Spiritual programmes are not new in the FM space, with most FM stations beginning the day with their own devotional slot. Over the years, spiritual programmes have gained in popularity and listenership, prompting the FM players to undertake special initiatives to drive listenership. The advertisements are usually limited, but mostly inclined towards the spiritual category. exchange4media takes a look at the programmes bring aired.
Big FM airs its devotional programmes across the country. Nirupam Sonu, Vice President – Programming, Big FM, said, “We air spiritual programmes across Big FM stations from 5 am to 6 am, which has got good response from our listeners. It is national for the Hindi speaking markets, called ‘Seher’ by RJ Shweta, while the South Indian listeners are provided with different programmes, because of the different languages spoken. We air special shows on special days/ occasions. We have got good response from across the country and it is the need of the hour. Every show is based on the mood of the listeners.” Moreover, Big FM also airs special programmes on special occasions, for instance, on Navratri, the station airs live ‘aarti’ from the Vaishodevi shrine.
Radio City Bangalore airs ‘Shubodaya’ (Monday-Saturday, 6-7 am) with RJ Maya. ‘Shubodaya’ takes off with specifying the ‘rahukalm’, which help listeners plan the day better. In the current scenario, where people find it hard to connect with their roots and get the right intake of spiritual quotient, ‘Shubodaya’ aims to provide all this and more. The show provides messages from the Bhagvad Gita, conveyed in a simple yet effective manner. Views from spiritual gurus like Swami Vivekananda, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and Sarvagna are showcased with their relevance to the current lifestyle. This is coupled with the best of devotional melodies.
My FM’s devotional programme is titled ‘Geetanjali’, which is aired from 6 am to 7 am, during which the FM station plays morning aarti (prayer service), which is a day-specific aarti across its stations. The FM station also plays live aarti from famous temples of the city where it operates in, based on the theme of that day.
Harrish M Bhattia, COO. My FM, said, “Our spiritual programme, ‘Geetanjali’, is aired across the seven states and 17 cities. We target anyone who is spiritually or religiously inclined. This show helps us connect better with our listeners.”
Radio Choklate airs ‘Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan’ from Monday to Saturday live from 5 am to 7 am. Each day, the devotional programme is dedicated to a separate deity, for instance, Tuesdays are dedicated to the Hanuman Chalisa. The FM station also airs devotional programmes in the evening, before sunset during festivals.
Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director, Eastern Media Ltd, said, “In Orissa, people rise very early in the morning and their day begins with bhajans, and this was our main objective in launching a devotional programme, which has been doing wonders. In the past few months we have given this devotional programme a name – ‘Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan’ – although the slot was already there.”
Radhieka Kale, Corporate Ad Manager Tomato FM, said, “Kolhapur being a religious place and city of Lord Mahalaxmi, people have always given a very good response for the devotional programme ‘Morning Mantra’. Hence, there are a lot many devotional listeners. We also air a short 10-minute programme on Vaastu, besides giving daily tips on health, yoga, fabric of the day, etc. We have a mature and serious listenership.”
With religion being a sensitive issue in the country, FM stations stress more on the spiritual, steering clear of giving religious discourses. Some FM stations, like Radio Mango have preferred to stay away from spiritual programmes altogether. While this category is quite popular among listeners, there are very limited advertisements in this slot compared to other programme slots during the day.