With the tenth anniversary of London based community radio station, Asian Star Radio fast approaching next month, BizAsiaLive.com caught up with its Managing Director, Ray C about how the station has evolved into one of the biggest radio brands in the UK.
Describe your ten-year journey with Asian Star Radio in a few words?
Life changing, incredible, challenging, rewarding and satisfying, and finally interesting.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you to sustain a service like Asian Star in the competitive Greater London market?
Foul play by silly competitors, dousing the market with false information on our service. We have had London services emulating what we have on air. Plagiarism being a common problem with our communities and businesses alike. Also I feel they (other services in our area) felt a sense of threat with our powerful programming content and listening pulling power, and the fact Asian Star has also had a way of marketing its brand correctly. We believe the output of our service is impeccable and so our listeners tell us daily, and we are therefore confident that our formula is correct and hence we have converted many listeners to Asian Star from other London services and these listeners have never gone back, and again so they tell us. We have had huge feedback via social media and our website and other channels that we have for our listeners to communicate with us.
How do you find the outlook has changed for Asian Star now to what it was ten years ago?
We have a huge stable base of listeners more than ever before, and the way the growth is going in the way of listening and the conversion factor from other stations it seems to be very fruitful indeed.
What plans have you got for Asian Star Radio’s tenth year celebrations?
We are marking our 10 years with a huge event with stars from India on the 29th April 2017 at the Thistle Hotel London Heathrow, we will also be inviting VIP guests from the British Asian Music Industry as well as people who have supported the station over the last decade. Our star performer is Kulwinder Billa.
How do you feel audiences have changed over the last ten years?
They have changed reflecting the change in the local demographics. So in essence we have more Punjabi South Asian Indian communities that listen than from Pakistan than before. Though the station embraces all Asian communities. In fact this has assisted us in growing more listeners generally, we have a very family type audience due to the diverse selection of programmes we offer so from youngsters listening to our DJ mix shows to elders and middle aged people tuning in to our prime time shows. Audiences love the output of Asian Star, and are most addicted to the service and rely on it heavily. 10 years ago we accumulated a slightly older community which we have now managed to balanced out. Our target listeners are 35 – 55 years old.
What kind of limitations do you feel being a community station than a commercial station?
The obvious two, restricted power even though Asian Star has been awarded more power of recent by Ofcom. Secondly, our operation runs very much like a commercial station though we hold a community license. We have accumulated a huge base of Asian Star listeners through FM/ONLINE and on mobile via RADIOPLAYER & the other being restriction in how the stations revenue is made up of which is 50/50 split.
How do you plan to evolve over the next ten years?
Well we have plans to move over to DAB and into Greater London soon as well as our portfolio of events growing. TV is also up for consideration, so who knows let’s see, we pray to the almighty everyday for the success of the station to date and we will continue to look at the almighty for success for another decade.
Plagiarism being a common problem with our communities and businesses alike. Also I feel they (other services in our area) felt a sense of threat with our powerful programming content and listening pulling power…Ray C - Managing Director, Asian Star