When it comes to discussing radio in media world, the first question that pops up in people’s mind is, will radio struggle in the digital era ? And the answer in a nutshell is, simply NEVER!
Radio is the only medium which runs its programming on the life cycle and life style of its consumer, which cannot be done anywhere else. Radio has always had rigorous competition, with itself and with other platforms which shared a cut-throat competition with this audio medium, but they failed to meet up with the utility this medium offered!
Radio and competition. When it comes to competition, radio certainly finds its space to breathe in comparison to other entertainment and informative tools. The key strengthening factor is its strength of being costless and effortless and a real-time engaging entertainment source.
At the time of phase one of radio, it enjoyed its monopoly as there was no second media which could engross local audience and its worth mentioning that there were no symptoms of digital competition to battle it out! People had fairs and festivals in every city. Youth used to spend their time rather than being glued to their mobile phones, which is a pretty common sight around us today! Fairs, festivals, public recreation activities till date rely on radio to be first messenger to gather people together and to become a part of these local festivities.
Being local. The biggest advantage of any FM station is its hyper local content and that information being broadcasted in flash of a second which makes it real time and defeats other communication channels in a wink! Radio is still the best platform for public utility and in this world of so many apps, radio has everything tied together in one platform. Another strong point which makes radio more powerful is its ability to do two way communication, which makes it more informative, communicative and transparent as we engage the audience directly. For every city, consumers get a platform to share their thoughts. Here, radio jockeys (RJs) play a vital role by creating the human touch for the medium. RJs of any radio station are the torch bearers of the organization and they make the station like your family member. RJs are trained in a way that they deliver everything in such a casual format, that a consumer considers him or her as a family member in no time.
Why level up?. Now I will provide the reasons why I consider radio has gone a level up in current scenario. As we have seen, there are already different radio stations playing music according to different era targeting different age groups. There are several radio stations which play music regionally or globally apart from the contemporary Hindi genre.
But in recent time there are theme based stations have been launched, like love based stations Mirchi Love and Ishq. The theme based radio stations are already popular in foreign countries and now India is on its track to adopt the same which gives them a constant, customized vibe without harming their musical or content oriented preferences.
No wonder if in coming days we see some more radio stations with different formats, which could be based on the co
ntent and the target group they intent to tie with. Sports is one such category. It has been noticed recently, that in a country where cricket dominates, other sports have also gained a lot of engagement brandwise, endorsement wise and even have fetched recognition globally. This has resulted in not only Virat Kohli but PV Sindhu, Saina, Mary Kom, Sunil Chhetri and other sportpersons also creating a huge buzz in the market.
As being local is the biggest advantage of FM stations, utility format is another factor which adds to the level up and can make radio content more consumer friendly than any other medium. People follow traffic update when they listen to it on radio. Apart from weather, there are so many other local information which consumer wants handy and only a hyper local medium can serve that. And yes, that’s the modern avatar this background medium has taken up. It is a constantly evolving and engaging platform that keeps alive one’s interest in music and quenches the thirst for good content!