus Business Park prior to Turner taking it over.
I still vividly remember the discussion I had with the head of Business Operation in the later part of 2008 regarding the licensing of the tracks from the film Rock On! for their upcoming show “Oye its Friday” which had Farhan Akhtar as it host. Music from Rock On! was quite a rage and I was very optimistic of the usage of the tracks from Rock On! in the show. As a music label our ask was on a higher side whereas being a Channel they were looking at the overall budget outlay they had for the show J but in the end, our tracks found good usage in the show.
It was not only “Oye its Friday”, we got business from Imagine on other shows such as: Salaam E Comedy Awards, Karwachauth Ki Mehendi Layi Rang, Nachle Ve With Saroj Khan, Unforgettable Tour Mega Concert, Knights & Angels, Rakhi ka Swayamwar, Chaand Ke Paar Chalo, Idea Dhoom Macha De, etc.
With Imagine no longer around, these are now nothing but memories in my head. Even as I read the points of view expressed by distinguished members of the trade on what went right or what went wrong with the Channel…my mind keeps rolling back to the days when I was a representative from a fledgling music label unlike more established ones with hundreds of hit songs under their belt and another thousands and millions in their catalog, Imagine gave us a patient hearing and encouraged us with repeat business. It really “Imagined” us!
Though the organizations may cease to exist but the acquaintances one makes with the people who make the organization, continue to live. I don’t know whether I can sign off by saying Oye, its Friday! L

Disclaimer:  All company, brand and product names mentioned here are trademarks of their respective holders / individual parent companies.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

15 Minutes of Fame…

We didn’t get 15 but few minutes of fame on 30th March 2012, @ 03:50 PM. My better half was on-air on a local FM radio station RadioOne 94.3 FM. She SMSed the right answer to the question on a Bollywood film song asked by RJ Anjaan. What she won, well the way I look at it...she won two things: first, couple passes to a movie of her choice and second, which I personally value more than the tangible gratification was the chance to be on-air while the RJ spoke to her...nothing can beat the joy of being on-air and the hedonic value one derives when people call you up to confirm..."hey, was it you we just heard on-air!"
How many of us mango people (aam janta, common people or as Shakespeare would have called...plebeians) get a chance to be on-air in their life time…I’ll say very rare (since we are not business leaders, politicians, prominent social workers or an authority on some subject etc.), and when you are on-air, you try to preserve that fleeting moment, your moment of glory to flaunt it to people you know. It’s not un-common to see people preserve cuttings/edition of newspapers/magazine in which their name appeared. One can even get the recording of the TV channel in which they were on-air (refer my earlier post Record Labels and Media Monitoring), so definitely there should have been a way in which I could have got to keep the radio equivalent of the Kodak moment when my wife was on air. While I still try to get hold of that moment in a tangible form, what crossed my mind was that I may not be the only one who craves for that recording when my near and dear one is on air…does this craving on my part lends itself to an opportunity for the radio stations? Let’s see!
What if the Radio Station Gave Me a Recording of the Moment I was on Air with the Radio Jockey?
First I’ll flaunt it on my digital presence on the web (my 15 minutes of fame!), second, I’ll continue to interact with the station, vide SMSes in the hope to get lucky again, third, this behavior on my part ensures that  in the process I become a loyal listener of this station or program segment. Well the third part is questionable in the event if every other station starts to offer the recording of the moment when the listener was on-airJ. Last but not the least, there are segments on a station wherein there is no tangible gratification but listeners are prompted to share their slice of life…making available the recording of the moment the listener was speaking to the RJ will be a motivation for those who otherwise wouldn’t have dialed in.
What Are the Costs Involved?
There are no free lunches and if the listeners do not demonstrate their loyalty even after being offered the tangible rewards of being on-air, this can well become a millstone around the neck of the broadcaster. Though certain conditions of the FM radio license stipulate that permission holders preserve recordings of broadcast material for a period of three months from the date of broadcast…the real cost will be in terms of the personnel cost to extract parts of the broadcast during which the RJ interacted with the listener, and to record it to a physical media such as a compact disk (another cost head!).
Some of these costs can be mitigated if the interaction is available as a streamed/downloadable link on the website of the radio station, with an option to share the same on social profile of the listener. The interaction can also include the mention of the segment sponsor, thus sweetening the deal of the radio station to the advertisers!
Do the numbers justify all this effort?
FM penetration in Bangalore: 87%
No. of people who tune to FM: 80,00,000 X 87% = 69,60,000
Audience Share of RadioOne: 5% (assumed for a specific day part)
Number of listeners exposed to Call for Action from the Radio Jockey of RadioOne: 69,60,000 X 5% = 3,48,000
Assuming the listener response to be in line with digital media @ 0.25% - 1.5%, the number of listeners who’ll respond to the call for action by the Radio Jockey: 3,48,000 X 0.15% = 522
I have taken the response percentage figure as 0.15% to account for the number of people who do not own a mobile phone, who own a mobile phone but low pre-paid balance, unattractive gratification etc.
Well the above numbers are for a specific day part. Factoring all the day parts, let’s say the total responses on a given day are 1,500.
Is it a good number or a bad number? It’s hard to say unless we have the right context. Will all the respondents want a recording of their interaction with the RJ…maybe not! But the silver lining is, it’s not a big number that it cannot be serviced for making available the recordings of their interaction with station jockeyJ.
Also, not all markets where the station has a presence call for such a provision, a lot will depend upon the programme mix, the station TG, size of the market, number of competing stations in the market, degree of experimentation a station is willing to do etc.
To gauge the increase in user response (on-air and web), the station might invest in a limited pilot in specific city/cities, with those program segments which do not provide for tangible gratification. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
With Phase III rollout of FM, an additional number of 839 radio stations will be available in 227 cities, this may well differentiate some of the stations from others and I hope many more listeners will crave for and cherish their 15 minutes of fame.
Disclaimer:  All company, brand and product names mentioned here are trademarks of their respective holders / individual parent companies.