IMPACT Annv Spl: Changes in radio programming
Testing new formats like reality shows, niche music genres, talk shows, are important to enhance growth of radio, stresses Harrish M Bhatia, 94.3 MY FM.
Music has been a major driver in radio programming, but with the growing need for differentiation in the medium, programming has started to play an important role.
Radio becoming more credible with news and views which matter and are without restrictions:
Radio is a powerful medium that reaches to all sections of the society. Having said that, it’s potential is being wasted, in other words not being recognised, as there is no freedom on airing of news and current affairs content. Every player in the industry is a responsible media house thus radio should be liberated from all such restrictions.
Experimenting with new formats and content:
Testing new formats and content such as reality shows, niche music genres, talk shows, etc., are extremely important to enhance the growth of the category. For example, we at MY FM keep experimenting with our content with diverse programmes. This has helped us capture the attention and address the varied interests of our listeners.
Target social upliftment - Radio that brings about a social change and becomes the next networking tool:
Radio must help trigger social upliftment and change as it has the needed power and potential to reach out and connect with people. I feel radio is the biggest source of information for people. Today, FM stations are extremely active with corporate social responsibility initiatives for the betterment of society.
Programming which gives a chance to localities to showcase their talent:
In order to increase listener base and strengthen brand connect, it is imperative for radio to offer a platform to the common man to showcase their talent.
An ad-free radio station - A revenue model based purely on sponsorship:
Another important change that needs to be seen in radio is a model that offers listeners uninterrupted musical experience while keeping the medium viable purely on sponsorship.
An all-character radio station:
Variety is the spice of life. Following the same, radio stations now need to take a step ahead and move beyond the usual RJ shows. A new flavour altogether needs to be added to the world of radio. For example, characters like My Chingum Boy. Such characters should be incorporated in the daily programming agenda in such a way that they play the role of the RJs and become the face of their respective stations. Radio stations need to craft more and more unique and distinctive characters in order to give their listeners a refreshing and holistic dose of entertainment.
Anyone can walk in and host the show – Listener generated content:
One needs to introduce a concept, wherein a station becomes for the listeners and by the listeners. Anyone and everyone should be given an opportunity to come in and host a show. This initiative would make the shows more interesting as there would be no fixed scripts to be read or spoken about. Moreover, this will increase spontaneity of programmes and listeners would come forth talk about things close to their heart and issues that affect them deeply. Hence, this will make radio the common man’s medium in the true sense.
(Harrish M Bhatia is Chief Executive Officer, 94.3 MY FM.)
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