The history of Indian radio dates back to 1936, when the launch of All India Radio (AIR) happened. However, until 1952, radio was a mere news carrier. The era of entertainment in Indian radio started during 1952, with a first ever music program aired from AIR. Then the launch of FM station, Vividh Bharathi, in 1957 has brought more diversity in the radio media, airing both entertaining as well as educational programs.
The full-length entertainment shows in radio started only after the advent of Frequency Modulation (FM) broadcasting. This gave rise to the pocket radios and FM enabled mobiles that made radio popular and common among the public. Also, to cash upon this growing popularity, various private companies have launched their own radio stations, providing 24/7 entertainment to the public.
In this article, we will see how the old radio has transformed in to current generation’s FM radio.
Was a news carrier, now an all-time entertainer!
When the radio was first launched in India during 1936, it was pretty much a news carrier. Entertainment was given very less importance at that time. People used to tune only for the news updates and some other general programs. But if we look at the current generation of FM radio we can find a drastic change-over both in the variety and the quality of the programs, along with the listenership.
The recent reports released by Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) service showed that, there is a significant growth in the radio listenership and the listening thresholds have seen a growth of 30% in Hyderabad. Private players like Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Big FM, and Radio city are currently ruling the radio world in the Hyderabad city. By reaching different groups of people with programs based on innovative concepts and ideas, Hyderabad FM radio became an all-time entertainer in less time. Programs aired in the channels reflect the tastes and aspirations of the people in Hyderabad. We can find a mix of Telugu, Hindi, and English programs serving the cosmopolitan crowd in the city.
Gone are the days for big and expensive TV sized radio
The other main factor which made people of Hyderabad tune to FM radio is its portable size and economical cost. Earlier radios were as big as 14 inch televisions. They were expensive too. But, today the size of the FM radio is less than a size of a pocket dictionary. Advancement in technology reduced both its size and price. We can get a FM radio set with built–in speakers at a price as low as Rs.100. Both the portability and affordability of radios, has spread its presence everywhere – middle, lower and high-class households. Now, we can hardly find a bus, auto, saloon, tea shop, and other petty shops in the city without a radio.
Mobility of FM radio
Besides being available as FM radio set, FM radio is available as a free-app with each and every mobile phone – basic model to the most expensive one. This made FM radio even closer to the people, also reaching wide range of listeners. Many students and employees who travel to their workplaces by public transport or autos or cabs prefer to listen to FM radio. These people listen to radio during the peak morning and evening hours and we can even find some programs like Hello Hyderabad, Happy Mornings, etc., being aired to entertain this particular group of people at that point of time.
Even if the person is not having a mobile phone with a memory card to store songs, he can still enjoy the music tuning to various Hyderabad’s FM radio channels.
At present, there are six FM channels aired in Hyderabad, out of which four are private and two are owned by the government. Like in other fields, competition among these FM channels to be the top entertainers exists, which though is ultimately leading to quality entertainment for the public in Hyderabad.
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