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!
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