Listeners upbeat as Radio One switches to English

13 Jan,2012

By Robin Thomas


By February 2012, listeners in Mumbai and Delhiwill be able to tune into a 24×7 English FM station. While the industry is already abuzz with news of Radio One turning back to being an English FM station, now there is an excitement among the listeners too, because of the differentiation the station can offer.


“One of the reasons I don’t listen to radio is because the RJs talk a lot, I want to listen to music that I like, uninterrupted. If Radio One is switching over to English music, I expect it to switch back to Hindi, just as it happened with MTV and other FM stations. So I have no faith in another FM station turning English but, as long as they stick to English and if the RJs are good, I would listen to Radio One,” said Rupa Gulab, writer.


What could also be considered is the fact that a 24×7 English FM station could bring untapped listeners, particularly those that were averse to listening to FM radio.


Uday Benegal, musician and lead singer of Indus Creed, felt differently: “This is very exciting news, finally, a radio station I can listen to. I currently don’t listen to radio because there is too much of Bollywood music, but now I will look forward to Radio One as it will be English music 24×7. I am sure a lot of people who listen to our kind of music will also tune into Radio One.”


Radio One is not the first FM station to play English songs. When Fever FM was launched in Mumbai, it played Hindi and English songs. It was only later that it switched to being a full time Hindi FM station. Go FM, which initially played only English songs, later turned Radio One to play Hindi songs. The scenario is no different among music channels either; MTV, for instance, played only English songs, now it’s a completely different channel. Besides VH1, there are no dedicated English music channels in India.


While Radio One may bring a much needed differentiation in FM radio, what remains to be seen is whether the FM station can stay a full time English FM station or will it shift back to its old formula of Bollywood or be a mix of Hindi and English music.


Former RJ and actor Tarana Raja feels that there is a chance that the new formula may work for Radio One. “There is an English FM station in Bangaloreand one inDelhiand both have worked well. So there is a genre for English music. I personally love listening to English music and as a listener I would like to have a choice. I hope Radio One does well and inspire other FM stations to try something different too,” she said.


There are nine FM stations in Mumbai and 10 inDelhi, including two government-owned FM stations – AIR FM2 Gold and AIR FM1 Rainbow. There are no dedicated English FM stations in Mumbai, besides AIR FM1 Rainbow which is not a 24×7 English FM station. All the other FM stations play Bollywood songs. Delhi, on the other hand, does have Hit FM, an English FM station. The other FM stations in English are Radio Indigo in Bangalore and Chennai Live in Chennai.


Vinod Advani, RJ AIR FM1 Rainbow feels that there is always room for another FM station in English, but a lot depends on the kind of programmes and the music played, and whether or not the RJs will be allowed to have their own identity. “Radio One will, perhaps, have technological advantage over us but, as far as I am concerned, my show has a strong listener base for English music. I don’t know whether there is a market for a second English FM station, but a lot will also depend on how knowledgeable the RJs are,” he said.


Radio one, a joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC Worldwide, is operational in seven metros – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad.

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4 responses to “Listeners upbeat as Radio One switches to English”

  1. anoop says:

    What happaned to the old RJs?

  2. At last I can get back to listening to radio… I am a extreme music buff, but cannot handle bollywood music (most of it is lifted anyway) – I hope that the RJs are good…..
    Cheers to Radio One! PLEASE don’t back to Bollywood guys!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic News!
    I need Glen, T-Man and good old night shift, Sunday Morning Classics on. Hurry ~ Can’t bear these bollywood spoof and nonsense bollywood song on radio.

  4. Nisha123 says:

    i like this…

    bollywood lover

    nice site…