Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Looks like the #1 obsession is contagious.

It seems that once na nagiging #1 ang himpilan mo, doon na naguumpisa ang pagmamayabang. I have to admit that it’s true, especially on stations which I will spotlight. Better stay tuned to find out why.

Kantar and Nielsen surveyed listeners and viewers on what station they listen or watch the most and the basis on their surveys will be forwarded to broadcasters and advertisers. Survey results will affect the outcome and performance of a certain station. Stations would be proud of being #1 on a certain time, but boasting about being #1 for a long time, pagmamayabang na yan.

Let’s talk about the stations that liked to boast about being the best, but survey results proved otherwise.

MBC FM TRIO (Love Radio, Yes The Best/Yes FM and Easy Rock)

First on the spotlight is the MBC FM trio. DZRH might be home to Mocha Uson and Greco Belgica, but they will be discussed on another time. Let’s spotlight the MBC FM triopoly first. First up on the MBC FM trio is MBC’s flagship FM station, Love Radio.

Love Radio loves to boast about being #1 for 15 years already, especially to its loyal listeners, as well as advertisers. But boasting about it for a long time actually hurt the station’s portfolio, as MOR and Barangay LS have beat them in Metro Manila Kantar and Nielsen surveys. Even their provincial FM stations have suffered ratings slump, as well, being defeated by stations like MOR (in Puerto Princesa, Legazpi and Davao), Barangay (in Cebu (Nielsen)) iFM (in Gensan (Kantar)), or even Brigada News FM (in Cebu (Kantar), Gensan (Nielsen), Zamboanga and Koronadal). Reason to blame? The loss of Papa Jack (he resigned his post on Love Radio and has since moved to Energy FM (as Papa J)) did hurt Love Radio. Even with the addition of Lloyd Cadeña, Love Radio slumped to #3 on the January 2017 Kantar Media survey, and we are certain for sure that Love Radio will stop boasting about being #1 and accept the fact that MOR and Barangay LS are the kings of FM radio in Metro Manila.

The second on the MBC trio is Yes The Best. Yes FM Manila changed its branding to Yes The Best to target millenials, while provincial stations kept the Yes FM name. Despite its focus to target millenials, Yes The Best even boasted about being #2.

So much for being The Millenial’s Choice. Based on January 2017 Kantar Media survey, Yes The Best is actually #6, trailing behind iFM (#5) and its own sister stations Love Radio (#3) and Easy Rock (#4). Even their playlist is actually masa-based and targeted jejeje millenials, not the real millenials. If you’re a real millenial, there are other options for your music mix. There’s Home Radio, or even music streaming sites you can listen to, if you’re sick and tired of Yes The Best’s masa playlist.

The third station on the MBC trio is Easy Rock. Even on the January 2017 Kantar survey, Easy Rock is #4 among all FM stations surveyed in Metro Manila. Want to know why? Their playlist is almost identical to its sister stations Love and Yes, and more and more PUJs and PUV drivers listen to that station. Even Ralph talked about why WRock is way better than Easy Rock. If you missed WRock, you can still listen to their Cebu station online.

GMA 7: NUMBER 1???

Another station who loved to boast being #1 is GMA 7. They have Nielsen ratings survey to back it up, but they insist on being #1 nationwide, especially in Mega Manila and Urban Luzon, without any regard to the rest of Luzon, as well as Visayas and Mindanao, where there are several major markets on these areas. Kapuso fanatics will defend their beloved network till death, but TV observers noticed problems the network must face: their beloved weekday Astig Authority block is sinking, lack of talent development, as referenced by negative reviews of Full House Tonight and overemphasis on veteran talent, especially ignoring younger talent, blurred lines between GMA Entertainment (producing a public affairs program) and GMA Public Affairs (producing much-criticized entertainment programs), closure of originating regional stations, producing expensive programming, and questions surrounding GMA’s digitalization plans. With GMA facing a lot of problems, the only way to save GMA is for Gozon to give up his controlling stake and to fire Rasonable for good.

OTHER YABANG STATIONS

Even some provincial stations are not safe on the yabang craze. They still claim that they’re #1 from here and there, but ratings figures proved otherwise. Even on my home market, Koronadal, Happy FM Koronadal boasted on being #1 (just like their sister stations in Cotabato and Kidapawan) but have not even reached #1 for five years already since 2011, either from Kantar or Nielsen (and they finished #2 on Q4 2016 Kantar ratings on that market, which I will tackle soon).

As a listener myself, I have the right to make choices on my music mix. If these stations insist on their pagmamayabang mantra, it might end up on their downfall. Just stop boasting and make quality listening and viewing choices more convenient to Filipinos. So stop boasting.

Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Brigada’s Success Explained

Looks like 2016 really is a good year for Brigada after all. For anyone curious on what station they really are, Brigada News FM’s format is actually a hybrid of an AM station and a FM station airing the Hot Adult Contemporary format, well-known in the country as “masa”. Brigada Healthline might be their main advertiser, it is also sought after by advertisers after they heard the success of some of their stations.

If you wondered why Brigada News FM is considered an underdog by listeners in the Metro thanks to their weak signal, we need to take a look further on their success elsewhere.

The signal of 104.7 Brigada News FM National might be weak in parts of Metro Manila, it dominated the airwaves on its home market, Batangas, where the frequency is currently licensed. BNFM National proved on the 2015 Kantar Media survey to do just that.

Following the success in Batangas, the success went to the south and found its way to South Cotabato. 95.7 Brigada News FM Koronadal dominated the airwaves after that station was proclaimed overall #1 radio station on that market, based on the 2015 Kantar Media survey, besting more established names like RMN, Love Radio and Bombo Radyo.

Afterwards, the success found its way to Zamboanga. Just last February, 89.9 Brigada News FM Zamboanga became the overall #1 radio station on that market, also based on Kantar survey. It even beat some established names like RMN, Yes FM, MOR, iFM and Star FM. The news FM market in Zamboanga might be competitive (89.9 BNFM vs. e-Media News FM 105.9), but Brigada proved its worth.

And it continued on the place that started it all, General Santos. Just last summer, Nielsen proclaimed 89.5 Brigada News FM as the overall #1 radio station on that market. Not just that, it even defended that title as Nielsen proclaimed just last November that BNFM Gensan is still the overall #1 radio station. It even bested RMN, Bombo Radyo, Radyo Ronda, iFM, MOR, Home Radio, Wild FM, Love Radio, Barangay and Magic to do just that.

And it even continued to the Queen City of the South, Cebu City, considered as one of the largest and most competitive radio markets in the country. 93.1 Brigada News FM Cebu proved to itself last November that the said station became the #1 FM station in Metro Cebu, besting Barangay RT and MOR, who were battling for the #1 spot for years. Not even that, Brigada even destroyed Radyo5 101.9 News FM Cebu out of the Top 10, based on data from Kantar Media. RMN might dominate Cebu’s airwaves, for now, but other stations have considered Brigada News FM Cebu as one of the competition on one of the most competitive radio markets in the country.

Perhaps we should tell the story of Brigada’s success in markets where they’re not the #1 FM station, preferably the ones where they dominated the news FM category. In Davao, on the recent Kantar Media survey released this month, MOR might be #1 on the market, 91.5 Brigada News FM Davao, despite being ranked #7 on the FM band based on the station’s ratings, it even beat Radyo5 101.9 News FM, as the news FM leader on the most competitive news FM markets in the country. Not just that, they also beat 94.7 One Radio – Radyo Ni Juan, 105.9 Balita FM (reported to be inactive since end-September), and 98.7 Home Radio News FM (recently entered on the news FM market this year as a hybrid news radio/Top 40 station). BNFM Davao knocked out its competition out of Top 10 on Kantar survey, even behind Top 40 stations Monster Radio BT 99.5 and Magic 89.1, who ranked #11 and #12, respectively. In Kidapawan, North Cotabato, 97.5 Brigada News FM Kidapawan, despite being #2 overall where 88.7 Happy FM became #1 based on Kantar Media survey last February, they dominated the news FM segment on that city, beating 107.9 One Radio – Radyo Ni Juan and UMBN’s 92.9 Radyo Ukay (simulcasting its sister station Radyo Ukay 1089 AM).

There are some signs that 102.5 Brigada News FM Cagayan de Oro might beat 99.9 Magnum Radio, but time would tell if they did just that.

Manila will still think that Radyo5 have set the standard of the news FM station in the country and they still think so. Radyo5 might have started the trend back in 2010, but an unknown brand out of General Santos City, Brigada News FM, did revolutionize the news FM format that the people loved. Dumarami nga ang mga news FM stations na nagsusulputan like Muews Radio (with stations in most minor markets and Iligan being its significant major market), One Radio – Radyo Ni Juan (based in Davao and has stations in Davao Region and in North Cotabato) and Radyo Bandera (based in Palawan with stations in Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Bukidnon and Sultan Kudarat), but no one can match the success Brigada has achieved in the past two years.

For Manileños who still doubt Brigada’s success in the provinces, time will tell when Brigada would make an impact on the already-crowded airwaves. I repeat, time will tell, and a full-powered frequency to boot.

Brigada’s Success Explained

New Kid in Town in Koronadal FM

Looks like Brigada, Happy, Gold and Love are now bracing for a new, albeit low-powered competitor. Koronadal City, a bustling city of 158,000 (2010 NSO Census) and an hour and a half away from General Santos City, now has five FM stations. The sixth FM station, 97.9 Spring Radio, is licensed in nearby Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Enter 93.9 Marvelous Radio. The said FM station is owned and operated by Marvelous College of Technology, Inc. and its campus is located at M.H. Del Pilar St., Brgy. Zone IV, in this city. The said station is now in test broadcast since May 13 and is now airing the same music offered by its FM competitors. It is Koronadal’s first campus-owned station since 104.1 Wow Radio owned by Green Valley College Foundation, Inc., which signed on last December 2012 (the said station signed off last 2013, thanks to the entry of 95.7 Brigada News FM). As a campus-owned FM station, the said station is low-powered and its signal is best heard within the 300-meter radius of the said campus, which includes Protech Center, South Cotabato Provincial Capitol, Rizal Park, South Cotabato Sports Complex and Notre Dame of Marbel University. If you want to try to listen to that station in areas like Ace Centerpoint and KCC Mall of Marbel, you need a bigger antenna to pick up the said station.

Let’s see if that station will hold on for a long time, even when its four full-powered FM competitors are stepping up in order to become the top station in Koronadal.

New Kid in Town in Koronadal FM