HELLO FM 106.4 IS A PROPERTY OF MALAR PUBLICATIONS LIMITED PROMOTERS Malar Publications Limited (Malar) founded by Daily Thanthi in the year 1942 which is the country’s No.1 morning daily Tamil newspaper. Founder Si.Pa.Aditanar handed over his business to his son, Shivanthi Adityan who expanded the family affair further. This nationally-trusted family owns under its masthead, Daily Thanthi, Maalai Malar, Gokulam Kathir, Rani Muthu and Rani Weekly. Balasubramanian Adityan, grandson of Si. Pa. Aditanar, is the Managing Director of Malar and has greatly contributed to the success of the household name that Malar Publications has become.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND Malar was incorporated on February 22, 1979 as a Private Limited company, taking over the business of printing and publishing Maalai Malar. It is a credit to Malar that printing and publishing facilities have been established in nine locations in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Effective from 1st April 2005, Malar has taken over the business of Printing from Rani Printer (P) Ltd, cable distribution & TV content programming from Air Media Network (P) Ltd, printing and publishing of newspaper Maalai Murasu from Nellai Murasu (P) Ltd and marketing of advertisement space from Sovereign Media Markets (P) Ltd.
BUSINESS Malar prints and publishes ‘Maalai Malar’ and Nellai ‘Maalai Murasu’, the No.1 evening newspaper in India and has 9 editions apart from Gokulam Kathir – a Tamil monthly magazine. Malar prints special supplements for Daily Thanthi, magazines – Rani Muthu and Rani weekly – apart from undertaking third-party printing jobs. Malar broadcasts through cable AMN TV in 19 centres in Tamil Nadu having a combined viewership of 9 million people. Addtionally, Malar has a media marketing division which markets advertising space for Daily Thanthi, Maalai Malar, Gokulam Kathir, Rani Muthu and Rani Weekly.
DIVERSIFICATION Malar has established FM broadcasting centres at Chennai in the year 2006-07 and at, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Pondicherry in 2007-08 at an out-lay of Rs. 600 million. Having acquired the 7 licenses, Malar paid an OTEF of Rs. 243 million which is 20% lower than average OTEF and over 50% lower than the highest OTEF in all 7 centres put together.
STRATEGY Malar Publications Ltd. and its media brands have established its businesses in 24 centers and will be gradually climbing towards the status of a media empire focusing purely on building its hegemony in Tamil Nadu and Tamil audience around the globe. Given its services’ success in being able to connect with the masses, it aims to continuously foster a common platform for advertisers in the print or broadcast media.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FM RADIO INDUSTRY IN TAMIL NADU It is important to understand the demographics of Tamil Nadu to have a focused view of FM radio market in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has 31 districts with a total population of 62.4 million. Literacy rate is the highest in the country, with a recorded rate of 62.66 per cent and with 99 per cent of the population having access to primary education. And on the media front too, the state has shown unprecedented growth and development compared to other states in the country. Tamil Nadu has 73 per cent of C&S penetration, which is the highest. The high rate of literacy in Tamil Nadu is amply justified by Daily Thanthi occupying an exalted 5th position in the country amongst all dailies across all languages. Tamil Nadu has 54 Daily News papers & magazines, 20 Cable & satellite (C&S) Channels, and 1279 cinema theatres.
Today Tamil Nadu plays host to two dozen FM radio stations. The state capital Chennai alone has 10 FM radio stations. As per NRS report, Tamil Nadu has the highest penetration of radio, in the country. Both rural and urban market put together has 46 per cent radio listenership across the state. This high ratio of radio penetration should not be surprising, to radio analysts, since Tamil Nadu is the only state which was uninterruptedly exposed to FM radio for decades unlike other states of India, because of its proximity to Sri Lanka, where FM radio is a matured industry. It follows that the broadcast waves are reaching Indian territory as well owing to the proximity of the two nations.
HELLO FM AND ITS REACH IN TAMIL NADU Hello FM is the largest network of private FM radio stations in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery. Hello FM had won 7 licenses, to set up and operate radio stations in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, commercial centers of Tamil Nadu and Puduchery. Though Hello FM is physically operational only in 7 centers, but the reach covers almost half of Tamil Nadu’s population by reaching out to nearly 30 million people every day.
The channel achieved the leadership position in the state through well-designed programming and marketing strategies. The program format is predominantly in Tamil and is aimed at reaching the mass population. The programming scheduling caters to different segment of population. It is a 24x7 channel, beginning the day at 5 am catering to the devotional needs of the masses by playing only Tamil spiritual songs for two hours. Then, moves on to targeting the working class executives, preparing them for a productive and hard working day ahead, by playing peppy fast-paced music. During the day, programs are designed to target housewives. In the evening too programs are targeted towards the commuting working class, while in the late night, the music genre shifts to soft tunes, slowly shepherding the city to sleep .
PROGRAMMING PHILOSOPHY The sound-scape of Hello FM 106.4 is a reflection of the mood-map of the city. This simply means that what goes on air minute-to-minute is in sync with what goes on the city minute-to-minute. Right from the title of the hour to the design of the program; from the design of the show to the structure of the format; from the choice of music to the selection of voice; from the option of interactivity to the type of gratification; from the distribution of day slots to the division of time bands, every seemingly minute detail has been carefully designed to ensure that it addresses the appropriate mood of the relevant target group at the right moment of the day. When it comes to music, a state-of-the-art international music scheduling software ensures that hits songs are played across eras, across genres at the appropriate time bands at the most scientifically staggered rotations, repetitions and separations. Other innovations include the country’s only daily radio sitcom, full-length feature film soundtrack, real-time online song ringtone download, daily star sign forecast, IVRS song requests, Kollywood’s second home and much more. Radio has never been more radically real.
MARKET POSITION Today Hello FM has become one of the names to reckon with in the media landscape of Tamil Nadu. In its endeavor and quest to be the market leader, Hello FM 106.4 has undertaken marketing activities, which has helped to dwell in the hearts of FM listeners across the state. It played vital role in partnering with the best of socio-cultural and sports activities of the government, thus establishing its position as a leader in the market across the state. To cite a few of the partnerships, Hello FM had partnered with the Chennai Sangamam 2007 and 2008, Mrs. Chennai 2007 and 08 and ATP Tennis Chennai Open 2007.
CLIENT LIST Hello FM has clients on board, from varied industrial segments. It has the support of many sectors, including banking, finance and insurance, manufacturing and automobile, mobile phone manufacturers and service providers, apparel, fashion and jewellery, large and small scale retail, transport and the logistic operators. The envious list includes Hindustan Uniliver Ltd, Proctor and Gamble, Maruti Udyog, Ford, Vodofone, Nokia and so on. This list explicitly indicates that advertising agencies and advertisers have recognized Hello FM as a premier radio station in the nation. The 2009 Lok Sabha elections saw the government allowing private FM radio stations accepting paid political advertising that adheres to stipulated guidelines. The fact that every single political party – both from the ruling front and from the opposition camp used every single station of Hello FM extensively for their election campaigning is a telling testimony to the station’s apolitical stand, unbiased content policies and adherence to defined guidelines. It is no surprise then that any media plan for Tamil Nadu would not be complete without Hello FM.
COMPETETIVE SCENARIO FM radio was licensed to operate just 6 years ago and the industry is in its nascent stage of growth. However few of the brands have the first mover advantage and have managed to build strong consumer loyalty and premium brand image. Hence, the first movers attach premium value to their pricing. Hello FM has steered past the competition, by its innovative content creation and winning marketing strategies. Hello FM has been awarded the ‘Best RJ Award’ from the leading No 1. Tamil Magazine – Ananda Vikatan; ‘Best Program Award’ from the leading English daily Indian Express; ‘Best Signature’ tune at an All-India level. It is Hello FM’s pride that it is the only network to cover the entire state. Accordingly, Hello FM is also able to command premium pricing from the advertisers.
FUTURE EXPANSION PLAN Radio had its re-incarnation in the form of FM, since the year 2002. From then onwards, the radio industry has been growing by leaps and bounds, and it is clear as day that the future belongs to radio with Hello FM standing at the helm of this future. Hello FM was the only network to have a 100 per cent success rate on winning the 2nd Phase of Radio License bidding. And that’s not all, after the station successfully won for the 7 stations it bid for, Hello FM is gearing up to repeat its record in the third phase as well. Hello FM will be bidding for licenses for 14 locations in Tamil Nadu that will be up for bidding as well and that will put Hello FM far ahead of the competition and make it the largest radio player in the Tamil Nadu market.