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LOCAL PARTNERS 2015


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Russian radio lessons



Alexander Agishev (Beat FM) and Mikhail Eydelman (Zvezda Radio) are both based in Moscow. They believe that their city is a crazy and crowded place, with a diverse radio market that reflects this.

The Russian radio market is worth $500m USD. It is both highly developed and Moscow-centric, with almost all national stations broadcasting from Moscow.

There are 53 stations and a diverse range of formats that could only exist in the Moscow market – for a range of reasons the West could never replicate many of these formats.

 

Radio Dacha has a very specialist approach to radio. The station speaks to an old Russian dream of owning a summer house, the station works under the premise of providing “an escape for the common people” said Eydelman.

 

In such an eclectic market, listener loyalty is low. The speakers quoted BPR’s Andy Beaubien who pointed out that Russian audiences are quick to try new stations but are equally quick to tire.

 

That is not to say that things can’t be turned around. Eydelman’s station Zvezda Radio was the lowest ranking Russian station just four years ago, but due to diligent market research, they now enjoy a ranking in the top 15. The station broadcasts audiobooks after 8pm in answer to their target audience’s desire for historical, scientific and biographical content.

 

Aggressive and creative marketing is also vital to the success of any Russian station in such a crowded market. Sport FM piggy-backed the marketing of the Sochi games and doubled its market share. Similarly, Nashe Radio hosts Europe’s largest music festival and is considered to be a central part of the fabric of Russian culture.

It seems that the most important thing you didn’t know about Russian radio is that such a complex and populated market. It boasts a wealth of key lessons that other radio industries would do very well to pay close attention to.