The radio poll (again) - it takes just 60 seconds!

Well, I think it's time once more to conduct another little radio poll to see what people are listening to here in Oman. I do this out of a purely nerdy interest to see who's listening to what, and whats the most popular radio station amongst those of you that read ze blog.

There's been quite a bit of a shakeup since the last time I conducted this survey (November 2014 was the last time) - BBC World Service (English and Arabic) had just launched the last time I did this, The winner of that poll, aka the most listened to station at that time as voted by readers of this blog, was for the first time Oman FM 90.4, which knocked Hi FM and Merge off their perch at the top.

Darren's gone from Hi FM, Kathy left, and then realised it was cold in Scotland and so came back again. The rest of the staff of Hi FM appear to have been imported from London, and I have to say the banter from those two in the morning, Robin and George, has had me laughing a lot recently - poor old Salim is all I can say! James on the drive time show in the evenings also seems good - and as for all of them, well the music isn't everyones choice. I think everyone will agree that binning that ridiculous news bulletin service (Feature Story News) that they were using (and giving us up to date days-old news) was a good thing, their new news bulletins seem much more relevant to me.

Over on Merge, Tom Green has been driving the morning show while Chris Fisher has been doing from what I can gather mostly evening shows - but then this week Chris is on in the mornings again - holiday cover for Tom I guess. I don't really listen to Simon in the afternoons, but that is because I don't listen to the radio whilst I'm at work, and my drive home is 5 minutes. Neal's evening show is steady now, and I like that whilst Hi Fm appear to have pulled back from facebook social media interaction, Merge are still every bit as engaged on facebook as they were before and with lots of giveaways there is more, at least to my ears, social interaction with the audience (or people clamouring for free stuff)!

Both Hi FM and Merge have started broadcasting nationwide (or, to most of the population of the nation), but bizarrely the frequencies for the stations seem to jump around the dial a bit depending on where you are.

Oman 90.4 still has Adam as the morning show host, but earlier this year Marcus left Oman under what I understand was the Omanisation of his role. To be honest I've stopped listening to 90.4 except for sometimes in the morning - I still find the music there is better - I frequently land there when switching from another station for whatever reason (ads, crap music, etc).

Personally I think the music options on both Hi FM and Merge are for all wants and purposes, the same. I'm sure those more heavily involved in the programming of these stations might say differently, but for me, they both play top 40 and they both play "retro" hits from the last 2/3 decades. Adam's curation of music on his morning show is the only one that appears to follow no format at all, with him appearing to just play whatever the hell he likes, which is something I like. However, I find I listen to BBC World Service the most - cant beat up to date news bulletins every half hour!

Anyway, this quiz is totally anonymous and I don't collect uniquely identifying data on any of you, so please don't be suspicious of the demographic questions I ask, they're so I can figure out what sorts of people, with what sorts of spending power, are reading this blog and also listening to the radio here in Oman.

And as for those of you (like my wife) who are hardcore MP3 listeners..... I want to hear from you too!

The survey is just 12 multiple choice questions and shouldn't take you more than 60 seconds or so to complete, and I stress again, the results are totally anonymous. You can fill the survey in by clicking here, or in the form below on this post (although for some reason I don't know some of you won't be able to see the form, so if that's you... click here).

Thanks in advance!

Create your own user feedback survey

le fin.
The radio poll (again) - it takes just 60 seconds! The radio poll (again) - it takes just 60 seconds! Reviewed by Sythe on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. I like that HI FM's DJs are much more professional than the rest of the stations but their music doesn't resonate at all with me. Can't listen to Merge for the life of me because the djs make me cringe half the time with the topics they choose. Oman FM's DJs are less professional than the other stations in my eyes but the music selection they have really does a lot for them. Adam by far is my favorite morning show in Oman and Talal from Oman FM has been a refreshing breath of real rock, soul, hip hop and more from all years of music (I'm a bit annoyed by how often he moves around with his timings though). George and Robin are pretty fun as well whenever I catch them.

  2. HiFM and Merge both play the lowest common denominator in music. They have a morning show, a drive time show, an evening show; but all the music is exactly the same mix of the same songs.
    HiFM in the morning has good banter but then we have the nails-down-the-chalkboard of Kathy's voice or some other drone.
    Merge is harmless enough but it is like a bowl of plain yogurt.
    90.4 is definitely the better choice for a proper blend of music and a bit more of a worldly take on things. Adam is a natural entertainer, Faiq is genuine and Talal was great- nothing better than hie esoteric mix of mostly rock with some cool interludes. Anyone that goes from White Stripes to beastie Boys gets a medal in my book!
    There used to be a good 80s show but that was binned so they could play a pre-recorded show of what they play during the week. Where are the rock shows, the live concerts, the alternative hours, the new releases.......? Nah, let's have more Ellie Goulding or DJ Snake or DNCE or Ellie Goulding or DJ Snake or DNCE or Ellie Goulding or DJ Snake or DNCE or Ellie Goulding or DJ Snake or DNCE.
    When I was in Europe over the summer, or even when I drive up to Dubai, I can have one station on most of the time and not change it but here you can see that the radio station buttons on the car stereo are the most pressed!

  3. I prefer to channel hop between hi fm and merge but usually find myself staying on merge longer. Hi is ok in small doses but the music grates on me. With merge I like the variety and 80s songs they play. They need to improve the signal though because in Bausher reception isn't good. Oman FM I can't listen to as its unprofessional (I don't want to hear 60s rock at 7am on the school run).

  4. My kids love the 70s stuff on the way to school in the morning! Though Adam seems to be playing more of the HiFM style stuff these days.

  5. Can't stand the DJs on HiFm and Merge. On oman fm I liked Marcus, Adam and Talal, the only decent Omani in the mix..someone murder the Filipinos on my behalf because they don't speak English. Oman fm has better music. More eclectic mix. Tired of Bieber and Dj Snake

  6. I'm surprised anyone can tell the 3 "Top 40" music stations apart. While there is occasionally some variety, they generally all play the same songs for the better part of the day.

    As far as the DJs are concerned, they seem to have recently hired a group of people that are even more annoying than their predecessors. And quite frankly, that's no small feat. A tip to the local DJs: People don't turn on the radios to hear you talk. They turn on their radios to listen to music or the news. Try to remember that the next time you're droning on about the "hysterical" hijinks your cat gets up to or the movie you watched over the weekend.

    One final note, the accents of some of the recent hires are intolerable. When I first heard a few of them (a male in the late afternoon and a male/female duo in the morning), I assumed it was a comedy bit on UK accents. Sadly this was not the case.

  7. Hi FM radio has made some great signings with Robin Banks in the morning and James Everton in the afternoon. I love the morning show now with Robin and George it is so different to anything that I have heard before. I hate to say that I am hooked on what are they going to say next. Some may not like it but I am turning up late for things as I can't wait to hear what they are going to do or say next. 10 out of 10 to Hi Fm and the owners.

  8. Not a fan of Darren's replacement at hi fm. Too much talk in the morning and not enough music, There's only a few good rjs here. Adam is a refreshing mix on Oman fm. Cathy cole on hi fm is usually on in the afternoon and Neal on merge in the evening. The rest I can't be bothered with.

  9. Haha- I reckon we have someone from HiFM two posts above!

  10. Won't put anyone down since they might read this and I don't like spreading negative vibes. I WILL tell you who gets me jammin' though :D

    The Salalah DJ Talal caught my ear during a heavy talk about speeding a while ago and I started tuning in to his show more and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of his music (lots of great stuff from all over). He does these great rants about women's rights, driving safely, saving money and its usually aimed at Omanis. It's just really good to hear a local saying it (I'm guessing he can get away with it). Just feels realer. Thanks Talal and I promise to listen to you as much as I can.

    Adam always keeps a smile on my face while driving to work and I'm a bit sorry when I have to get out of the car and leave him behind (I work in an environment that doesn't allow me to listen to music or radio). Although I don't like a lot of the older music being played (I'm more of a 80s and 90s girl) I still can't switch off from him because of how genuine he is. I just turn down the volume when I come across a song I don't like then bring it back up when he talks (Not saying everything is not to my liking, just a few here and there). Cheers Adam and keep rockin'

    Thanks Robin for bringing better music to HI (heard him a couple of times now) and I'm glad there's a bit more variety . I got out of work today for a bit and actually heard some hip hop (Not a big fan but haven't heard it before on their station) Variety is always nice. You've proved yourself (to me anyways) in a very short time. Thanks buddy

    Thanks MM for this survey. I hope it helps give the stations more motivation to improve and develop. SPREAD LOVE!!

  11. There is a misconfiguration in your poll. The last question doesn't have a radio button for the "other" option, and therefore doesn't accept the text. Also, 90.4 runs The Selector show by the British Council which is superb. HiFM has Roger Sanchez but I was really disappointed when Merge stopped John Digweed, Adam Beyer, and Carl Cox's weekly shows.

  12. +1 for the other option not working. Change one vote for 'R&B' to 'Grime'.
    Also should have an option for "streamed foreign stations' on the station question.

    The obnoxious, rude, and unfunny Darren leaving Hi FM has been the best thing to happen to radio here in the last few years, as the George girl is good. She was better on her own than her and Robin are as a duo though, he can seem a bit full of himself and rude like Darren was.

    The Oman FM guy from Salalah is great. And the woman on their 2-5 show is unintentionally hilarious. Also, the 'selector' show that they play on the weekend sometimes plays the best music you can hear on the radio in Oman - genuinely new and interesting stuff from a range of genres.

  13. I do like Oman FM's Classic/Alternative Rock segment - it's simply because those are the songs i preferred listening to. I am not sure if other stations have similar segment or show.

    I do like listening to Oman FM's morning show specially whenever Adam is interviewing someone. I remember he did an interview one morning and one of his questions was "what is your advise...?" Though I don't remember the exact words but the response was like "to be able to listen well, is to turn off your own thoughts or opinion; if you don't, you will only hear what you want to hear."

    I do like DJ Talal not only because he would play whatever Queen songs I requested him to play or even the very classic "Black Betty" (although their AC/DC songs are very limited *urgh*) I like his shows whenever he would try to shut down some rumours he'll be like "Oh, P-L-E-A-SE" or remind people to be more sensible!

    Lastly, I like listening to Hi FM's James Everton. Honestly I am not sure why, perhaps I've been psyched: he shares his misfortunes like, his air conditioner wasn't working, he had palpitations after drinking a very strong coffee, his man-date, the day he barely slept due to loud fire alarm sound till 3AM, etc. Schadenfreude?


  15. I'm the first person that commented on this post. I retract my statement about Robin and George... They are quite arrogant and rude at times. I'm honestly quite shocked that people with that mentality are allowed to speak to the public every day. Baaaah.


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