Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) owned radio station Radio Mirchi has launched Mirchi Mehfil, an internet based ghazal radio station which will operate 24/7. Indian music singers Roop Kumar Rathod and Sonali Rathod will also host a weekend show on the station. Radio Mirchi states that Mirchi Mehfil’s target audience is young, mobile and tech savvy users on the move. Mirchi Mehfil will be available on Radio Mirchi’s site as well as Gaana’s.

The company stated that it plans to expand its offerings by tying up with Times Internet’s* online music streaming platform Gaana. Note that ENIL is also a subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Limited, owned by the Times Group’s parent company Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited (BCCL). The radio station now claims to have 15 genre based radio stations in the country, all of which can be accessed through Gaana.

As of now, Mirchi, which was launched in 2001, operates in 39 stations across 38 cities in India. It also has a presence in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Historical context: Streaming vs traditional radio

FM Radio and online radio can’t be the same, because the medium used for delivery is treated differently by regulators. FM Radio is restricted by geography, and there are circle-wise limitations put in. In 2011, Bharti Airtel launched Live Mirchi, the mobile version of Radio Mirchi on its fixed lines. Nandan Srinath, the then Head of Mobility at the Times Group, had told MediaNama that online streaming “is not streaming of the same radio channel, it’s not the same feed. This is as close to live radio as you can get: it’s a combination of music, advertising, jock elements and branding that a radio station does. The consumer is consuming two rights: he’s consuming the rights to music from the technology partner and telecom operator ( at that point in time, Spice Digital and Airtel). He’s also consuming the content from Radio Mirchi where it owns the licenses for its own content: the branding and jock-talk. Our job is limited to providing the expertise and playlists, essentially everything that is non-music.”

Gaana’s recent developments:
– Earlier this month, Gaana appointed Prashan Agarwal as its Chief Operating Officer.
– In October 2015, smartphone manufacturer Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in the music streaming service Gaana.

With inputs from Nikhil Pahwa

*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama.