In the words of Sammy Ajufo, a new radio station opens up in Ibadan every 5 minutes. While the statement may seem like an exaggeration, it’s really not too far from the reality on ground. New stations are popping up in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in Nigeria, almost every month and that has made many people so curious that they have bombarded us with all sort of questions at Primus Media City. Many people want to know if radio business is really very lucrative, those who are business minded are making enquires about the cost of setting up a radio station, another set of people want to know how easy it is to secure a license to set up one.

Well, I shall attempt to answer as many questions as I can, based on my own knowledge of the industry as a result of critical observations and almost 15 years of personal experience, which has taken me across 5 different radio stations.

It is however noteworthy to mention here that a radio station is not as cheap to establish as it has been made to seem in recent times. While we can argue that cheap is relative, its definition to a Dangote is not the same for someone like me, the truth remains that anything in excess of a hundred million Naira can not be generally regarded as cheap. Is it that lucrative? I’m afraid it is not generally as lucrative as many people have been made to believe. Please note the careful use of the word “generally”, that is just to tell you, radio business could be very lucrative, if you are one of the very few industry leaders. I think this explains the reasons for the bitter rivalry and heavy competition among some of the thriving stations, the desperation to break into the circle of the industry leaders is palpable.

So, if it is neither cheap to establish nor very lucrative, why do we have radio stations popping up like filling stations in the city. I’m excited to reveal to you 7 reasons why people own radio stations. My list is not by any means exhaustive, but I’m sure it captures the most. As a man sold out to the promotion of media industry’s interest, I will try to juxtapose the different type of ownerships with the fate of their workforce. Also, it is informative to note that some of these reasons may overlap and coexist at the same time. That being said, let’s roll;

1. Research and Educational Purposes – Campus radios, Institute radios belong to these categories. They operate with a community license and they are strictly to educate, inform and entertain a particular well defined community. Legally speaking these ones are not to make profit. Their license as issued by the NBC does not permit them to run commercial activities. However, as a Practitioner working there, you may not be famous like your counterparts on commercial radio stations, but your pay should at least be regular. As they are funded by grants, subventions etc. So if you are passionate about a subject or a community and you are not profit driven, this is a valid reason to own a radio station.

Watch out for series 2…

Afouda Samuel writes!

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