Suryan FM radio targets youth, expands operations

May 3rd, 2008 - 11:06 am ICT by admin  

By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, May 3 (IANS) Through a multi-pronged approach, five-year-old Tamil radio station Suryan FM is now reaching out to youth. Suryan FM is the first radio station of Sun TV Network Ltd, which is expanding its FM radio footprint across the country - it launched nine stations last month. V. Nelson, senior executive producer in the Chennai station, told IANS: “Today, using mobile phones to listen to FM stations has increased and we will finetune our programmes keeping this fact in mind.”

The advent of cell phones with FM radios has posed radio stations a great programming challenge.

“Segmenting the programmes on the presumption of a listener’s age profile and the likely radio listening time is difficult nowadays. Youngsters can at any time plug into their cell phone FM radios,” he said.

The other mode of reaching out to youth is signing up with around 74 colleges as media partners for cultural activities.

Suryan FM is made available in six cities in Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Tirunelvelli, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai and Tuticorin - and in Pondicherry. The first three stations will shortly celebrate their fifth anniversary.

In order to have deeper connectivity with all categories of listeners, Suryan FM is planning to air programmes with more local flavour.

Asked whether it is the station’s answer to Big FM’s Tamizha Tamizha programme, Nelson said: “We don’t have to do programmes to connect with our local listeners. Other stations have a non-Tamil flavour whereas Suryan FM does not. The connectivity with our local listeners is very strong.”

At a time when the average listening time for a Tamil FM station is 22 minutes, Suryan FM commands double that time.

“This is the highest among all the FM stations, which goes to prove the strength of our programmes,” claimed Nelson.

Unlike other stations where radio jockeys (RJ) have two/three-hour programmes, Suryan FM airs fresh live programmes every hour hosted by a different RJ.

The Sun TV group that targets a Rs.1 billion revenue from 45 FM radio stations by 2010 increased the number of stations to 36, by launching nine new ones in Warangal, Rajkot, Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Nasik, Vadodara, Jamshedpur, Guwahati and Mysore in April.

The group owns the licences through Sun TV Network, Kal Radio Ltd (south India stations), South Asian FM Ltd (Rest of India) and Udaya FM Pvt Ltd.

While the stations in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry operate under the Suryan FM brand, the other stations are branded as S FM.

According to officials, each station involves an investment of around Rs.10 million to Rs.15 million and funding is done through internal accruals.

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