24 January, 2009

My Radio Segment, Episode 3

As promised, this Week's episode got some improvements (Production-Wise), as well as a discussion about CHR Stations in Jordan.

This week's episode is available for download HERE, and for listening on the listen icon.

Here is what occurred on the airwaves during the past week:
ListenStarting Tuesday 13-1-2009, the day when news were being spread the fake news of a shooting incident from the Jordanian side has occurred on an Israeli patrol in Wadi Araba. This news hit the radios first on Radio Al-Balad and Hayat FM around 9.30 AM, where Radio Al-Balad broadcasted it at the beginning of its news headlines at 9.30 as a brief news, and preferred not going into more discussion or details until getting more accurate information. While Hayat FM has allocated part of her morning show for this piece of news, and was broadcasting the details directly from Al-Jazeera TV, but tried in controlling the public's comments and interaction regarding it until having an official statement about it.
The Other news-broadcasting radio stations didn't broadcast it on its news bulletins until releasing the official statement from the head of the Jordanian Armed Forces, so we heard this statement 1st on Radio Amen FM and Radio Fann FM, which declined the roomer news, and then the statement followed to appear on the other radio stations, but everyone was broadcasting it like it is, and probably only Radio Al-Balad cared about broadcasting and reporting the series of actions.

In continuity to the public interaction with what's happening in Gaza, Wednesday the 14th's edition of the afternoon show on Mazaj FM, “3al tareeq”, discussed the calls for boycotting the US Products, brands, and restaurants, and the related activism lately in the occasion of what's going on in Gaza. This topic received a lot of feedback and interaction from the listeners throughout the phones calls, emails, and SMSes. And the show's host, Randa Karadshe, had a smart way of reacting among the callers trying to name some brands.
Also in this show, there has been a “minute of silence” on the airwaves of Mazaj FM, after one of the callers suggested that, and the other listeners as well as the show host reacted positively among the idea.

Last but not least, On Beat FM's morning show, “The Beat Breakfast”, on Wednesday the 14th, and while the show host was talking about computer viruses, it seems he got an attack by one of them on the air, causing him some trouble, that he managed to recover rapidly with high skills [recording attached].

As declared in last week's show, this week i'd be discussing CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) stations in Jordan, also known as Hit Music stations.

This genre of stations that puts on its airwaves the latest western musical hits, was one of the 1st genres being developed on the Jordanian airwaves by private media companies. As Play 99.6 started broadcasting in 2004, followed right at the beginning of 2005 by Beat FM. That is until 2008, when we witnessed the opening of Energy FM and Spin Jordan. Having as a result, 4 CHR stations in Jordan, all targeting the young generation until the 30s in age. And most if not all the music being aired on their airwaves are western music in English, and the spoken language on their airwaves is also English, and its pretty rare to hear Arabic on their airwaves despite the fact that those are Jordanian Stations owned by Jordanian Companies, and most of the people working in them are Jordanian.

[Details about the station owners available in the episode's recording]

Those 4 CHR stations are hot on fire when it comes to competition, and much more than the ones between Arabic stations in the sector. A competition that starts from the latest music the play, but continues to shows, prizes, and all sort of creative events and campaigns that exceed the limits of the small studio from which they broadcast. That is obvious that much that one of those stations, Play 99.6, got an international reward back in 2007 from the NAB, gaining the international excellency broadcasting award from the NAB.

All of this, despite the fact that, according to statistics, those stations' ratings are the lowest in Jordan in general! But maybe because the people behind CHR stations are more “skilled” and “business-maniacs”, especially since some of them got international experiences. And because we are not really finding this competition in other radio genres in Jordan, nonetheless Arabic ones. The competition between them is so obvious.

I've did lately some monitoring for the airwaves of those stations and prepared a small study about whats going on their airwaves, with 2 sample time-frames, one PEAK time between 8-8.45 AM on a working day, during the morning shows, and one OFF PEAK, in a Saturday between 2-3 PM.

The study in details is available here

General findings of the study were as follows:

Play 99.6 is still the dominant when it comes to advertisements, with around 60% of the market, followed by Beat FM with around 30%. While no notable ads are being aired on the airwaves of the newer Energy FM and Spin FM, especially when there aren't live shows on the airwaves.

While when it comes to the music being played, and since CHR is all about hit music, the story is opposite! Because the new radio stations that opened in 2008, are notably winning! As they are trying to attract the listeners and getting a larger share in the market, Energy FM for example appeared according to this study to have 79% of its airplay consisting of fresh new music on, and no single track from what was monitored was from before 2008. While Spin FM had more variety in the music, as it featured older tracks as well, but with a high rate of fresh music, and with close percentages to those of Beat FM, which has a bigger concentration of fresh new music during peak hours. But Play 99.6 is not playing that much new music on its airwaves, as the percentage of fresh new music, according to the study, does not exceed 45%. Now some people in the sector have an opinion about that, that people are more likely willing to hear music that they know, more than the fresh new music. And maybe its a strategy from Play 99.6 to keep its listeners in this competition. Also, one notable thing, is that the only Jordanian track that went on the airwaves of the 4 radio stations was one on Play 99.6, and this stations is known for its support of local talents singing in English.

Last but not least, it was obvious that Beat FM and Play 99.6 are probably just the right balance when it comes to talking on the airwaves, and this shows the professionalism and high preparation of their shows' hosts. While during the 45 monitored minutes on Energy FM's morning show, there was 14.5 minutes of talk! Which is almost the third. On the other hand, Spin Jordan was the only station where the hosts speak Arabic from time to time, even though mixed in English, and they even have some jingles in Arabic playing on their airwaves [Recording attached].

Its worth mentioning by the end of this episode, that many thanks go for the guys at Beat FM, specifically Mr Raad Kawar, that has cooperated positively and supplied us with the Beat FM recording.

Remember that you can contribute too, and send in your comments, feedback and any radio observations on radio@ammannet.net

and note that this segment is being replayed Wednesdays at 4 PM now, beside the basic airplay time, Mondays at 10.30 AM.

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