Understanding the Passive Listeners of Fm Radio Stations In South India

K. Padmakumar 1 *

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Radio Listeners could be grouped into two types: active and passive ones. The active listeners show a high level of involvement with the radio station. They demonstrate their loyalty towards the station by actively engaging themselves with the station’s activities. Besides listening to the station’s shows regularly, the active listener keeps in touch with the On-air talents by calling and messaging them quite frequently on radio shows. The active listeners are considered to be an asset to any radio station. The radio programmers place a lot of importance to the programming needs of the active listeners. On the other hand, the passive listeners are the ones who tune in to any station on and off. They do not stick to any one station in particular. Their level of engagement with the station is also very less when compared to the active listeners. They may or may not listen to the station on a daily basis. Previous studies have indicated that Station and Frequency recall ability seems to be very abysmal among the passive listeners.
With the much-touted and much delayed Indian Government’s deadline for the third phase of FM radio bidding fast approaching and with market report warnings of declining radio listenership, it becomes imperative to understand the needs and aspirations of the listeners. In this context, the FM Radio programmers face the mammoth task of converting the passive listeners to active listeners, which is crucial for the survival of FM Radio industry in general. While there are listenership and audience reception studies in abundance, there were hardly any scholarly works on passive listeners. Considering the dearth of empirical evidence in this area, this paper using the Uses and Gratifications theory attempts to understand why the once active listeners have turned passive over the years and to examine the reasons for their low/ no involvement with the radio stations.


Passive listeners FM Radio listenership Audience Receptivity


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue December 2015 - Special Issue, pp. 188-200

Published Online: 01 Dec 2015

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