Fever speaks Russian at midnight

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 19, 2010
Why Fever FM airs Russian songs between midnight and 2 am in the morning? afaqs! finds out more

Old hits, new hits, back-to-back hits, hits without repetition - FM stations are leaving no stone unturned to provide variety to listeners and maintain individuality at the same time. The latest is the broadcast of world programming and world music, and this time it comes from Fever 104 FM.

The station broadcasts 'With love from Russia' in its midnight-2 am slot. During the programme, the presenter talks about the history of Russia, the life and culture of the people and famous personalities. This is interspersed with snippets of Russian songs, along with regular Hindi hits.

According to Fever FM, it's an effort to bring in world music and entertainment for the youth in India. Speaking on this initiative, Neeraj Chaturvedi, national marketing head, Fever FM, says, "It is part of our commercial dealing with some representatives of the Russian government, who want to promote Russian tourism through us. Also, we have always wanted to get into world programming and it appeared to be the right opportunity."

He adds, "We started off some one and a half years back with a programme based in Nepal. It was like a radio reality show, where we sent our radio jocks to the hill station and broadcast the programme live from there. The programme generated great response among our listeners; and hence, gave us the impetus to experiment more on world programming and world music. The recent programme is an extension of the earlier one, which will be followed up with programmes from Spain and America."

The programme is still in the experimental phase and would gather momentum only if it is liked by the listeners. "Anything new is best accepted by the youth. Needless to say, our target audience is the youth, especially the BPO crowd, which listens to music at night and is more open to international music and entertainment. If we get positive response from our listeners, we will surely gear up and include more interactive content," explains Chaturvedi.

The fraternity is divided in its opinion on the success of such a show. Some find it innovative and interesting; while others have certain doubts.

"At a time when every other FM station is playing the same old film music and jokes, it sounds like a refreshing idea. It may work out among the young listeners, only if it has strong content," says Nikhil Rangnekar, executive director, Starcom India - West.

Atrayee Chakraborty, director, planning sciences, Lintas Media Group expresses a similar opinion. Although she understands that the late-night time slot has been selected to run the programme experimentally, she feels that the show can only take off if it is scheduled properly. "Even the 10-midnight slot can work in terms of listeners and advertisers," she adds.

However, Divya Radhakrishnan, president, TME does not see great prospects for such a show. "I doubt if content in any other language, other than Hindi or English, will catch on in India. MTV tried experimenting with it, but the trend faded with time. Even our discotheques play more Hindi and Punjabi numbers than English ones. Instead of Russian, they could have tried out Tamil music or music in other native languages, which is being experimented with widely these days."

© 2010 afaqs!