Speaking on the occasion of World Radio Day, Prasar Bharti CEO, Shashi Shekhar Vempati on February 13, 2019, observed that this year, the theme is dialog, tolerance, and peace. It is an interesting theme, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Radio has evolved as a platform for people to connect across regions of India, across cultures. A great example is the Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat which has brought radio back to the national discourse as a medium. It is important that increasingly more digital capabilities are built out, making radio accessible as a medium through devices of choice that are easily available to the masses across India.
The fact that FM chipsets were embedded in smartphones made FM listening very easily accessible, even if one is on the go, or working, or commuting. This was a very transformational change that has popularized FM as the medium of choice to listeners which is also reflected in the expansion plans of All India Radio (AIR), where increasingly more investment is going toward FM transmitters and FM stations.
This is possible largely because of this convergence that is happening on devices with smartphones capable of catching FM signals. This transformation was taken to the next level when AIR services were launched on Artificial Intelligence-enabled devices like Amazon Alexa.