Monday, November 06, 2006

'Listeners' lifestyles the key to radio sustainability'

Radio broadcasters should get involved in the lifestyles of their
listeners in order to guarantee the sustainability of their stations and
services, the ABU Programme Committee meeting heard in Beijing today.
Addressing delegates to the Programme Committee at the 43rd ABU General
Assembly, Capital Maharaja-Sri Lanka's Nedra Weerasinghe said radio
broadcasters should develop new services that complement the lifestyles
of their listeners.
"In an age of on-demand availability of information and entertainment,
radio needs to respond to keep up with the changes. The answer to this is to
develop new services that listeners want.
"A service that fits a lifestyle is often set for greater success than
a single emphasis on increasingly complex gadgetry," she said.
Ms Weerasinghe also cautioned broadcasters against upgrading to new and
better technology just to keep up with the times.
"We should use technology and not be driven by it. Upgrade only if it
enhances the listening experience and brings you closer to the
listeners, or if you have no choice," she said during the symposium on "Ten great
ways to make people listen longer".

Among the ways highlighted to attract and retain radio listeners were:
- having innovative programming;
- finding disc jockeys that can express themselves powerfully;
- rewarding listeners with competitions and prizes;
- connecting with listeners by inviting them to the studios;
- taking complex issues and presenting them in an easy-to-understand manner;
- maintaining good public relations and social responsibilities;
- motivating staff to interact directly with the public; promoting the station constantly and consistently.

"The key point is that radio needs to better understand what people
want. Radio stations that want to be in business 10 years from now will need
to better understand how consumers choose music to fit their lifestyles.
"It's a question of convenience and enriching people's lives, because
we can provide interaction, information and entertainment the way they want
it," said Ms Weerasinghe.

Friday 03 Nov 2006
Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi