The surge in popularity of private FM channels across India, totaling over 380 in various languages and most states, serves as a crucial platform for the Central Government to disseminate information about its policies and programs. This aids citizens in accessing various schemes and welfare initiatives. In this vein, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has sanctioned new rates for advertisements on private FM radio stations, aligning with the recommendations of the Rate Structure Committee it established. This development signifies a significant stride in the Ministry’s ongoing endeavors to establish a fair and sustainable pricing framework for private FM radio stations.
The approved rates, effective from September 2023, incorporate a 43% increase in the base rate, considering the escalating cost dynamics from December 2015 to March 2023. Consequently, the Gross Base rate for FM radio advertisements will rise from 52 to 74 rupees per ten seconds. This adjustment aims to maintain parity with current market rates and will also prove advantageous for over 400 operational Community Radio Stations in the country.
Expanding on the base rate, the Ministry has opted to retain the existing pricing formula for determining City Wise rates. This formula factors in elements such as city population and listenership data from the India Readership Survey (IRS) of 2019. With the enhanced base rate, nearly all private FM radio stations stand to benefit from the recommended rates, with varying percentage increases based largely on their listenership. According to this formula, rates for 106 stations will witness a 100% increase, a 50 to 100% increase for 81 stations, and a less than 50% increase for 65 stations where listenership data is available.
The Rate Structure Committee for Private FM Radio Stations, established by the Ministry last year, played a pivotal role in evaluating and recommending new rates. These rates, last revised in 2015, were formulated after multiple rounds of meetings with industry experts and stakeholders, incorporating insights from bodies such as the Association of Radio Operators of India.