“Finally, there is a radio station that understands me!”, “Nicki Minaj followed by my favourite Bollywood and Bhangra song on the same station! “You guys have me hooked – now it’s open email, open facebook, and open Naach Radio!”, “OMG that’s so cool you play everything I have on my iPod!” - these are a few of the most commonly quoted phrases of Naach Radio’s listeners who have been tuning in since its soft-launch in mid-March 2011. Naach literally means ‘dance’, and with its signature tagline ‘Turn It Up And Naach’, that is exactly what Naach Radio intends to make its listeners do!
To satisfy their appetite to consume music from various genres, South-Asians living in North America constantly find themselves switching between mainstream and South Asian focused entertainment channels. Naach Radio’s market research indicates that they are always on the lookout for a channel where they could listen to mainstream music by artists such as Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jay Sean along with South Asian music from artists such as, Imran khan RDB, H-Dhami, Delhi 2 Dublin, and Bollywood tracks such as Ainvayi Ainvayi (from the movie Band Baaja Baarat), and Mit Jaaye Gham (from the movie Dum Maaro Dum) - all in one place without having to change channels.
Most media brands targeting the multicultural South Asian market appear to have adopted a one-dimensional outlook to serve this market segment - inadvertently stereotyping and painting all South Asians with one broad stroke paintbrush. Naach Radio has adopted the strategy of being somewhere in the middle and not at the either extreme of being purely mainstream, or purely South Asian.
“Existing South Asian radio stations cater to our parents’ needs and not ours. Our generation is different from that of our parents, we crave both South Asian and mainstream music. We’re streetwise, tech-savvy, and cosmopolitan - Naach Radio is reflective of that” said Bhavini Sagar, Chief Operating Officer at Naach Radio. “Our market research indicated that we represented a large sector of the community, and therefore we decided to launch our own radio station to fill the gap in the market. The positive feedback from our listeners has been so overwhelming that we’ve had to move onto a dedicated web server to keep up with the number of listeners tuning in.”
The emerging trends in media and entertainment are all pointing to a technology dominated landscape, noting this, Naach Radio decided to pursue and establish a strong presence in the digital domain. “A strong online presence augmented with the capability to leverage social media tools that are integrated to our home-grown technology allows us to engage with our listeners on a one-on-one basis in real-time. This cutting edge technological advantage sets us apart from the competition. Our mobile and tablet apps are currently being developed and will be released shortly” said Bhavini. Another strategic advantage of pursuing an internet driven strategy is that Naach Radio has coast-to-coast coverage in both Canada and U.S. where it is licensed to broadcast.
Naach Radio has consciously adopted a rolling-launch strategy to tweak and fine tune its service over a period time rather than come to market assuming what listeners want. Bhavini added “We are in a prolonged beta phase - this allows for continual improvement of our service. We are able to conduct real-time temperature checks and measure our listeners’ feedback on what features are working and what are not. For example, we recently added the SkypeTM functionality to our media player and integrated it with our studio, allowing listeners to call our studio and be put on air at the click of a button”.
Naach Radio recently organized a flash mob (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0zQfVSua2U) in the heart of downtown Toronto to raise awareness for heart health, and celebrate the South Asian Heritage month (May) in Canada. This one of a kind Bollywood, Bhangra, Urban South Asian, Hip-Hop, RnB, & Reggae flash mob was not only reflective of the music played at Naach Radio, but also symbolic of the diverse tastes of South Asians living in North America - those who balance their Eastern heritage with Western lifestyles. Bhavini said “We wanted to raise awareness for heart health in an unconventional and fun way - and in a way that is reflective of what Naach Radio stands for! So we had everything from Panjabi MC’s Mundian, Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’, Bollywood classic Jumma Chumma, to Rihanna’s ‘Don’t stop the music’ in the flash mob!”. After the success of the flash mob, Naach Radio is keeping everybody guessing on what’s next. “All we can promise is that it’s going to be unconventional and fun fun fun!”