[Interview] Prem Kumar, COO, Chennai Live – science of social media to radio axioms

Social media has transformed the very definition of radio, making it a power packed communication tool, ready to be exploited.

From a Murphy transistor airing Ameen Sayani’s Binaca Geetmala to RJs answering live queries on social media – Indian radio industry has indeed a come a long way.

According to Prem Kumar, COO, Chennai Live – social media makes radio a 24*7 accessible medium that holds the potential to redesign the qualms around the medium in India.

How has social media helped radio graduate from an audio medium to a visually aided one?

Social media works more like an extension. Initially, listeners would call RJs while the show was on and make live requests. Now, listeners can interact with RJs at any point of time, giving them a wider opportunity to engage.

Does social media allow you to go beyond conventional marketing solution for your advertisers?

First, social media helps in strengthening radio as a brand. In turn, brands that advertise with us get better represented. For instance, listeners having constant access to a radio station, even when they’re not listening to it makes us (Chennai Live) a stronger brand. Thus, when we promote a particular show, and the brands associated with it, they automatically get more exposure.

Social media implies engagement. How does this help in incorporating feedback into on air content?

We keep a tab of all the comments and feedback that we get from our consumers. We then analyse the trends, validate it with the data that we have and expert opinion and then incorporate it in our content.

How have you been using social media to promote Chennai Live as a brand?

As a single station network, our marketing budget is zero. Hence, social media has helped us market our brand and content organically. We recently aired a campaign for Maverick. It allowed our listeners to land a job at the company and win an iPhone 6. We aggressively used social media to market the initiative. Thus, we use social media to keep Chennai Live relevant and refreshing, as a brand.

How has social media helped in enhancing distribution of content?

We don’t limit ourselves to sound bytes. We also share a lot of pictorial content and behind the scenes content. We have an organic reach of over 10, 000 likes on Facebook. This helps immensely in content distribution.

As a radio station you have a loyal set of followers on social media. How are you leveraging this authority to spread a sense of responsibility through social media?

We bank various thoughts keeping in mind the trend. For instance, on women’s day we promote women empowerment content and use our social media pages to spread the message. As of now radio stations are not allowed to air news. Once we have that liberty, we will be able to talk about more relevant issues and create better awareness.


A writer by Karma, grammar Nazi by heart and traveler by hope, Saloni loves to pen about anything under the sun. With six years of journalism experience under her kitty, Saloni has tried hands on various beats including – Social Media, e-commerce, Mobile, Indian radio, Advertising, Food and Travel. Writing for various national and international publications has given Saloni an understanding of the science of social media.