Fans of NU107 continue to mourn over its close-shop last November 7. Calls to revive the station and a promise to be broadcasting online seem to be comforting them while blaming continue to pour on mainstream media demands. But who is really to blame?
It is obvious that 107.5 FM’s format flip was caused by the same reasons 103.5 Max FM re-branded earlier this year. The “masa” format is selling better than upscale formats like those of NU. Radio network owners are willing to ditch an established core audience in exchange of a better money-making programming.
Big advertisers prefer the likes of 91.5 Energy FM, 90.7 Love Radio, and Tambayan 101.9 because they capture more listeners. More listeners mean more exposure and more return for their advertising investments. Can we blame advertisers?
Why are there more people listening to masa stations in the first place? Radio is a medium everyone can afford. Why can’t upscale radio station capture the same chunk of listeners “masa” stations do?
The answer lies in the name of the format itself, “pang-masa”. The challenge with upscale radio formats like CHR (the likes of Magic 89.9) and Rock (NU107), is that these are niche programmings. They cater to certain group of audience as opposed to the “masa” formats that cater to all types of audience, across all economic brackets, age groups, sex, and location.
If we can notice, the bulk of advertisements we hear on radio are geared toward the general market, e.g.: shampoos, detergents, deodorants, health products, medicines, and telecommunications.
Can we blame listeners? That there isn’t enough audience to sustain niche formats, such in the case of NU107? Or can we blame radio programmers because they can’t come up with quality, sustainable and profitable programming?