Radio is now back again as the centre stage of entertainment in the Hyderabad city. Justifying the popular saying ‘Old is Gold’, radio, with the advent of FM, became the hotspot again. FM radio has made its comeback in to the mechanical life of Hyderabadis at the right time. The diverse variety of entertainment programs aired by different FM radio channels is one of the key aspects that obliged people to consider radio as one of the important entertainment media.
Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city; people from different cultures and traditions stay and work in Hyderabad. Entertaining this diversified group of people is not that easy. But with the unique range of programs tailored to meet the tastes and interests of different people, FM radio became popular within a very short span. Let us drill down into this topic further and look at different factors which swayed Hyderabadis to tune into FM radio.
Availability of portable and affordable FM radio systems:
Besides, being available in pocket radios and small compact boxes with built-in speakers at an affordable price as low as Rs.100, FM radio is also available as an add-on application in every model of mobile phone, even in basic models. Thus, the availability, portability, and affordability made it popular among different groups of people. From housewives, small business owners, petty shops, students, to employees, all are frequent listeners of FM radio.
Radio is part of daily routine for many small businesses and households in the city.
Once tuned in, the owners of petty shops like hair cutting saloons, tailoring shops, beauty parlours, vegetable shops, etc., and also the drivers in APSRTC buses, cabs, and autos continuously listen to different programs until they log off from their jobs. Even for many housewives it is a favourite past time. For many students and employees who commute by city buses and personal vehicles to their workplaces, it is like a mobile entertainer. They listen to it on the way to their destinations and enjoy their journey.
Unique features of current gen Hyderabad FM radio:
Latest technology, quality of service, interesting programs, reaching a wider range of audience distinguished FM radios from the old ones. Now, let us see what the unique features of current generation FM radios are:
• Best company during long distance traveling!
Be it students or professionals, no one can escape long and tiresome journeys in Hyderabad. With most engineering colleges situated in the city outskirts, students have to spend more than 2 hours on their to and fro journey. Hence, it is quite common to see many students hooked on to their mobiles, listening to FM radio, during their journey. Even their college buses, can’t do without radios.
With most companies being situated near to the outer ring road, commuting for work takes not less than 3-4 hours, especially if the people are moving from one corner to the other corner of the city – Dilsukhnagar or Medchal to Hitech city. Hence, the only entertaining and lively company one can expect during such long distance traveling are the FM radios.
• Not just entertainment, functional and live updates too!
Traffic updates! Hyderabad traffic woes are atrocious – this is why most of the Hyderabadis even in their busiest schedules or in their serious mood will not forget to tune to FM radio. Traffic updates every 30 minutes are surely of great help to divert and take the easiest possible way.
Apart from the traffic updates, many of our FM channels offer a quick wrap up on different events, programs (schedules), the list of most important events and their venues in the city, news updates, score updates during cricket seasons – perfect to plan your day or weekend. Besides, there are news updates at least once in a day. Also, to know any sudden political update or important news, these FM radio stations are great sources to keep you on toes.
• Programs in sync with local flavour and with a touch of international and national flavour!
Any show that is just not a typical Urdu-Telugu mix-up, is hard to get noticed by Hyderabadis. Though, Hyderabadis are fans of all kinds of music, the conversations in a typical Urdu-Telugu-English mix slang appeal to Hyderabadis a lot, and importantly they reflect the cosmopolitan culture of Hyderabad. Besides Telugu, English and Hindi songs are also played.
Few shows like ‘Full to Bindaas’ in Red FM is purely dedicated to Hyderabad audiences who enjoy the native slang (Telangana Urdu-Telugu mix) of the RJ Prathika. Other shows such as, ‘Gabbar Sher’ in Radio City, which is a compilation of funny shayaris inspired from Hyderabadi Muslims, is a great hit equally among Hyderabadis as well as non-natives.
• Reaching out to listeners personally!
Participation of audience is always part of radio culture, but only the way they participate has changed now. Phone calls, e-mails have taken the place of letters. To request their favourite song or to comment on a topic or to have a casual talk with their favourite RJ, people find the direct interactive phone-in programs highly interesting.
Some of the popular shows:
Many innovative, entertaining as well as informational programs with unique concepts are being aired these days. If a few shows are a hit among the public for their concepts/ideas, few are because of the RJs. The following are successful in entertaining the Hyderabadis.
• Morning shows like ‘Happy Mornings’ (Big FM), Hello Hyderabad (Radio Mirchi), etc.
• Comedy skits like ‘Breaking News Babu Rao’ (Radio Mirchi), ‘Raj Ke Saath Bakra Bajega’ (Red FM), etc.
• Programs airing old songs such as ‘Cassette classics’, ‘Geetanjali’, etc. (Radio Mirchi), Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi (Radio City).
• Special programs like ‘Kitty party’, which are specially meant for ladies
• Programs with only English songs like ‘Heart’, ‘Heart of Matter’ (Rainbow FM)
• Listener choice shows such as ‘Aap ki Farmaish’, ‘Jana Ranjani’ (Vividh Bharthi)
• Programmes like ‘Big Charminar’, Paanch Pataka (Red FM) that play 4 and 5 songs continuously at every top of the hour without any break.
Apart from these, other program forms such as contests, phone-ins, latest film songs are highly appreciated by Hyderabad listeners.
Entertaining the present net-savvy generation through an age-old entertainment format is highly challenging, but the FM radio has overcome the challenge successfully.