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October 05, 2005



Two years ago I did a survey on campus that included 150 students on their radio station preferences, and back then it was almost a tie between Sawa and our local Fan FM (which was launched sometime after Sawa with the same if not better pop music base). Now however, I don't think I'm exaggerating if I tell you that Sawa is almost out of the competition; the FM station boom in Jordan has been very interesting to observe...today that taxi driver would probably be listening to Sawt Al-Ghad, a lebanese-owned station broadcasting in Amman, one of many new choices.

Fan is still quite popular, then you have Majaz, Rotana, and the English-language stations Mood FM, Beat FM, Play FM... and those are just the ones I can remember!

Personally I hope the next step will be to have more content-based local stations, not entirely music-centric. AmmanNet is doing that nicely, so let's hope they're successful enough to spur some competition.

The Lounsbury

Have been meaning to comment on this.

In the Maghreb of course we've still got rather too little liberalisation but Morocco has upcoming FM liberalisation. Shall see what happens. Tunisia.... well as much as I admire their general economic policy positioning, their media policy remains neanderthal.

As to the Sawa - Local comp factor, Morocco has seen the launching of the quasi private 2M radio station and they always had the Franco-Maghrebine Medi1 effort. And then there are the State radio stations of uneven quality (although not so terrible as Egyptian state radio was back in the days I was there).

Although I don't take taxi that often, I would say on an overall basis Sawa, even under limited competition is probably running third to the well-established Franco-Maghrebine effort Medi1 (which has a decent radio commentary component in French and Arabic, although rather stereotypically francophone leftist for my tastes) and the new 2M (which lacks real news).

Some further thoughts at 'Aqoul later on.

Tom Scudder

Lebanon has tons of FM stations, and has had since I've been here (5 years now). If only I much cared for pop music (in any of the 3 languages) - Itellyoukidsthesedaysthemusictheylistentoitsjustnoise.

the aardvark

thanks... now where are my Egyptian, Yemeni, and other assorted commenters?

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