You’re heading to the airport tuning in to Michael Jackson’s most recent single on the radio. Out of nowhere, the deejay cuts in and warns about a road turned parking lot developing ahead. Stressed over missing your Bombay-Delhi flight, you switch to an alternative route only to hear another announcement, informing passengers that the flight has been delayed by two hours.
So just relax, push the seatback, and consider over which frequency to dial all the more pop picked for you by Gary Lawyer. A talk show, Hindi Pop or Rap, the list could go on yet you unquestionably need another new car radio in the event that you need to get everything. For years and years, the long-ignored radio on the dashboard creaked into life only when a cricket match was being broadcast. Not anymore, Radio’s glory days are back with a big bang, a snap and a crackle as private radio producers ride the whole FM waves to the beat of bhangra rap and, they widely hope, all the way to the nearest bank.
From live traffic updates to airline schedules, FM frenzy has already arrived in all the major types of metros. Launched 20 years too late but not a day too soon, FM radio is the bright new kid on the block, in the Bombay, Delhi, and Madras. FM has caught on rapid than anyone expected, especially in the major cities like Bombay.
“The whole culture was dead. Not any longer alive. We have a mini-revolution in our hands. The broadcaster was not aware of their audience but with the introduction of IRAM (Indian radio audience measurement) they can every bit of them. IRAM deals with wide currency for planning, buying and selling advertising on commercial radio in India. Now radio is back and rage is on all thanks to FM opening up,” stated one of the singers.
“Terrific” is how Banks defines the new opportunities for the whole music industry, “FM usually projects different kinds of music as against MTV. I am able to promote an hour of jazz music every Sunday,” stated by Banks who has signed up with Radio Mid-Day and mixes education with pure entertainment.
This response has triggered more innovative and technological fare. On Asha Bhonsle’s 60th birthday she showcased dozens of her favorite English songs and discussed why she liked the most. Elbowed aside for years by the more glitzy and glamorous television, radio as a major platform is now acquiring, and providing, a new kick to the whole radio industry, FM channels are bringing in new voices, some fresh and some old ones.
Thus, there are proper plans for regular information about traffic and flight timings once the radio channels go live. Till then, producers are recording their programs in advance and sending them to the one main AIR broadcasting studios.
The FM players are currently hoping that all this will translate into local advertising. Currently, advertisers, while acknowledging the potential of the medium, are noticing at the number of listeners and the economics of the medium.
Stated by the owner of a leading advertising agency: “Right now, we don’t have too many cars fitted with radio sets, but this will catch up soon. It did in the West.”
While there’re no data present on the number of FM sets, an AIR survey done in March 1993 estimated that in the whole Delhi there were about 1.8 lakh sets.
Everybody presents in the radio industry agrees though that it’s only a matter of time before the issue gets sorted out properly. Meanwhile, the FM Stations are playing whatever cassette and CD they can lay their hands on even if it’s pirated. After a long time in the shadow of the television industry, radio days are coming back again.