The World of Radio
This is basically an anti-establishment critical view of the Indian Radio World which is plagued by the Herd Mentality crippling innovation and evolution of creativity that is so omnipresent in our blood
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Did Budget stump you? or as I claimed on my show just before the budget, that I just don't know anything about it, you too live in "ignorance is bliss" world. [post budget would have loved to add that I am better off that way(sigh)]
Okay so lets quickly come back to radio, the industry is on a lovely southward slide. I meet(virtually) people who think radio industry is a money making elaborate secret yet to be discovered. I mean do you think we are fools here, having worked 18 years in this field and thankfully are well connected to source enough funds to start our own channel and make money for ourselves rather than be the philanthropist that industrialist expect us to be. Yes we are fools but just emotional fools, so even if there is a formula which we are still hiding , chances of us giving it away for few lakhs is not happening.
People expect not just us to be fools but even expect the government to be so, who have framed the guidelines around it, folks think they can start Community FM Stations and run it as if it was a commercial FM station. I mean do you know that worldspace, the giant that it was and so loved by audiences was killed because of commercial FM stations did not allow them to be terrestrial and mobile, the way FM is. So get real, there is enough safe divide between various forms of Radio.
Anyway coming back to FM Radio, nothing exciting has been happening except the fact on the personal front, AIR, last June went on to implement a very controversial decision of theirs in recent times which restricted the Radio Jockeys above the age of 35 to remain on the panel and keep doing radio shows on FM, namely FM Rainbow and FM Gold. It naturally brought a lot of bad press and so it was soon claimed to have been withdrawn though ground reality was another story. Hyderabad in a carefully chosen path went through a long drawn process and finally resumed giving shows to RJs above 35 like yours truly. As on the RJ front, RJ Prateeka is not to be heard, RJ Sameer the other RJ that I quite use to like to listen to, moved out of RedFM and focussed his energy elsewhere. I tried to devout more time to the "The Radio Hyderabad" where besides trying to help people land their foot in the industry by grooming them tried to put together a pirate online radio station.
RJ Priyanka a dear friend of mine and someone who very closely resembles on air to RJ Prateeka is currently doing that evening show on RedFM, I recommend RJ Kaushik and RJ Sangmithra for your Western Music dose(they each host 9am-12 on Mondays and Tuesdays on 101.9 FM in Hyderabad respectively) besides yours truly. I am struggling to be regular but trying to find my foot on the slot on Saturdays, should be alternate Saturdays to start with(Sorry Yasam for making a dent in your slot or maybe you are too busy so in effect its a favour who knows :P).
Do listen and let me know how you find my recommendations and feel free to rip me off, infact listen to my show and tell me one blunder that I committed, shame me publicly or else those who read the blog and fail to mention I will go ahead and give you a blah in return for failing to catch it. Feel free to forward the adverts, trust me that's absolutely fine with me :)
Happy Listening [http://ncrcalling.com/radio/FM-2015-02-28_05h11m45s-Budget.mp3 ]
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Also I am not getting into the details of the stupidity which our society displays by accusing you for those un-moralistic acts when the truth is that, its our innocent radio which probably might have been giving the winds to your oh so lovey dovey associations. Thanks to such stupidity else radio would have been dead long ago. The same radio which in India has grown from This is All India Radio, the news read by… to, AIR FM Stereo all the time in Shibani’s voice. The private stations well they started on a high except perhaps maybe Radio Midday and Times FM which technically being dead can be safely omitted for the sake of KISS(Keep it simple samjhe? )
Okay go ahead and loathe me for giving that extra respect to the set of radio stations (run by AIR) which appears to you in your imagination as the one with ragged clothes(not jeans else you would have drooled over it), dirt all over which needs a good wipe by you to figure out what is there really. And not to mention with voices which appear to you as those coming from the long dug and long covered graves , after all, the Jocks out there have to rotate themselves a good 270 degrees if not full 360 degrees to push all those buttons and levers and kick the butts of the analogue machines which include even the spool tape machines, all this, while they are happily chatting to glory with you. Mind you this is the real reason of why sometimes they appear to be sounding as if they are dying or rising from the death.
Okay so that’s not why I decided to write this today, I mean those reasons stick to being truth like that mole sticks to your skin, lifelong and even beyond and therefore even now, the real reason, the reason of now, has been the RAM rumblings of late. Aha let me enjoy the tease, yes I better after all that’s what one should do when you are the winner and had been called under dogs for ages.
I mean not long ago Mirchi came out with campaign of how everyone believes and understands that radio means them, and no one else, so you be at whatever position it doesn’t matter, and this was to counter the then rising threat from Fever FM. And this came out from the radio station which not only had the first mover advantage (as a Private player) but also remained an undisputed and unchallenged Number one for then 6 years and now for almost almost 8 years before they got displaced. Yes Mirchi this year got displaced by Fever FM in the Week 9 (ending 5th March 2011) which became the New Number One in Delhi.
Everyone said it had to have happened, notwithstanding Naved’s relentless raising the bar performance with the Drive down show called Sunset Samosa, unfortunately no statistics can capture his performance and so truly RAM could never do that. But since I am writing this article based on RAM ratings, I should stay away from critiquing RAM atleast in this very post :D.
Fever came with a calculated game plan , a plan atleast 4 years late. They had a worldwide reputation (Virgin Radio had) of rising to Number 1 in flat 90 days but here it took them years, but man they did it and was it not so obvious that they would? They worked hard towards their plan and finally got to Number 1. I personally don’t like their dual jock humour show (is it breakfast show or still a noon show? ) the reason being they too shamelessly copied (which I am told these days is the number 1 skill needed to be successful) our Hasto Ke Ghar Baste kind of humour but that aside they kept their focus on listeners and did it publicly and over a period of time. Their commitment was all out for everyone to see and I am glad it paid off. But then that’s not what I am trying to write this article for, so lets get on to what I want to write here.
What no one knew and anticipated was how the ICC World Cup will throw their plans and hard work out of the window. Hehehe O man hail the ICC World Cup, it threw Fever to Number 3 and took Mirchi to Number 2 and brought a Station at Number One which never had a plan to become Number one, never cared where it was on the charts and doesn’t even now care or appreciate that it is the Number one station of the National Capital Region and mind you NCR is not the national capital region just based on its classification by Government (for whatever reasons) but it leads the country as the city with maximum number of active listeners year after year. This city boasts of some really great Jocks and therefore its an achievement which should be toasted, cheered, displayed, flaunted and if I was at the helm of affairs at this station I would have ATLEAST got a promo made which would have subtly mocked at all the other radio stations(subtly coz okay because damn it’s a Public Broadcasting Station)
Yes FM Gold 104.6 in Delhi is the NEW NUMBER ONE station in the ALL 12+ TG Group. 2 Weeks back it jointly became Number 1 and as a gesture of being considerate, let Mirchi share that spot then and now its solo number one for the week ending 26th March 2011. Cricket fever will stay for one more week and then things should change but the fact is that at this moment a Public Broadcasting FM Station is Number one!. And in the world where we salute the rising sun(shining sun to be precise) I hail FM Gold and want to congratulate all the folks who are associated with this station and whoever ever worked or contributed to its success and achievement. I know the people at the helm of the station wouldn’t even note this achievement of the station and to them I want to tell, that by celebrating this success they will be celebrating their listeners participation, association and loyalty and so they better do else they will be failing in their commitment to the public of this nation (this is my opinion).
Mirchi and Fever I am hoping this will take you back to the drawing board and bring you back to the ground minus all the pride and perhaps false ego if there was one, and maybe maybe have you bring out some of the Natural programing in your offering.
And for all those who can’t take a new Number 1 especially the ones who were displaced and are going to say well Sports is something which they are NOT allowed to carry yet and therefore in a nation where Cricket is Religion this was bound to happen. To them I want to ask, well what do you have to say about 10-11am Slot of Gold FM which has the maximum number of listeners as per RAM? No cricket was aired between 10-11am, damn this slot has 7.33 Lakhs listeners as per last RAM Ratings and is the number one show at least for the past 3 weeks. All this when my memory fails me to recollect when in the past a show garnered more than 7 Lakh listeners in a RAM Report. So its better to just accept that there is some ‘Gold’ in FM Gold which is shining and its not just Cricket which is giving it that shine.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Okay but lets come back to RAM, I do have a nasty habit of digressing as if I am the official spokesperson on every darn subject and matter (though how I wish I was ;) ) . Alright Mirchi continues to be on top and I often wonder isn't it so boring to just stay where you are? (what if it is the top where you are), especially when they say that, up at the top its so lonely and threatening. Anyway the kind of 6 years spent at the top I am sure they have gotten used to, well Private radio stations in Delhi are completing their 6 ( or 7 years ? ) and Mirchi has been on top all the way.
Fever continues to be Number 2 refusing to let Gold FM take away that position but man Gold is right there with the feet up in air only to land on that podium spot any moment. Fever is riding high thanks to Delhi Daredevils sponsorship (and as we see now Delhi Daredevils are registering wins, so it will continue to pay off well) and Gold FM is starting to get roaring, thanks to Elections getting into action time. Just for folks who love numbers, Fever registered 16.9% listenership and Gold FM registered, well 16.8% .
Radio City and Red FM are neck to neck and are yet again tied up at Number 4, and for some reason I would prefer Red over City, maybe maybe because i have old memories for Red or maybe because Jose(mumbai based jock) and Sachin and Swati, still manage to catch my attention.
Number 5 is Radio One with 6.6% listenership and is on the decline but still better than mumbai where it manages to get even lesser numbers, however Bangalore is their best bet where they last week got 13.3% and are at number 4 (and why they shouldn't, after all their PD is Anil Machado, someone with whom yours truly has spent hours at AIR studios planning radio shows and also the fact that their Programme Manager and Jock, Anjaan moving to the final round of 'worlds best job' and is off to Australia for the final round and getting good media coverage and spotlight)
Number 6 is BIG FM, nothing worthy to talk about, Number 7 is Meow and must be happy to hit that milestone of 5% this week. Like I mentioned last week none of the bottom 3 have ever managed to hit 5% and its quite an achievement for them. Playing 2 Hindi classics in an hour has hit HITS very badly as this is the first RAM ratings since they implemented that change and they are now plummeted to 2.6% where they are tied for the 8th position with Rainbow India FM. I can feel that this change at Hits is triggered by the recession and I mentioned to Sarthak the other day that we Jockeys are not any better than prostitutes where the larger part of society thinks we enjoy what we do however the truth is that its nothing less than a rape with every song that we play. Man when would we get to decide on what needs to go on air?
Man Radio Jockeys are often used as a titillation the way Movie producers use 'item numbers' to sell their awful movies and I hear every second radio listeners wants to be a Radio Jockey!! Bhagwan tum sabka bhala kare! see you next Monday :)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
RAM WEEK 13, 2009
Recession has hit everywhere including radio and it has been months since most of the stations have filled their vacancies। I guess the recession has hit blogging as well because this blog was to have been written on a weekly basis and here it is now left to a mere quaterly। 2009 still has a lot left in it and with the Sensex soaring on the first bull run, the winds of recession might just die out।
Anyway the last quarter hasnt been much in terms of happening on the radio front except for whole lot of people moving out and for the first time one could say, not to greener pastures, infact the story has been sad as most of them are now left on their own without a radio job. Meow almost has revamped their RJ line up, Big lost a big chunk, Mirchi has some new voices and the list goes on. There are no salary increments in the radio industry and its a bliss to have your job intact. The last set of people who made the most just before the recession panic set in were Naved and Anant and Saurab, where Anant and Saurab, returned from BIG and Naved returned without even joining BIG ;) .
However keeping the focus of this blog to just RAM and radio programming, there have been some surprises during the last quarter. Mirchi still continues to be Number one and its a mystery, the only deserving show appears to be Sunset Samosa and Naved has really upped the ante by putting in real good 'sizzlers', if I may call them, in his show.
For once FM Gold has moved down the list and as far as I remmeber RAM has had fixed Number 1 and Number 2, however the week 12 sprung a surprise, for the first time shaking FM Gold and displacing it to the Number 3 position. Fever FM is the new number 2 and has maintained its position now for the second week running. It is going to be interesting to see how long Fever can occupy that position as with Elections round the corner Gold FM will see a surge with people wanting to know the latest political reviews and results which Gold is going to have an edge over. Fever though has already showed a drop of 4% in this week and now has 15.4% listeners listening to it as against FM Gold which currently has 14.4%; so the difference already has narrowed down. Interesting to note will be if and when the Number 1 position is shaken and by whom. My guess is, it will be Gold which could do it in near future and that could be a biased guess with me being a public broadcaster but just listen to any Gold presenter and Mirchi's Khoobsurat(Akriti I guess is her name) and you would understand where I am coming from.
Fever indeed has come a long way, In week 1 as you would recall Fever was on number 5 and was calling for suggestions from their listeners to make changes in their programming. Radio City which was Number 3 in Week1 after their programming revamp, and Red FM, which was number 4 in Week1, both are now jointly at Number 4.
Radio 1 which was Number 6 remains at the same position but due to the tie at Number 4 is cosmetically placed at Number 5. Big FM was number 7 and there is no change in its ranking. However the bottom 3 have had some shuffle. Between Week1 and now there have been major changes with Meow and Hits. Meow has increased their music air play and now airs 7 songs in an hour as against earlier of 3-4 and Hits is now playing 2 hindi classics in an hour. Its like dropping off their pants since Meow was a Talk station and with 7 songs its as good as a CHR and Hits was a niche Hits station and now they are a vanilla Hits station. This change has spiked up percentage points for Meow and Hits both, Meow is now breaking the 5% barrier which none of the bottom 3 have been able to do so far, Meow currently is at 4.5% and except for last week when it dropped, has been seeing a constant rise in percentage points. Hits is now teasingly displacing Rainbow from the Number 9 position, for this week Hits regained the number 9 position with 3.7% whereas Rainbow for the first time that I recall, has gone as low as 3%.
I have often asked this question and stated that revamp in programming the way we do currently is good to spike up your listenership but is not good to sustain that surge; for there is nothing left for your old, die hard true listeners who, once the change in programming is through, leave for other stations and they go away with a bad taste, a feeling of being cheated. There is a huge space for the 'transition' agencies who would smoothen the implementation of change in programming. City revamped and saw a spike but then is lossing its steam, Radio 1 is the biggest example where in Mumbai they use to have a die hard listenership of about 5% when they were niche (Go)and after all of the innovative changes and a decent CHR implementation they are now at 6.4 %; so is it worth to lose your listeners (P1) only to get the newer ones?, the rentention of which is going to be a new challenge and with every new entrant in the already crowded space of CHR, that pie is anyway going to be slashed further?
Isnt aa bull mujhe maar any different?