Media Boom in Pakistan – 2, The FM Phenomenon – Advertisements and Listeners

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In the last post, I gave our readers a brief intro of the media scene in Pakistan. Now I’ll like to have some dissecting actions taking place on the media industry of Pakistan. Before embarking on a long and arduous journey on analyzing the TV industry, let us have a go at the Radio scene, FM Radio to be more precise, in Pakistan. The traditional AM radio was literally dead in Pakistan by early nineties. The urban listeners were fed up with the old-fashioned type of entertainment that was and still is the hallmark of Radio Pakistan.

Braving all the above mentioned grim realities of radio scene in Pakistan, the first FM channel of Pakistan, FM 100, was launched in 1995. This channel revolutionized the radio scene of Pakistan. Targeting the young and urban population, FM 100 gained massive listeners base in a few months. The people who were sick of traditional radio switched over to FM because the a) the content was new and pop-oriented (b) the interactive style with live call in really caught people’s attention and the DJ phenomena was also warmly accepted by the urban masses

To cut the long story short, the bureaucracy at the Radio Pakistan decided to launch a Sarkari FM channel, FM 101, in 1998 to curb the growing popularity of FM 100. Since 2001, we’ve seen a massive growth of FM channels all over Pakistan. It’s been estimated by the government that there will be more than 140 FM channels operating in Pakistan, by the end of this year. Now FM listening has become a habit of many Pakistani urbanites irrespective of their economic standings. In fact it’s become almost impossible to not listen to FM channels while driving. The FM mobiles have further broadened the listeners’ base of these channels. I must say that urbanites have become sort of addicted to FM mania.

As they say, quantity and quality are two opposite sides of a coin, so same is the case with these FM channels. Only a few of them stand out in quality. First let’s have a look at the sub-categories of these FM channels. The most popular ones are indeed the entertainment FM channels. The second one deals with community based channels. The community based channels mostly cater to the educational institutions and NGOs. We also have some sectarian based FM channels (of course operating illegally) in the tribal areas, which are a great mess for national security.

This post mainly deals with the entertainment based channels. Although we’ve seen a tremendous growth in this industry but there is still a huge room for improvement. As per the international norms, Pakistani FM channels also cater to different social and economic groups of Pakistan. First we have the hi-fi FM channels which mostly cater to the elite and the professional classes. City FM 89 is the most notable one with its crisp programming and popularity among the target audiences. Some of its programs especially Cloud 89 has garnered international repute for their socio-political content and innovative concepts. There are some critics too who think that the moderator of the program, Hameed Haroon a.k.a Red Baron tries to force his own ideology on the interviewees. Radio Active 96 is another elite channel catering mostly to the young generation.

Radio One FM 91 is a channel with broader listeners’ base. It caters both to the desi as well as vilayati music lovers. The content and style makes this channel one of the most popular ones among all the urbanites. Then there are other channels which mostly play Pakistani and Indian music like FM 100, FM 101, Apna Karachi 107 (famous for its traffic updates), Hum FM, Must FM and others. Their quality ranges from good and average to being gross. The old channels especially FM 100 and FM 101 have now lost their significance and major chunk of listeners due to their scruffy programming.

Now let’s have some dig at the advertisement trends of these channels. Unfortunately, Radio Pakistan still takes the big portion of the cake, followed by the oldest FM channel of Pakistan. One wonders why the advertisers still prefer the “grand daddies”. I think the sole reason is the extensive coverage of these channels which attracts the wallets of these advertisers. The advertising revenues of these FM channels can be seen here (Please note that these revenues are in millions, not in billions as written over there). The quality of advertisements is quite appalling on most of the channels. I am surprised at even the elite channels like City FM 89 and Radio One playing the same ads of candies and phone entertainment services. At least they should prefer quality over these nasty ads provided that they are owned by business tycoons.

On a final note, it’s quite satisfying that FM channels, despite their shortcomings have revolutionized the listening trends in Pakistan. Most of these channels have sprung up in a few years and needs time for evolution. One can hope that with the passage of time, the process of “natural selection” will take place and the sub-standard FM channels will be discarded by the listeners. I am giving you two links which further describes the FM phenomena in Pakistan here and here. Regards

Facebook comments:


  • salam: all rjz doing a veryyyyyyyy nice job

  • so de FM sales team tryin hard to sale fm97 by leaving msgs on websites,,good job,,,but still i cant see the improvement,,i mean wats new u ppl givin to ure listeners,,,,similar stuff is available on other FM channels,,,,gimme de reasons
    may be u r nt provide good services to de media buyin houses
    may be u r fail in de department of marketing
    i haven’t see a good marketing of FM97,never get any prmotion stuff based on hard or soft copy.

  • pls send me this type of information. these are very good and helpful in my studies and routine work to understand the media.

  • the information is very good pls continue this.

  • ilike fm radio and mera dil chahta hae ke maen dj bn joen aur mere pas woh voice bhe hae

  • FM 96 walay Achay JR ko x kew ker daty ha
    i am big Fan of RJ ISHA,
    wher u live be happy
    remember in prayer
    jub sa ap na FM 96 chora ha ma na fm sonna choa dia
    i mis u Isah

    Faheem Ramey
    G.C.T Sahiwal

  • i say to all users
    “Always Be Happy”
    FM96 is the Best Fm of The World in mu thinking
    ok Allah HAfaz
    Faheem Ramey
    G.C.T Sahiwal

  • hi salam i wana become a dj

  • Zahid Mahmood

    I am 19 years old, and student of Electronic Enineering in 4rth semster from Hamdard University, Islamabad Campus,Pakistan.

    I want to do a job in media,plz give some chance

    HIGHT 5.11
    WEIGHT 70
    BY SEB 15
    AMEIRCA “A” A TO”z”
    BANKOK “b” A TO “z”
    COLUMBO “C” A TO “z”
    “A” TO “Z”

  • well u pepl are trying…bt stil for heavens sake stop breaking legs of english…n nw fm has bekm al about adds ‘sponsred shws n sucks…….

  • hi,
    im sania and the student of bba i want to improve myself as a media member pls any one help me in this way.PLZ

  • hay iam waqas i live in sargodha i love fm sunrise 96

  • world tarde senter age 25name “jibrangame name “the king of fighter”home ph no 6369280home adress is a.375 block 12 f.b.area gulberg karachi pakistanbe a model jobe amairca a a a to zbankok b b a to zcolumbo c c a to zengland e e a to zfathers name “saghir”religion “islam”nic “42101-1807196-3″date of birth 01-06-19823 talwaar 3 ghanta film2 talwaar 2 ghanta film1 talwaar 1 ghanta filmwww.apnakarachi.comnashaaaasheen sheenaleef aleef a to zcolification “inter net”us kay hair gold kay us kay teeth gold kay three very three very three veryjub un ka naam khwabo main ana to jaysay badlo ka garajna yea aleef star eyes mainaleef moonz surajaleef skyz zameenaleef aagz bijlia to star7up.sprite.pepsi.politice pet. chakor chestsania.sameena.shuimaila.shagufta.sheela.sheena.shella.”7 star”my name is black jack .badal.sahil. politice pet “chakor chest”titanic.terminater.turki.politice pet chakor chestsuper star.duper american film tv star.panju starworld trade tv.panju starage:27birthday:June 1location:karachi, sind Pakistan relationship status:single

  • shakeel shaukat

    i realy like yur programs and songs but i dislike “Hakeem Solaiman” Allah Hafiz

  • hey guys salam 2 all of u…
    i am working for fm sunrise pakistan 95 jhelum because it is the only channel now which is promoting local talent…
    love u all !
    catch us live on
    email me on :


  • Hello sir,
    I want to joine Fm sunrise 97 islamabad but i don’t have address and this email ID ( is not working in my side. please helpe me and send me a adress i will post my cv that mail adress. thanx

  • Victor John Sohtra

    Hi Friends:
    Im Victor John Sohtra living in Toba Take Singh, i was regular listner of Fm 95 Toba take singh.
    But, i leave as Wajad Rana Leave the Fm 95.
    Any One can give me phone number of Wajad Rana?
    Please sms me on +923227648729
    Victor John Sohtra

  • HI Dear
    Radio FM Sunrise Pakistan serves the area with a motto “Love People Love Pakistan” (Logon Say Piyar Pakistan Say Piyar) and so designs and trailers the programmers to high light the developmental projects with interaction of masses. Different segments for particular group of listeners are planed for Youth, Children, Women and Arm Forces.

    This is the Community to belong the all persons who in Media >

    Lets join hand to hand for reaching end to end.

    We have not any other community at any place i.e Facebook, This is only community of FM 97 SunRise Islamabad. So Join it on Orkut.


    Love People and Love Pakistan.

    This is us for you.

    For Listen Live across the world.

  • salam. i listen almost all rjs but whom i like the most are azhar hussain the best on 103, zain on 105 n last but not the least cool dude ali ansari. they all are doing great jobs n there voice are great……


    this iz shumaila i want to join fm that iz my last wish of life i dun lyk anything in life as i tried for many jobs bt i didnt find any i want to enjoy life once plzzzzzzzz help me out


    asalamo alaikum
    shumaila again if anyone can help me in joining fm then cntct me 03332369061 m very disappointed 4rm life m crazy abt joining fm since i waz 18 and now m 20 plzzzzzzzzz do me a favor i can do well nd fk if ur reading dis out m biggest fan of urs i have sent u a mail bt u didint replied plz i need help

  • hahah….agar koi job bat raha ho to mujhay bhi mail kary hahah

  • Sajid & Farooq shah


  • yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • nilam bebo mushtaq

    hi fm 105 me nilam bebo mushtaq n me wants to ask that how i would be a rj
    its ma dream to want to be a rj

  • hey shamaila this is fahad do call me at this number
    i ll help u out

  • muhammad ahmad saeed

    sir i want to become apresentr.i hve a ability to do any thing as apresentr .my qualification is B,com.plz give me achance

  • Aslamu Alaikum All,
    My subject is Awaz.
    Today i decide to take an Awaz on current going things in Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
    My first point is why in Pakistan everything is going back/negative
    Our whole generation why not taking a step about these all elements
    2-Petrol price
    3-Cng Gas shortage
    4-Job less level increasing
    5-No big project in construction in Pakistan
    6-Bomb Blast in Pakistan
    7-Our Leader are quite no one want to do something good for Pakistani
    8-Poor Ness level is increasing
    9-Theft cases increasing
    10-Suddend Death Increasing (Accidents)
    Is we are right on our way is we are doing good
    1. All police person blocks the Roads and peoples why quite is it way to find criminals
    2. All Police and Officers take money in Cases
    3. A normal students don’t respects olders
    4.A common man don’t use traffic rule always want to go in less time not thinking he breaks traffic rules
    5. A shop keeper cell sugar on high rates as he take it low prices from store
    6. A patrol pump organization block sale when they know its prices are increasing
    7. A rich person does not want to do any help of poor persons
    8. Our Resources not using on proper rite way
    9. Why we not weep when peoples died in bomb blast we should know in future our brother also can b die in that
    !0.Why police does not help in crime case they give opposite reaction they give troubles poor person who already lost his money or Life
    These are Ten major points in which I want answer from my brothers and sister and also from all media channels
    Is we are Help less ?
    Is we can’t do anything?
    Is nobody can voice against these?
    Is humanity finished from our hearts???????????????????????????????????????

    Think and reply me please I will go for all of these .
    Insha Allah some positive result will come out
    Please reply me at this id

  • i thnk fm stsn z wrkng vry gud!!!!n fr paki bst futur v mst hv to wrk fr it,thnx

  • omer ziaee……..tmhary ilawa kon ho sakta hai is number ka mutalashi :) …. sahi dhonda tm nay

  • March 28th, 2009 at 4:37 pm
    HIGHT 5.11
    WEIGHT 70
    BY SEB 15
    AMEIRCA “A” A TO”z”
    BANKOK “b” A TO “z”
    COLUMBO “C” A TO “z”
    “A” TO “Z”
    be a model jobe
    insaan mara phir kia cheeta cheeta
    cheeta maraa phir kia foxxy foxxy
    foxxy mara phir kia hiraan
    chakor chest politice pet

  • sir i want to become a presenter.i hve a ability to do any thing as apresentr .my qualification is M.A.can you plz me achance

  • hi my name is jibran saghir
    and i m a studient in classs bba from preston university
    my age is 26 above
    my mobilbe no is 0336-3857548
    ((((((((((aleef aleef))))))))(((((((((z)))))))(((((((a to z)))))))))))))hi my name is jibran saghir
    and i m a studient in classs bba from preston university
    my age is 26 above
    my mobilbe no is 0336-3857548
    ((((((((((aleef aleef))))))))(((((((((z)))))))(((((((a to z)))))))))))))


    mera naam dilawar hussain hai or main Shorkot main rahta houn. Main Fm 95 Ka regular listener houn.Mera favorite show Roshan Bhai ka hai.plz play the song JUDA HO KA BHI TU MUJH MAIN KAHIN BAKI HA.OR mera message Roshan bhai ka program main zrooooooorrrrrrrr owner ki gia ga plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. UR BIG FAN dilawar hussain

  • aoa..i am currently doing media sciences in islamabad and i want to become RJ in FM 89 or any other..please please do help me out if possible :) thanks!

  • I am Divisional Engineer in PSO.

  • I am Divisional Engineer in Pakistan State Oil Company.
    Cell # 0321-6939889

  • weri nic fm

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