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Sunday, February 18, 2007

RH: Business Opportunity for Radio Stations in Johor & Batam/Bintan

Robert HO Jan 11, 1:21 am show options

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore,soc.culture.malaysia,soc.culture.indonesia
From: Robert HO - Find messages by this author

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 17:21:29 +0800
Local: Tues, Jan 11 2005 1:21 am
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1. In the onetime so-called Growth Triangle of Singapore, JB and Batam/Bintan, all the 3 parts of the Triangle have radio stations.

2. There are several JB radio stations, a couple on Batam/Bintan and about a dozen or two in Singapore. This sets the stage for some healthy competiton. The operating costs are highest in Singapore, much, much, lower in JB and very, very low cost in Batam/Bintan. This sets the stage for my ideas.

3. Until now, the JB stations have tended to cater ONLY to JB listeners, mostly by acting as relay stations from Kuala Lumpur main branches, with occasional 'local' news and programmes produced specially for JB listeners. On Batam, the few radio stations cater ONLY to Batam residents. Until now, there has been no attempt to crossover except for the phenomenally successful Zoo 101.6FM in Sep 88 which drew so many SINGAPORE listeners that even PAP government departments and
organisations were playing it over their public address systems. Then, the PAP realised the loss of mind to Zoo and responded by starting and revamping their radio stations to copy and fight off the 'invasion' from Batam. It was largely successful and now, all 3 parts of the Triangle only cater to their own 'local' listeners. So I now intend to shake things up.

4. If you think about it, there is no reason why a radio station in JB cannot become the MOST LISTENED RADIO STATION IN SINGAPORE. Or, for that matter, there is also no reason why a radio station in Batam cannot be the MOST LISTENED RADIO STATION IN SINGAPORE, too. [Remember Zoo proved it entirely possible?]. I have tested on my handphone FM radio, the reception of some FM radio stations from JB and Batam and have found them good enough. [With the increasing spread of cheap handphones with FM radios and also MP3 Players also with FM radios, more people can and are listening to radio]. Also, if a radio station in JB or Batam is serious in capturing a large SINGAPOREAN listenership, there is no
technical reason why it cannot start or switch to a frequency and power that all SINGAPORE can listen to. Thus, there are no technical difficulties why JB or Batam radio stations cannot compete directly in the SINGAPORE radio listening market. But why would a JB or Batam radio station want to do so? In short, advertising revenues.

5. There are many, many Malaysian companies that are even now ADVERTISING IN SINGAPORE TO SINGAPORE CUSTOMERS OF THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. This is because many Singaporeans pop over across the Causeway very often, some even weekly. There are many JB businesses which depend on SINGAPOREAN CUSTOMERS; in fact, for much of their business, without which, they would find business unprofitable. Name some?

6. For example, Genting Highlands Resorts are a popular holiday destination for Singaporeans and do advertise in Singapore to Singaporeans. There is also the Malaysian Tourism Board, which is also a heavy advertiser in Singapore to Singaporeans. Then, there are the Sunway Lagoons, Palace of the Golden Horses, Club Meditarranee, many hotels and beach resorts, JB shopping malls and restaurants and supermarkets, etc. I have not read a single Singapore newspaper or listen to a Singapore radio station or watched Singapore TV for years, so I may have missed out a great many others, so I am obviously not the best person to be writing this business proposal. These are just the top of my mind obvious examples of Malaysian advertisers who need to reach SINGAPORE LISTENERS.

7. For more examples, you only need to watch Singapore TV and flip some Singapore newspapers. Doing this will tell you which Malaysian advertisers need to reach Singaporeans and will switch to your radio station when you have proven your large Singaporean listenership coupled with low costs. Even if you only reach a small segment of Singaporeans but your advertising costs are low, which is indeed the case now, many Malaysian advertisers will want to throw a couple of tens of thousands
of dollars into your radio station advertising since the most important consideration is Cost Per Thousand, meaning how many Thousand SINGAPOREANS can a Malaysian advertiser reach with how much Cost? Say, your radio station regularly reaches 50,000 SINGAPOREANS but your advertising rate for a 30 second radio commercial is only HALF of a Singapore radio station's rate, then the Malaysian advertiser will naturally prefer to advertise on YOUR radio station instead of the
doubly expensive Singapore radio station.

8. Then, there are the ADDITIONAL NEW ADVERTISERS who would advertise
if the opportunity presents itself, that is, if there is a cheap and effective media to reach their Singaporean customers. THESE ADDITIONAL NEW ADVERTISERS WILL BE A BIG SOURCE OF ADVERTISING REVENUE TO JB OR BATAM RADIO STATIONS TARGETTING SINGAPOREANS. These new advertisers
include the many JB businesses who cater to Singaporeans but who only need to reach them specifically for short, intense, periods of SALES PROMOTIONS, SPECIAL OFFERS, etc.

9. Thus, the EXISTING MALAYSIAN ADVERTISERS IN SINGAPORE, PLUS THE ADDITIONAL NEW ADVERTISERS MAKE UP, AT LEAST, SEVERAL S$ MILLIONS OF ADVERTISING REVENUES TO BE CAPTURED BY ANY STATION/S HAVING THE RIGHT STRATEGIES. To arrive at some concrete numbers, simply phone or write to the advertising survey research companies in Singapore to ask how much do Malaysian companies advertise in Singapore annually. When I was last in advertising, some 12 years ago, there was a company which did that, called, if I remember, Survey Research Singapore. [Damned, I am blocked
again now from Google Search Engine]. Don't forget, this/these survey research company/ies can only tell you what Malaysian companies are spending NOW and NOT WHAT THEY WILL SPEND IF A GOOD RADIO STATION IN JB OR BATAM PROVES ITSELF.

10. Strategy A : First, compile a list of the big Malaysian advertisers in Singapore. You can do this the easy way, by buying copies of the main Singapore newspapers and watching Singapore local TV channels to write down which Malaysian advertisers are currently advertising in Singapore. Don't forget Bus Panel advertising, too. Or you can pay a bit of money and buy the information, usually precisely presented in numbers and tables, from survey research companies in Singapore. Either way is fine. THEN GET YOUR RADIO STATION SALES REPRESENTATIVES TO CONTACT AND VISIT THE ADVERTISING DEPARTMENTS OF THESE BIG MALAYSIAN ADVERTISERS WHO ADVERTISE IN SINGAPORE AND TELL THEM OF YOUR FUTURE PLANS TO CAPTURE A LARGE SINGAPOREAN LISTENERSHIP. Don't forget to also visit the big ADVERTISING AGENCIES in Malaysia, who recommend and spend their clients' advertising budgets.

Stragegy B : Then, of course, you HAVE to capture a reasonably large SINGAPOREAN listenership. How? All the usual ways would work to some
extent, such as lots of good music and talk shows, etc. But then, there is nothing UNIQUE that the Singaporean radio stations cannot COPY and thus flatter you like they flattered Zoo. There is only ONE hugely popular thing that a JB or Batam radio station can do but which NO Singapore radio station will do, and that is Phone-In Interviews with Singapore Opposition Politicians. Ah!

To digress a little, ever since Lee Kuan Yew captured power, mostly due to his selling out his PAP members by giving all their details to the British Special Branch, who then conveniently arrested all his challengers to the PAP party's top post, leaving him the top dog, he clamped down so hard on all media that today, after 45 years, he has a
total and absolute stranglehold of every single media in Singapore.

This total desert of Opposition voices means that when 'allowed' to speak, there is such overwhelming desire to hear them that Opposition rallies, during the limited Election time they may be held, are always packed in the many thousands on the football fields they are held in. I have always been astonished to see the overwhelming crowds who brave even rain to hear Opposition speakers, and having to make their own way to the rallies unlike the PAP 'supporters' who have to be bribed with vouchers and bussed to PAP rallies.

There is such an overwhelming desire to hear the Opposition during Election time that a regular programme of Phone-In Interviews on JB or Batam radio stations will be met with great response. If done regularly at a set time, this "From Singapore" [or some other better name] segment will get a huge listenership. Even if lowkey and noncontroversial, the very fact that a Singapore Opposition leader is speaking will be enough, by itself, to create a huge Singaporean listenership. In order not to sound too much like a Singapore radio station, instead of remaining a JB or Batam radio station, this From Singapore segment can start off as a regular hour every day and increase if the response is good. The local listeners in JB or Batam wouldn't mind, especially if the time slot is say, 9-10pm every night, when most Singaporeans would listen but which many Johoreans and Batamites may not mind sharing their radio station with Singaporeans. If the programme proves popular, it can be repeated
or rebroadcast at other times in the day, say at lunchtime, when many office workers may listen.

Strategy C : The Phone-In Interview. Most Singaporeans revere Mr J B Jeyaretnam for his brave, lone struggle against the PAP machine. So it would be strategic to begin our Phone-In Interviews with Mr Jeyaretnam. Besides being a household name, won and admired over decades, Mr Jeyaretnam was an accomplished judge and lawyer until dirty tactics forced him out of Parliament. So, begin your Phone-In Interviews with a "Week With Jeyaretnam". You only have to ensure that Mr Jeyaretnam is
comfortably seated in a quiet room with a telephone at the right time, say, 9-10pm for the week. Give him the questions in advance for him to prepare. These questions can be worked out from his books, of which I believe he has written two. Then, everything should work fine. You can either do this live on-air or taped and delayed broadcast.

Strategy D : Choose Opposition Politicians who have written books. This is to make your work easier. You only have to buy the books, which are usually available from Select Books at Tanglin Shopping Centre, Singapore. Then read them to get a feel of the author and their ideas. Then, you should be able to draft a list of questions, enough to run a week of interviews. Other authors include Dr Chee Soon Juan, who has
written half a dozen great books [he is a PhD neuropsychologist by training, so will make fascinating interviewing especially on his specialty]. And Mr James Gomez. Get your questions agreed with the interviewees because politics is a minefield in Singapore and Opposition Politicians are routinely sued and bankrupted in Singapore in a rigged judicial system, which is a reflection of the rigged elections in Singapore. For those Opposition Politicians who have not written books, their essays on their websites are also good enough. If they have neither written books or essays, like Low Thia Khiang, so-called Secretary General of the Workers Party, forget him because he will dull your entire programme like the Kiss of Death. My favourite is Dr Chee
because he speaks much better than Lee Kuan Yew.

Strategy E : Making money. It would be better if you start your series with pre-recorded interviews instead of live. This will give both you and the interviewees some valuable experience just in case there are some fumbles you need to edit out. This will also give you easy options to air some advertising commercials BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER the interviews. A half hour interview can make you a huge pile of money, because of the expensive Singapore listenership. Also, your rates would be
very competitive compared with the Singapore radio stations so the Malaysian advertisers will be getting much, much more for the same dollar. There is no reason why a Batam radio station cannot capture Singapore listeners and then use them to draw MALAYSIAN ADVERTISERS. It is just as easy for Malaysian advertisers to send their radio commercials, in the usual one-quarter inch tapes I believe, at the usual 15 inches per second, to Batam Island as to a JB radio station, SO MY

Strategy F : Eventually, after the first months of pre-recorded interviews, you may want to do live on-air phone-in interviews with almost live callers from Singapore asking the interviewees questions for them to answer. This will be quite an ambitious undertaking but very, very high in listenership. When Singaporeans find that they can phone your JB or Batam radio station and ask Dr Chee questions almost live [maybe better to buffer for a minute or so to weed out fake PAP disrupters], your share of Singaporean listenership will skyrocket.

Strategy G : Handphone SMS Text Message Questions. Now, almost every adult Singaporean has a handphone. Some may even be listening now to you on it! So it would be easy for a Singaporean to listen to your radio station on his/her handphone and then to SMS Text you a question or comment for your announcers to read on air. This would be a great feature to further increase the interactivity and listenership of your radio stations. Handphone SMS Text messages to JB or Batam are very cheap so no listener will be put off by the cost.

11. I have been prevented from sleeping yet again but have put the sleep deprivation time to good use. Please forward this email/posting to any JB or Batam/Bintan radio station that may find it useful and profitable. To reach me for further discussion, post your reply or comments on soc.culture.singapore. My email address there [ho3] is not
functional because it is always filled with spam and I never use it.

Robert HO
10 Jan 05
Singapore 0417