The FINANCIAL -- Radio holding Fortuna has set a new strategy for 2014 - to become more integrated with the internet. The process has already begun and the holding will soon strengthen its online platform for listeners.
"Our strategy is to build a very strong network on the internet and offer online service to our listeners," said Tamar Chigogidze, General Director of radio holding Fortuna. "We have already created an internet department, where people are currently working on the strategy. As we have ambitions to always be the leader in our sphere, we are thinking of following world tendency and building an internet platform for our listeners, which will also be linked to the radio stations. All conferences are dedicated to broadcasting live radio over the internet; in other words to integrate radio and internet. This is a new trend worldwide and we intend to follow it," she added.
Our Internet radio service offers news, sports, talks, and possibility to listen to various genres of music. The major programs and rubrics that are broadcasted live on our radio stations are immediately podcasted on our websites. Streaming radio service is already available in our holding. Furthermore, we are planning to add some song competitions that would invite more people to our internet platform," she said.
Radio Ar Daidardo ("Don't Worry") enjoys the majority of listeners, says the report of a survey carried out within the framework of the IREX G-Media programme. TNS Market Intelligence Caucasus conducted the survey.
The great majority of respondents listen to the radio at home, while 30 percent do so in the car. As for radio equipment, 32 percent listen to the radio from players in the car, 25 percent from radio receivers, 22 percent via mobile phones, 10 percent from tablets, 7 percent listen to the radio online and 6 percent from radio cassette recorders.
The distribution of the weekly audiences of the radio stations is as follows: radio Ar Daidardo - 51 percent; Fortuna Plus - 20 percent; Fortuna - 18 percent; Autoradio and Apkhazetis Khma (Voice of Apkhazia) - 17 percent; radio Imedi - 11 percent; Green Wave - 6 percent; Muse - 2 percent; Mtavari Radio (Main Radio) - 1 percent.
Q. The report shows that many people in Georgia listen to the radio. How does the number of radio listeners in Georgia fare in comparison to in other countries?
A. Radio has always been the most effective and fastest form of media ever. People are able to get the information they need wherever they are - be it in the car, at home, on public transport, while walking, or even when on holiday somewhere. This is the advantage of radio compared to other forms of media. TV is the main competitor of radio. From 9 am to 7 pm radio takes prime time, while from 7 pm till midnight this position is taken by TV. Also, radio is the cheapest form of media. Having an advertisement on the radio is cheaper than having one on TV.
The number of radio listeners in Europe varies over time, while in Georgia it remains consistently high. In Georgia radio takes in 10 percent of the market in terms of income. In other countries it takes in 5-6 percent of the market. Different factors affect radio listening rates such as demand for the internet or TV. About 60 percent of Georgians listen to the radio, which is a high indicator.
In the West people think that there is a danger of radio being replaced by the internet. They suppose that radio will lose its ratings sooner or later. However, in Georgia the trend is the opposite; the number of radio listeners is increasing. This might be happening because of cultural preferences and tastes. The other reason is that Georgian listeners are offered a variety of good music to tune in to. Radio Fortuna, for example, offers Worlds Golden Hits, Fortuna Plus - the Current Hot Top Hits, which we subscribe from US famous studios. Ardaidardo's musical repertoire is based solely on Georgian music, beginning from 60's to present. The format of the station is National Golden Hits. On Avtoradio, there are mainly played Hot Russian Hits. People tend to hear the new songs first on our radio stations and only after the songs become popular.
In addition, we provide a Music Production studio, Fortuna Records, for Georgian singers, where the winners in the contest Georgian Wave, held on Ardaidardo, are given a chance to record new songs for free. We want to promote high quality music. The fact that radio is the best platform for spreading the newest and quality music assures us large army of listeners.
Q. The ratings of all four of your holding's radio stations are in leading positions. Out of them, radio Ar Daidardo is in first place. What's the reason for its particular popularity?
A. In every country national radio and songs are very popular. People are loyal to their roots. Furthermore, high quality of sound and the knowledge of how to blend the music - is a key for the success.
We opened Radio Fortuna 106.9 FM, first together with the American company Metromedia International, Inc. This corporation had radio stations in different countries around the world and they brought their expertise to us. From the very first day Radio Fortuna became a very popular radio station. Fortuna's music library represents the best of native and world's pop and classical music. The station is intended for the audience 25+.
A year later we launched another radio station - Fortuna Plus, FM 103.4 We conducted a special research into proving that it really was necessary to open another ration station. The format that was developed was a mixture of European Hit Radio (EHR) and Dance formats and therefore, was intended for a younger generation and for those who love modern music. It quickly became the number one radio station in Georgia
Ardaidardo was next. By the way, without any research, based on our intuition and expertise, we launched the radio, which musical repertoire has been based solely on Georgian pop, country, folk music.
Today it is the most popular and listened radio in Georgia.
Later on, as the economy of the country improved and amount of cars driven in Georgia increased drastically, the radio became a very strong media tool. We therefore came up with the idea of creating a radio station specifically for those people who drive and spend a lot of time in their car. So we launched the forth radio station - Avtoradio, which also became very popular. The format of Avtoradio consists of several musical janre, which go together by tune and mood: russian, french, georgian bard music, traditional and contemprorary city romance songs, russian and foreign pop songs and selected latin music. The music is blended with traditional as well as specific to this radio content. These are fresh traffic, safety, commuter and event information, useful tips about cars, customs clearance, buisness and car industry news.
I believe that having several radio stations with various target groups enables us to become an attractive media tool for the businesses in Georgia. Four different radio formats with different target group, gives the possibility to reach the broad range of listeners.
Q. Since seeing the success that having several radio stations has brought for the holding, are you planning to add any more radio stations in the future?
A. At the present time the Georgian market is not in its best shape in order to think about opening other radio stations. Compared to last year our holding has experienced very little growth. Political and economic problems have affected the media sector a great deal. In general, the business in Georgia is very sensitive in regard to political fluctuations. So far, I do not see how a new radio could be financially interesting for us. In the event the market develops further, we might start thinking about the new radio station.
However, we are trying to concentrate and develop further the existing radio stations. We have implemented such projects that will stimulate the musical industry. I am proud to announce our project "Golden Wave" - the annual musical award ceremony, where the reputable jury, consisted of well-known musicians, composers and artists, nominates the best song of the year. This project encourages the musicians to create valuable and quality songs.The concert was conducted together with Georgian public broadcaster and was broadcasted on December 31st.
Q. Radio holding Fortuna supports the Golden Brand Awards Ceremony. Why do you think it is important to be a partner of this awards ceremony and why do you support it?
A. Awards ceremonies like Golden Brand always contribute to business development. Everyone is happy to see that their business, and the effort that they put into its development, has been recognised and appreciated. It is also a wonderful platform to introduce important people to each other. People can get together and establish business relationships with each other. For example, despite the fact that I know many companies and their directors, I don't see them throughout the year. But then we all meet each other at the Golden Brand Awards Ceremony, which is wonderful!
We have been supporting the Golden Brand Awards Ceremony for years. It's encouraging for us to be the partners of an awards ceremony, which is held in such high esteem by society. Our holding is always a partner of Georgian business and supports it fully.