COOL Fahrenheit, which claims the mantle of the nation’s No 1 music radio station, saw its audience base rise by 50 per cent last year defying the industry’s declining market trend.
The station’s confident operator, Thai entertainment leader RS Public Co Ltd, is investing Bt100 million in an ongoing ”rejuvenation” campaign, counter to the general downward trend of the sector.
The station’s operator attributes its success to the brand’s relentless efforts to rejuvenate itself and to offer something modern and fresh to cater to its audience’s lifestyle both online and offline.
Prin Minsuksaeng, the managing director of Coolism, the operator of Cool Fahrenheit, said radio station’s audience base was growing steadily. According to Nielsen Media Research (Thailand), Cool Fahrenheit’s listeners in 2018 rose sharply from 1.2 million a month in January to 1.8 million in December – a 50-per-cent growth.
“This is why it remains the No 1 radio station for both the online and offline platforms,” said Prin.
Its web-based audience – on iOS and Android – is about 60 million a year. “This success is due to the station’s business transformation to become a 4.0 station in all aspects, with outside-the-box marketing, and marketing activities to build loyalty, and CRM [customer relations management] activities to offer special privileges [Coolprivilege] to its audience,” Prin said.
To boost its online audience, it offers users opportunities to collect points and redeem rewards. In terms of activities, there are “Cooldegree” exclusive activities, “Coolouting” trips, and dining activities with trusted brand endorser ML Parson Svasti – a food expert – inviting participants to enjoy famous and delicious dishes.
Cool Fahrenheit is marching forward confidently, following its rejuvenation concept, by investing Bt100 million to make the brand young and relevant, catering to both online and offline lifestyles. And it is doing all that while still retaining the brand’s character, which has remained consistent over the past 15 years, says Prin.
And the brand character is to be a radio station that appeals to the “music and lifestyle community”. The station makes its [target] audience, who are 20-44 years old, feel connected and form a sense of community, said Prin.
“In this era, things move fast, and businesses have to keep up, so the station must offer a relevant experience that appeals to its digital audience in terms of lifestyle trends, while also keeping in mind the economic and social climate.”
Prin said many of its activities had been well received. He cited Coolouting, in which the radio station took its audience and their colleagues to different destinations in Thailand, and abroad like Taiwan, South Korea, Macau, Maldives and Luang Prabang.
For its “Ink Eat ALL Around” activity, led by ML Parson Svasti, the audience was taken to enjoy delicious food throughout the year, with a focus on culinary highlights of seven secondary destinations. Cool Music Fest is a free concert that invites the station’s audience to travel back in time and enjoy a blast from the past. Cool Fahrenheit aims to be a one-stop shopping hub for office people, while Line@COOLanything aims to turn the station’s audience into customers through promotions and targeted products, including its top-selling makeup products.
“Cool Fahrenheit is not intimidated by business disruption,” explained Prin. “In the digital era, we have to move fast and stay relevant. We feel that this is a challenge, and in the next few years, radio stations must move faster in terms of marketing. They have to be in-trend and have good management.
“Needless to say, technology will continue to progress, so marketers must keep up and keep their platforms fresh.”
Cool Fahrenheit, as a leading radio station, has been invited by the NBTC to try out DAB+ broadcasting, which offers clearer signals than FM, he noted.
“This shows that the radio business is here to stay, and new innovations will be introduced. Radio stations can still generate profits. In the past year, Cool Fahrenheit generated Bt300 million in revenue,” said Prin.