| 21 Feb 2024
Radio Misty: We will bid for more stations in next auctions

From being the only station to air shows and music in five different languages to becoming the household name in North Bengal and Sikkim- Radio Misty had  enjoyed an excellent journey. This network has stood tall and strong due to its informative and innovative content. All thanks to the youngest CEO of Indian radio music industry Nishant Mittal, whose contribution was recognised by Institute Of Leadership Entrepreneurship and Development (ilead) as they conferred him with Young Achievers awards in Siliguri.

Radio business is completely different today as compared to time when we started off. When we came into this business, we had to educate the masses about radio. If we see radio is not alien to this region due to the presence of BBC. The other thing is that since we live in the hilly regions, people listen to radio but having a channel with an innovative content and music was something new for the masses. Also we getting advertisements were difficult as the people didn’t understand the business opportunities that radio would give them. It was only after two or three years we started getting revenue. Now whenever there is an important event people turn to radio, which in itself is a positive change. Content wise, Radio Misty has undergone a plethora of innovation. We have made our programs more informative, innovative and increased interactions, which helps us city centric.

Earlier, when we started off, there was minimal information about places like Siliguri and Sikkim. When we pitched to advertisers about the city they had to look for the place, analyse the importance and then invest money. After getting a feedback from the local dealers about the purchasing power, the advertisers poured in.

Our USP was to make Radio Misty a complete city centric network and not cater to any one segment of the society. We target the age group from 8-80 years and hence we cater to the masses and not a particular set of audiences. We have a platform where we had shows for all generations.  Also we had two way interactions where we take feedback from our listeners and make the suggested changes.

From our radio, we try to promote talent. In Sikkim, there are many local bands which we put on air to promote their music. Also interacting in five languages helped us connect strongly. Initially, the challenge was to develop a market in this region and get listeners for longer sustainability.

We actually had to understand what will go on air since if the channels not localised, it will lose its importance. Also, we do not believe in playing the same monotonous sound and content to bug the audiences. If you want new listeners then you have to have innovative content.

Our station is mix of music and content and we make it innovative by introducing programs like Doctor’s Live in which the doctors advice the people on various health related problems. Also we have partnered with BBC to give content; this is different from the local stations in our area. 

The strength for the radio station in this part of India is the untapped talent and the content wise it very rich with culture. We need to develop the talents but that takes time. Getting advertisers to tier II cities is a challenge for us. Competition is always good as is creates a healthy environment.

For Phase III, we are looking at location where we can have more stations. And we will be bidding for few stations in North-east. Our overall objective is to give the local flavors and provide listeners with information about their area, India and International not news but in form of infotainment.

In advertising pie, we have growth of 10 per cent every year.  In terms of listenership, we have grown of 88 per cent in past years. Radio industry in North-east has to see ways to make money in small town markets. Other thing is that we need resources and trained talent. To develop both of them is quite a difficult task.