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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, April 15, 2012

Radio Roundup - April 2012


How days fly especially when you have a schedule to manage and you are born with lazy bones, if that’s too hard to picture then just imagine me, I am whole of it. :p  alright it’s time to come up with another post on the blog . So whole lot of happenings and prominently among them is the Shutting down of a Television Channel, yes the Indian entertainment channel. “Imagine” was launched by NDTV and later Turner Corp took it over and brought to us many of the “swamvars”, to be honest few of us use to look forward to them what if the latest one was that of Veena Malik we still were looking forward to it.

So all this while we have only heard about the Radio Channels shutting down their shops, the first of the private radio stations (back then they were more precisely only radio production houses) had to shut shops not because they had bad product or had financial trouble running it but thanks to the Supreme Court. Both Radio Midday and Times FM were asked to vacate the slots they owned on the state run FM channels and Government was asked to come up with a policy and hence came the auctioning of FM Radio Licenses. Then the stations started bleeding, Radio Mirchi shut shop in Pune, Win FM shut shop in Mumbai, Go 92.5 got ready to shut and numerous other small time players decided to give up their frequencies. Eventually only 21 out of total of auctioned 37 remained operational. This brought about a change in the licensing fee structure and with few other changes came the second round of FM License Auction. This time radio stations didn’t shut shop in fact Radio Mirchi re- launched their Pune station and by now Go FM turned into Radio One but they still didn’t stop bleeding.  In Phase 2 out of 338 auctioned only 230 got operational, though few were asked to return their licenses as they ended up successfully bidding more than 15% of the total licenses which was put up as a cap. With the third round just about nearby stations are hoping that there be some crisp guidelines on the Music royalty to be paid by the stations plus allowing stations to broadcast news and sports. Compare this state with that of TV Channels, they have no content restriction, you don’t have to go t through auctioning of the “Frequency” to start broadcasting TV programs, you have a better product with visuals, you have less operating cost per viewer and high potential income on the advertising revenue, unlimited viewership and if you want you can also have subscription fee to cover your distribution costs. And even then you shut shop! Wow Radio you surely rock the boat much better and in difficult waters.

Its IPL Season and like flies to the sweets, everyone is after to suck the nectar, as if there is some. Overnight Radio Jockeys are expected to become Cricket connoisseur cum soothsayers cum experts and few of them do become making me feel are they misplaced as RJs or damn cricket is in our blood and hence being “authority” on it comes so easy!. But then if it’s so common as in our blood then who is going to listen to them, for everyone including listeners have it in them. Sorry let me change IPL from being like sweets to like cleavage branding women, for whom men have to fall to. By the way happy belated world cleavage day, thanks to Poonam Pandey for letting us know. And yeah I guess I am looking forward to her picking a favorite this season from the IPL lot and the “gift” which she would send him across.

I happen to tune into radioone Mumbai breakfast show and immediately realized what’s it with stations having “distorted” mike settings, first it was prateeka @ Red FM Hyderabad and then just as I ended up preaching about that I realized my own settings were distorted on my next show and then came RJ Hrishi’s. Anyway like they say , s*** happens and I better agree to it since I wasn’t any better but dude at least Hrishi and me are veterans, Hrishi much more since his was the first voice that went on air on a privatized FM Stereo on 15th Aug 1993 on 102.6 FM in delhi, mine was 4 years later becoming the first voice to go on air from Bangalore FM airwaves on 31st December 1997 on 101.3 FM Metro (back then the station wasn’t even named and there were no regular shows, this being the only show it would air on an annual basis as there was a court litigation preventing us from broadcasting regularly), to be precise it was me and Anita Naidu who went on air together. Anita Naidu now happens to be the Head Programming of Radio One at Mumbai, the world seems so small! And if you still have doubts, let me tell you Hrishi and me studied together at Lucknow Army Public School, with he in the commerce section and me in sciences. Still think the world isn’t small, alright then me and Anita Naidu use to listen to the same radio show called “Heartbeat” done by Deepa Sreekumar at Radio Midday, where we also use to drool over Nikhil Chinnappa’s radio show, yeah back then he was a RJ, VJing hadn’t happen to him yet. Aah too much of trivia! time to return to present times.

Well I would call it IPL fever which has displaced Gold FM from being number 1 in Delhi, after all they don’t air IPL. So Fever FM is currently Number 1 and in my opinion should remain there until the end of IPL. Fever is now Number 1 in Delhi with 18.9 % (4th in Mumbai, 5th in Kolkata and 8th in Bangalore)  of listeners in12+ Category, Gold FM is number 2 with 18.7% (number 3 in Mumbai and number 9 in Kolkata), Mirchi is number 3 with 15.7% (number 2 in Mumbai with 15%, also number 2 in Bangalore with 21.8% and number 1 in Kolkata with 23.2%) RadioCity is Number 4 with 12.4% (RC is number 1 in Mumbai with 15.4%, number 1 also in Bangalore with 25.8%), Red FM is number 5 with 12%, BigFM is number 6 with 7.8%(Number 3 in Bangalore with 18%, is number 2 in Kolkata with 17%) , Radioone is number 7 with 4.4%, OyeFM is number 8 with 4.2% , Rainbow FM is number 9 with 2.2% and Hits FM is number 10 with 1.9%. Gold FM’s show aired between 10-11AM is still the country’s number 1 show with maximum listeners tuning in, a total of 6 Lakhs 53 thousand! Massive figure.

More on Radio sometime soon, keep dropping by and enjoy my latest Hyperabad show in Enclosures :)

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Independent and reckless Mind machine