FM-100 Paving the way for private radio broadcasting in Pakistan

Rukhsar Ahmad, Adnan Ahmad Latif

Abstract


M100 was established in the year 1994 and started broadcasting its regular transmission from March 23, 1995. It was the pioneer radio channel in Pakistan that provided live entertainment programs round the clock and promoted Pakistani music among the population. The entire package and style of the shows on FM100 was catered towards the new generation of listeners in Pakistan. It concentrated on the youth and introduced creative and innovative programs to cater to their tastes and preferences.  The Radio Jockeys (RJs) at the station had also managed to touch the hearts of radio listeners throughout the country and had successfully attracted a sizeable audience away from other forms of electronic entertainment media. FM100 worked meticulously to develop a personal relationship between its RJs and the listeners. It was successful in attracting and retaining talented individuals who spoke well and had the right on-air personalities which resulted in the station’s RJs being more popular than other FM stations. 

FM100 was considered an economical promotional mode as compared to other electronic media. It had an excellent ratio of listeners across Pakistan and provided 24-hour broadcasting services. FM100 was also gaining acceptance as a medium for cross-media marketing, where it was used as a support and reminder medium to reinforce TV and print marketing campaigns. There was tough competition for corporate advertising spends among print, television and radio. While print and television attracted more than 90% share of advertising spends collectively, radio’s share was a mere 2% in a year.

One of the major issues in the radio industry was its changing structure. Some of the gigantic advertising/media groups had established their own TV channels, media buying houses and FM stations. For instance, media magnet and Chairman of Interflow group, Mr. Tahir Khan, had established 14 media companies in advertising, TV, radio and media buying among others. The company diverted most of its multinational client’s radio ad spending towards its own FM station “Radio-One”.  As a result, FM100 found it difficult to compete with such media giants.

Creativity was one of the elements lacking at FM100. For instance, unlike other FM stations, it was still unable to create fictional characters or mascots for the station that could help build popularity and would become its trademark. Another area where the FM100 team lacked was with regards to the jingles and promos for the station which failed to attract new listeners. These were areas that the station needed to improve on if it was to maintain in a leadership position in the FM radio industry.


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