India has the world's largest untapped radio market and has the potential to grow as the most viable medium of advertisement over the next few years, says one of Britain's leading media consultants.
Martin Bowley, who has been in the media business for over two decades now and has experience in both radio and television, believes both the media have their own respective target audience but radio is more effective as it is portable.
"India, in terms of what it can do with radio, has enormous potential," Bowley said on the margins of a workshop on the cost-effectiveness of radio.
"I believe India has the largest untapped market in the world. The potential to advertise through radio is exponential. At the rate at which India is growing, radio should command an advertising market share of 10-12 percent soon."
In a recent study, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have estimated the current revenues of the radio industry in India at Rs 3 billion.
The two have projected that India's radio industry will post a growth of 32 percent per annum over the next few years to touch Rs 12 billion by 2010 and a demand of 1.5 million hours of content every year.
According to Bowley, Britain has more than 300 radio stations, of which almost all are going digital. "We have online radio listening, listening through television. And I believe India should learn from UK how effectively the medium can be used and also understand from the mistakes we committed."
Elaborating on the lessons for India, Bowley said sometime ago Britain relied heavily on national advertising. "This is something India should not follow."
Stating the benefits of radio as a useful tool of advertising, he said: "Radio is a national medium with flexibilities of a local medium. Radio is unique and India needs to understand the way people use it."