Local Radio

An interesting story in the Far Eastern Economic Review on how Manila Broadcasting Corp. is revolutionizing village radio in the Philippines by delivering the latest music and news from Manila plus local-language information about the town or neighbourhood:

Under the name Radyo Natin, or Our Radio, MBC has launched more than 400 low-power FM stations since late last year, with another 400 in the pipeline. This network of tiny radio stations represents an effort by MBC to convince national advertisers that they can reach virtually every consumer in the country at the local level. For the stations’ operators, the money they make will depend on convincing small local businesses to advertise, while also selling blocks of the stations’ airtime to local politicians, religious institutions and others with a desire to reach the community.

Using a combination of low-cost transmitters and satellite-programming muscle developed in Manila as part of its traditional radio network, MBC, the oldest broadcaster in the Philippines, stands poised to revolutionize local radio. For the first time, tiny local stations are able to deliver the latest music and news from Manila in tandem with local-language news and information about the village or the neighbourhood.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.