Like it or not, LotusFM is now playing local music. The full extent of this impact on listenership was never really thought out and SABC has failed to take an interest in fully understanding the mess that ethnic based radio stations are facing.
You on the other hand, as listeners of a generation that have been loyal to the broadcaster are now literally the hashtag you as an Indian would understand “#chutneyfordays” inflicted.
Most Lotus FM listeners are airing their opinion on social media reflect not only their distaste in SABC’s move to impose this broadcast reform on a minority ethnic based station, but will also reflect in an expected loss of listenership to other private stations.
Can the SABC ignore this or use this as a means to shutdown LotusFM completely?
From a listener’s point of view, the radio dial is a menu. The listener can choose the button for 106.8 as easily as the button for 94.7. Public radio lives in the context of the full radio dial, listeners don’t choose a specific radio station because they “should” listen to it. They choose a specific radio station because they “want” to listen to it.
“Commercial stations not only do relentless promotion, they understand the essence of what their station is all about. It is a clearer mindset. Programming and promotion people know who they are trying to reach and how they are going do it.”
LotusFM is just taking orders from the top and it seems they are left powerless but to adhere to SABC’s ruling.
The key to radio listening, whether on public or commercial stations, is appeal. Listeners tune to stations with programming that appeals to them and avoid stations with programming the does not appeal to them. Programming causes an audience and each audience has a distinct footprint.
LotusFM like other stations is now open to criticism which hopefully just might affect a reconsideration of what happens next.
Listeners of the station should gather critical mass, providing the driving narratives for a vibrant reform movement for a change in the 90% #localmusic implementation. Nobody can be found today who will deny that the current quality of local content in the Indian context in its present form is the most offensive breach of good taste that we have ever experienced. Cheaply produced South African Indian #localmusic crafted to just barely pass the quality threshold and still be acceptable to large audiences.
SABC, instead of developing new creative talent that we have, you failed to take notice and now…..I’ll say it again #chutneyfordays!
Listeners of LotusFM remember that broadcasting, as public property, is amenable to reform. With the listenership of LotusFM, the station can reassert their own independence and decide to call the tune rather than dance to another’s. It’s not going to happen overnight but it can work to the benefit of both the listener and the station in the coming days.
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See below opinions of readers on our last article: LotusFM: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid