THE PHENOMENON OF CLASSICAL MUSIC RADIO IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL RADIO INDUSTRY ISSUES
In this interview, Irina Gerasimova, the General Director and Artistic Director of the Russian State Music, Television and Radio Center, discusses her experience of running Orpheus radio, the only Russian radio station broadcasting classical music. The commercial success of any media outlet is measured by its ratings in the conditions of market competition. The place in the ranking is based on information that reflects the size and individual audience characteristics, as well as data regarding the place, time and duration of someone listening to a particular radio station. However, the standard market research parameters are not always relevant for a radio station that broadcasts classical music and cannot therefore serve as a valid performance indicator. Radio Orpheus’ development strategy aims to create a stable and quality audience, making the state radio station considered necessary and in demand. Radio has a number of advantages compared to other forms of media, the most significant of these being how flexible it is. This does not only apply to its capabilities of rapidly processing and transmitting information, but also to the plasticity of the internal structure behind the airwaves. Radio can easily be transformed depending on demand at any given moment. The key to success in radio broadcasting is the ability to program the radio network competently. The FM frequency has its own features, however, and the art of running a radio station is not just rooted in the technology. The quality of the final broadcast directly depends on the broadcast journalist’s experience and professional skills. When producing content it is necessary to follow the latest trends, taking into account the interests of the various categories of radio listeners, among whom there are both serious professionals and novice fans of classics. Orpheus’ high level of quality is highlighted by the interest of foreign partners in the radio station’s programs and products. Projects outside of the broadcasting studio also provide the radio station with extra opportunities to promote itself.
When discussing unique aspects of Russia’s only classical music radio station, we must not forget about significant competition from the online space. The number of online radio stations broadcasting classical music has steadily increased. On the other hand, the Internet also provides new possibilities for a broadcast radio station by increasing the coverage area and facilitating im-mediate feedback from the listener. The main trends for the next decade, in the development of the radio broadcasting industry, are related to digitalization. On the eve of the digital radio era, in addition to combating serious technical challenges, it is necessary to carefully work out innovative services that can best satisfy the wishes of the modern radio listener.