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Radio Ownership in South Africa

Posted by radio On May - 22 - 2012 Comments Off on Radio Ownership in South Africa

By Nyeleti Machovani

South Africa is the leading country in Africa with regard to telecommunications. It boasts the most developed digital network of wireless, satellite, and fixed-in technology in Africa.

Ownership and control of radio station is strictly regulated by The Independent  Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), which is the regulator for the South African communications, broadcasting and postal services sector. An average of 58.3% of all private commercial and secondary market radio stations is owned by HDI. In addition, Kagiso Media and Primedia own the majority of radio broadcasting media. There are 126 licensed community radio stations in South Africa, broadcasting in all the nine provinces in different languages.


The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has a total of 18 radio stations. There are 15 Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) radio stations broadcasting in all 11 official languages, and 13 private commercial radio stations which are all regional or provincial stations.


ICASA licensed 3 other commercial radio station in areas they called “secondary markets”. These 3 radio stations are majority owned by HDI (Historically Disadvantaged Individuals).  ICASA also issued 3 more licenses in December 2011 for primary markets Gauteng (GP), Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) & Cape Town (CTN).


 Public Radio Stations

The radio industry is dominated by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in terms of number of radio stations. SABC has 18 radio stations, of which 15 are public broadcasting service (PBS) stations, broadcasting in all eleven official languages; and 3 are public commercial services (PCS) stations. The SABC accounts for about 41.6% of the total radio audience in the country according to AMPS 2012.

 Community Radio Stations

According to ICASA, there are 126 community radio stations, of which 87 stations are on air. And according to AMPS data, community radio audience represents 4.6% of total radio audience. There are 13 private commercial and 3 secondary market radio stations in South Africa.

For more information visit:

Sources: of Ownership and Control of Media in South Africa

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Indomitable Gwangwa, 702 Station Manager

Posted by radio On May - 17 - 2012 Comments Off on Indomitable Gwangwa, 702 Station Manager

By Mpho Smart









Photo:  Pheladi Gwangwa, versatile 702 station manager with an impish charm


She is that most unusual of creatures – a female media manager who has risen smoothly to the top. Thrust into the deep end as station manager of Primedia’s 702 with no background in journalism, Pheladi Gwangwa rose to the challenge.

Her quick-wittedness and thorough nature, which borders on the pedantic, ensured she learned the ropes quickly. She turned the station around from a loss-making venture. When she took the post the station’s listenership was dwindling to such an extent that the company’s board were considering closing it down. But Gwangwa came through for them. She tripled the audience over the next eight years.

Gwangwa did her junior law degree at the then University of the North in Limpopo and her LLB at the University of Witwatersrand. Looking to equip herself with a communications law qualification, she went back to Wits to study for her LLM part time.

“I would come back from work totally knackered and snooze for a bit in the evening, then get up around nine and study,” she says. “It was hectic but I loved the adrenaline. That’s what defines me: I am an adrenaline junkie.”

Her legal background came in handy, steering her in the right direction as she took 702 forward, and bagging the ‘Station of the Year’ award in the ‘BBC Africa Radio Awards’ in the process.  Gwangwa (38) joined Primedia in late 2002. She had cut her teeth in the media sector at the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) . She left ICASA and joined Primedia Broadcasting as a regulatory affairs manager before being promoted to the top job.

At 150cm tall, her stature and young visage give her an impish charm which belies a steely character. Calm, self-possessed and competent , she has steered 702 onto an FM frequency, instigated big changes to the station’s content and kept a solid line-up. Her calm demeanour lends an air of authority as well as approachability and is an important aspect of her management style, particularly when dealing with temperamental on-air talent.

Yusuf Abramjee, Primedia’s head of news and current affairs, says Gwangwa is an incredibly capable manager with a no nonsense attitude. He says Gwangwa is feisty, balanced and a good listener.

Asked to describe her management style, Gwangwa says: “Listening to all sides, being a straight, honest communicator, and having the ability to balance lots of balls in the air.”

702’s station manager grew up in Mankweng, a township near the University of Limpopo. She attended a school where her mom was a teacher. She was a bright pupil who was promoted a year and was the youngest in her matric class. At school she was a lively, hard-working pupil. “I was a livewire; always had too much to say and always wanted to be the teacher’s pet.”

She sets herself high standards and expects people around her to do the same. Matjie Chuene, a former colleague and close friend, says: “Pheladi is charming, a go-getter and a more rounded human being than most people I know. She loves her friends. Her house is usually a bustling place, and there she’ll be, the calm centre of it.”

When she is not working, Gwangwa enjoys spending time with her eleven-year-old daughter Ntsimedi, takes part in marathons and plays golf.

Gwangwa’s future plans for 702 include growing the audience further: “The aim is to keep the revenue growing through constant innovation,” she says. She uses the audience’s response to help shape the station’s offerings. As well as the use of focus groups, Gwangwa studies listeners’ communication with the radio station on its telephone and email feedback lines and the text messages received during programmes.

Driven as she is, Gwangwa also sets her personal priorities. “On a personal level, I want to be a good mother to my daughter,” she says. “I don’t want to miss any moment in her life – significant or not. I want to be able to spend both quality time and quantity time with her. They grow so quickly!”






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Radio Still Rocks Contemporary SA!

Posted by radio On May - 17 - 2012 2 COMMENTS

By Nyeleti Machovani

The South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) has released its latest Radio Audience Measurements (RAMS) findings from a fieldwork period measured from late-October to mid-December of 2011, combined with Mid-January to Early-March 2012.

What is apparent from the findings is that radio is still far from kicking the bucket in South Africa. In comparison to Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and China, South Africa ranks top. South Africa is leading the herd, clocking in 23h48  Time Spent Listening (TSL) on a weekly basis, with China taking last place on the podium with their weekly TSL at a mere 8h10minutes. Yes, indeed, we South Africans love our radio. Noticeably, the TSL per week has dropped by 7 minutes (25h24, to 24h36) from February 2012 to May 2012, this however, doesn’t deter the steady and stable national trend.

According to research compiled and published in ‘Radio in Africa’, “radio has refused to die by continuing to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies. As it continues to converge with new technologies such as the Internet and the mobile phone, its uses and user gratifications continue to evolve”.

Statistics from SAARF  indicate that sustaining the evolution of radio is South Africa is the youthful age group from 15-24 years, and coming a close second; a more mature audience of 35-49 age.

The relationship between the age group and the evolution of radio is sustained by new age culture which is emerging in the South African landscape.  In addition to these trends, new socio-political dynamics also emerge with innovations such as live online streaming and podcasting encourage a spirit of participation, which then creates a more appealing profile for radio.

Ukhozi FM must have the winning formula, as they still rank number 1 on South Africa’s national top 10 favourite radio stations, attracting an amirable 15% of the population. Umhlobo Wenene is a worthy contender, parking as the second most popular radio station, puling an impressive 10% of the population’s ears. In third place, we have fierce competition between  Metro FM and Lesedi FM attracting between 7% and 7.1% of SA’s population respectively.

Numbers never lie, and what these statistics remind us is that radio is still very much a relevant platform in contemporary South Africa. The power, popularity and affordability of the medium of radio in Africa has been evident from its early inception and its widespread use during the colonial period, particularly from the 1950s onwards. Radio in South Africa definitely refuses to appease those awaiting its downfall.

For more in-depth RAMS, visit:

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A Monumental Leap for NewsFlash

Posted by radio On May - 17 - 2012 5 COMMENTS



NewsFlash News Agency is an agency which has sealed its success in the industry by delivering radio news bulletins with sound-bytes (interviews) to 42 radio stations. The agency has recently celebrated its monumental leap of reaching a combined radio audience of 3.1 million radio listeners.

The agency which was founded in 1995 is certainly a one-of a kind. The grand idea behind this initiative, according the agency’s press release is that it was ‘to specifically provide news to radio stations, including commercial and community stations that were going on the air for the first time countrywide”.

NewsFlash News Agency is owned and edited by Henning Coetzee. The agency has employed full time journalists who gather news in Gauteng and Western Cape. According to Coetzee, the agency has been this successful because it is, most importantly, cost effective. When considering the South African economic climate, it makes sense why this is a viable formula.

The idea behind the agency is derived from models in the United States and Europe, where most radio stations use a combination of their own news staff and an independent news agency that specializes in radio news. An additional bonus to this advantage is that, it frees a station’s own news staff up concentrate on news in the station’s own reception area, and news of particular interest to the station’s audience profile. NewsFlash gathers news by phone. It occasionally interviews newsmakers outside South Africa, recently for instance in Libya, and New Zealand.

“We supply news to radio stations in 6 of South Africa’s 9 provinces, with most clients in Gauteng and the Western Cape”, says Coetzee. Two of the agency’s clients are outside South Africa – a commercial station in Namibia and a station in Dubai that caters for the large number of South African and British expats working and living in Dubai. Many stations have been clients for more than 10 years.

Coetzee says NewsFlash is aiming for BEE partnering by the end of 2012.

For more information, visit:

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The A- B-C’ s of Radio Technology 101

Posted by radio On May - 17 - 2012 Comments Off on The A- B-C’ s of Radio Technology 101


Trying to keep up with radio technology jargon can be overwhelming, especially if you are not yet a seasoned dish in the industry. Radiobiz offers you the basics of radio technology, to familiarize what would  be otherwise as foreign as the Greek language.


Digital radio

Digital radio is broadcast in several different standards worldwide, namely: (Digital Audio Broadcasting) DAB in the UK, Denmark and many other European countries; DAB+ in Australia and Switzerland; and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB)-Radio in France. All pure digital radios fully support the digital broadcast standard of the country in which they are sold and many are multi-standard or can be upgraded to receive broadcasts if you take them overseas. With digital radio you’ll discover a broader range of music, debate and ideas, all in crystal clear digital sound.


Some of the perks of digital radio include:


  • Ease-of-use – digital radios are much easier to use than analogue radios because they automatically search for stations. Once the radio has found all available stations you just choose the one you want by name. No more trying to remember frequencies.
  • Wider station choice – as well as many of your existing favourite stations now broadcasting on digital radio, you’ll also find great exclusive-to-digital stations and there are more on the way.
  • Digital sound quality – digital radio is not subject to the same interference as analogue radio, resulting in crystal clear, digital-quality sound.
  • Extra features – even though they’re easier to use, digital radios bring you lots more features, some of which are unique to PURE. There’s scrolling text to show track titles, artists’ names, news and sports results. Features like textSCAN and Intellitext enable you to pause and control scrolling text and display extra text information from participating stations. And some models even allow you to pause and rewind live digital radio or upgrade the radio via USB or Wi-Fi.


FM radio

All of our radios (except Highway) include Frequency Modulation (FM) reception with Radio Data System (RDS). FM enables you to listen to local stations not yet broadcasting digitally and provides listening in remote areas yet to be served by digital transmitters. RDS provides extra text information, like station names, broadcast by some FM stations.


Internet radio

Internet radio uses the same Wi-Fi technology as portable computers to connect to the internet wirelessly. Through this connection our Flow range of radios allow you to access thousands of radio stations from across the world, use listen again to catch up with your favourite programmes whenever it suits you, enjoy a huge variety of podcasts and listen to a library of unique PURE sounds. Flow products let you find internet listening easily and organize it for quick access using the Lounge website ( Flow products also allow you to browse and play music stored on a Wi-Fi-enabled computer, and some will send as well as receive, enabling you to run and update internet applications like Twitter and Facebook.


A little bit of knowledge adds up to an invaluable education. The very basic of information becomes your foregrounding.

For  more information, visit:


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Robert Marawa Sets the Bar High

Posted by radio On May - 7 - 2012 9 COMMENTS

Photo: Robert Marawa

Robert Marawa is a perfect example of someone who followed his passion. After dropping out from studying for a law degree at Witwatersrand University he opted for continuity presenting at the state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Little did he know that he was on his way to becoming one of the country’s most celebrated radio and TV anchor.

I remember vaguely back in the 90’s when I was still in high school tuning in to the then Radio Metro , now Metro fm. What drew me to the station was the kind of music they played. Those were the days of Bob Mabena & Tracey Going, Grant Shakoane, Ernest Pillay, Treasure Shabalala to mention but a few. However, in the late 90’s the station started a sports show which was mainly on weekends between 6pm and 7pm. Isaac Phaahla, Thomas Kwenaite and Marks Maponyane were some of the first anchors on the show.

After a while Moreyo Senyana, who is now a Communications Manager at the South African Football Association, took over the reins and he was followed by none other than the current anchor Robert Marawa. He started the show with limited radio experience; he had only been a continuity presenter at SABC 1 for a few years. Metro FM management took a risk and gambled on this inexperienced young man from KwaZulu Natal. It was a gamble that paid off. Marawa, the host of Discovery Sports Centre, has changed the face of sports talk radio in South Africa for the better and his radio show currently attracts millions of sports lovers to Metro FM, especially football followers.

Extended slot

Just before the FIFA Confederation Cup in June 2009, Metro FM decided to extend the show’s time by an extra half an hour. This means that from Monday to Friday 18h00 to 19h30 is the sports talk show at Metro. It has even attracted the attention of big corporate sponsorship from Discovery, hence the name of the show. The extra half an hour gave Robert and the show an opportunity; it allowed the show to have more callers after each interview or breaking news item. Marawa’s consistency is also attributable to his evergreen producer Beverley Maphangwa who has been with the show for (how long? 10 years ).

Even the first citizens

Marawa doesn’t just interview sports stars. He has even interviewed one of the world’s greatest statesmen, Nelson Mandela, his successor former president Thabo Mbeki, and the current president Jacob Zuma.


In 2007 the Premier Soccer League (PSL) decided to award the satellite TV channel Supersport International the rights to broadcast their games in a R1,7bn, 5-year deal. The SABC, which used to hold these rights, was not impressed. This was at the time when Marawa had left SABC TV Sport to join the pay TV channel Supersport. When he left SABC   he was an anchor of the then MTN Soccerzone on Monday nights. However, Marawa kept his radio job at Metro FM as an anchor, which is part of SABC Radio. He was seen celebrating with his new bosses (Supersport) after the announcements of the winning bid and his previous employer didn’t take kindly to that which ended in a suspension. Marawa was subsequently re-instated back to his popular Discovery Sports Centre show on Metro fm.

Another level

Before, during and after the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup held in these shores, Marawa interviewed high profile soccer personalities, from former players to administrators, from FIFA officials to international commentators, live on his radio show. This put him and the station on the world map; the international soccer community now knows the Discovery Sports Centre show and the name Robert Marawa.

Branded TV show

Supersport has also given Marawa his own show called Thursday Night with Marawa, a magazine type sports show covering current sports news and events. The show features interviews with guests, previews and live music performances by local and international artists. The Marawa brand is very much associated with football in South Africa. This has opened opportunities for the broadcaster who now regularly MC’s soccer functions.

Marawa is clearly doing exceptionally well in his chosen career field, and the industry is taking note. In 2011 at the SAB Sports Media Awards 2011, Marawa walked away with the title of ‘Radio Sports Journalist of the Year’ for Metro FM, as well as ‘SAB Sports Presenter of the Year’ in television for Supersport. Not a bad judgement  on the law student drop-out.


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Chilli M: A Brand Under Construction

Posted by radio On May - 3 - 2012 1 COMMENT

By Nyeleti Machovani


Photo: Vukani Masinga AKA “Chilli M” who is now at Ukhozi FM



he legacy of fame leaves a bittersweet aftertaste, as common knowledge has it that once you become a public figure, you become the public’s fodder. There is no one who knows this better than Vukani Masinga, famously known as ‘Chilli M’.  The media has been devoted in documenting Masinga’s tribulations, more so, his trials; and those who know radio, know Chilli.

However, he seems to take it in his stride. “When you’re in the public space, you are critiqued. The spotlight is on you, and negativity comes with the perks of being a public figure”, says Masinga.  Although the interview starts off with an air of cautiousness, there is some ease as it progresses.

Masinga was born in Durban, Kwa-Mashu, and later moved to the City of Gold, Johannesburg. For him, radio has always been an obvious career choice, having found his big break at age 19 working for a national radio station. “I have no tertiary education. I was like a soccer player; my career in radio was a calculated move. I knew that was what I wanted to get into”, he says.

During the radio line-up changes in early April, 2012, Masinga joined the Durban based radio station Ukhozi FM (90.8-107.4). The move is an interesting one as having previously worked for Metro FM, East Coast radio, and YFM, the infamous radio jock has only ever broadcast for English medium stations, unlike Ukhozi which is broadcast in isiZulu. In addition, the move introduces a different working environment for him, as his previous stations were commercial radio stations, and Ukhozi FM is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). This, however, doesn’t deter Masinga, who infact finds the changes to be more understated than anticipated. “I’m a duck on water, radio is my space, so for me, the move to Ukhozi is not a culture shock. Radio is radio regardless of where it fits, you abide by the same professional principles”, he says. When asked about the language shift, Masinga offers a reminder that you cannot be a foreigner to your own tongue; “don’t forget that isiZulu is my home language, so I’m at home at Ukhozi FM”, affirms the jock.

Masinga is still finding his feet at the new station hosting the show ‘Konakele’ on Fridays 19:00-23:00, and ‘Chillaz’ on Saturdays at 15:00-18:00 pm which he describes to be “very much experimental, aimed at upwardly mobile executives, and lifestyle orientated”. He feels content with his weekend slots, stating; “I’m happy with my allocation doing weekend shows”. Masinga affirms that he doesn’t aspire to do drive time shows because the current weekend slots allow him to free up his weekdays which are dedicated to lecturing at Vega for a radio course to radio students.

The radio jock believes in pursuing opportunities to better yourself; “having been in the industry for 14 years, you have to be able to reinvent yourself to stay relevant. In this industry you are sustained by a pure love for radio. Passion is inherent”, he says. Having said that, Masinga isn’t shy to express his thoughts about the current crop of radio DJ’s. “Nowadays, the new crop of DJ’s lack talent, we don’t have true radio personalities. In my time, you could easily spot talent, that’s why there are a lot of radio legends from that era. We no longer have the makings of a legend”, he says. However, Masinga is quick to interject, as if removing the floating assumption that he is a radio legend, “I’m not saying I’m a legend myself, at 35 years of age, I cannot call myself a veteran because I’m still a brand under construction”. According to him, the makings of a legend are someone who is constantly curious, passionate, and avoids complacency.



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We Proudly Announce SAMA Award Winners

Posted by radio On May - 3 - 2012 4 COMMENTS


Photo: Randall Abrahams, CEO of the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.


The South African Music Awards were upon us this past weekend on 29, 30 April at the Sun City Superbowl.  For those of us who couldn’t be a part of the live festivities in Sun City, we fixated our eyes on the television screen as the event proceeded and was broadcast live on the 30th from 8.30pm on SABC 1. Some have dubbed the event as the ‘Zahara Awards’ as she managed to scoop up 8 South African Music Awards from the respective categories in which she was nominated, making her supporters very proud. Of course Zahara wasn’t the only star shining bright in room; therefore Radiobiz would like to congratulate all our category winners and encourage our musicians to keep striving for excellence.

Courtesy of


The Winners Are:

Best Alternative Album

The Dirty Skirts for Lost In The Fall

Best Kiddies Album

Wendy Oldfield for Singalong Kidz Volume 2

Best Smooth Urban Music Album

Zahara for Loliwe

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album

The Plain Truth – We Are The Shining Ones

Best Classical and Instrumental Album

CH2 for Ping

Best Collaboration

Zahara featuring Georgy for Incwad’Encane

Best Jazz Album

Jimmy Dludlu for Tonota

Best Pop Album

Lloyd Cele for One

Best African Adult Album

Zonke for Ina Ethe

Best Rock Album

Shadowclub for Guns and Money

Best Traditional Music Album

Soul Brothers for Amaphutha

Best Traditional Faith Music Album

Solly Mahlangu for Mwamba Mwamba

Best Street Urban Music Album

AKA for Altar Ego

Best Sokkie Dans Album

Snotkop for Ek Laaik Van Jol

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Elvis Blue for Elvis Blue (2CD Special Edition)


Best Maskandi Album

Thokozani Langa for I-Protection Order

Best Kwaito Album

Big Nuz for Pound for Pound

Best Dance Album

Mi Casa for Mi Casa Music

Special Award:  Best Selling Album

Loliwe by Zahara

Special Award:  MTN Best Selling Mobile Music Download

Facebook by DJ Cleo

Newcomer of the Year

Zahara for Loliwe

Duo/Group of the Year

Mi Casa for Mi Casa Music

Male Artist of the Year

AKA for Altar Ego

Female Artist of the Year

Zahara for Loliwe

MTN Record of the Year

Mi Casa for These Streets

Album of the Year

Loliwe by Zahara


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Why Radio Advertising Is an Excellent Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

Posted by radio On May - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Why Radio Advertising Is an Excellent Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

One crucial part of every small business’s budget is advertising. This financial line item is crucial in order to attract customers, build new client relationships, and grow your business. However, advertising costs can mount up quickly if you’re not careful, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially if there is little or no response to an advertising campaign.

Radio advertising services offer many advantages for small business owners. If you choose to use the radio for your ads, you may be able to limit your costs significantly. In fact, your only expenses will be the cost of producing the ad. In return, you’ll reap the many benefits radio advertising can provide.

Business Owners Can Target a Specific Audience

A successful radio slot, run on the correct radio station, targets the exact audience that it’s aimed for. Each radio station you speak with should have an excellent idea of their target demographic – the people who listen to their station, and at whom they’re aiming their ads. Your goal is to match your direct response radio advertising at the people you think will best respond to it.

Do this by choosing your target demographic carefully, and running your ad on an appropriate radio station. If you need assistance with this, chances are the radio station itself can provide you with some market research and educate you about the people listening in.

Your Business Receives Regular Exposure

Another benefit of radio ads is that your message reaches a regular listening audience. Radio programs build up loyal listeners, who tune in daily or weekly to hear their favorite shows. Your commercial will be heard on a regular basis by your target audience, making radio a highly effective marketing tool. You’re likely to see results quickly; as your advertisement reaches the exact people you’re tailoring it towards, and reach them during the same time slot each day.

Your Advertisement Receives Regular Attention

When people watch television, read print advertisements, or browse the web, they’re often distracted by other things around them. They may be eating dinner, reading a magazine, or attending to their children. However, when they listen to the radio, they’re often alone in their car during a work commute, or already at their office. This focused attention allows them to really listen to your message and absorb it.

People have far more time to hear radio ads, and this allows them to be highly effective. In addition, radio stations and disc jockeys work hard to develop listener loyalty, so that the same people are listening at the same times each day. Contests, giveaways, and games are all methods of building this loyalty that have proven highly effective. Ask the radio station you’re considering advertising with if they have statistics regarding their response rate or their listener loyalty – you may be surprised at the results they provide you with.

Advertising on the Radio is Highly Affordable

According to eTraffic (, “traditional marketing and advertising methods are not as effective as previously. Even the twenty second power ad on television or radio cannot compare to the effectiveness of Internet marketing and advertising methods.

Consumers now have mobile devices which form much better targets for ads. When they are not busy with their mobile phones, they are surfing the Internet or reading their emails. Less and less time are allocated to the television and radio

Good marketing and advertising methods respect the consumer. The Internet provides several ways for finding out what the consumers want. Through online surveys, polls, and web usage statistics of your site, you can establish what the consumers want, how they want it, how much they are willing to pay for it and when they need it”.


Radio Ads have Strong Psychological Effects

Humans are social animals, and we don’t enjoy spending time in isolation. Radio provides an outlet for humans to feel less alone while commuting, working in cubicles, or doing other solitary tasks. The audience listening to your advertisements, as well as the radio programs that accompany them, will quickly form an attachment to the campaigns themselves. Think about it. How many jingles do your recognize? Your listeners are no different.

By creating this type of ad program, you’re tapping into the human brain at a deep psychological level. You’re working with parts of the brain that love rhythm, repetition, and catchy jingles; if your ad is humorous, even better. Successful radio ads reach the target audience where they live; they not only advertise, they also entertain.

If you can achieve these two goals, you’ll be well on your way to a great campaign. After all, your goal is to convert listeners into active consumers, who are willing to hear your words and follow through on an accompanying action.

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Y-Academy Moulds Radio Veterans

Posted by radio On May - 3 - 2012 Comments Off on Y-Academy Moulds Radio Veterans



By Gaopalelwe Moroane

For many, talent, luck and the good old hustle are the three tools needed in order to place one strategically in a career of their choice. The radio industry is one industry that requires such, however these aren’t necessarily enough to guarantee a successful career. As a result of this, Y FM, one of Johannesburg’s biggest youth radio stations, has designed an academy which hones talent in the business. This course has been aptly termed ‘Y –Academy’.

The academy co-ordinator, Tshepo Pule, known at the station as “Stapura” describes the course as, “the most ambitious training and development programme ever put together by any media house, in South Africa or anywhere.” The academy has been running since October, 2007 and is run by the YFM CEO Mr Kanthan Pillay.

The ideal candidate for this course is a South African graduate, who together with thirteen other candidates will be taken in by members of the Y FM team. Courses in copywriting, marketing, news reading and production amongst many others will be crammed into this course, and graduates from this academy emerge with a clear idea of what goes into getting a radio production on air.

Y FM is the home to many celebrities and success stories such as the late “Khabzela”, who is one of the icons who spearheaded awareness of HIV/ AIDS in the South African youth. Others who have grown to become forces to be reckoned with, and  have successfully emerged from this stable include DJ Fresh, Bad Boy, Mo Flava, Chilli M, Dineo Ranaka, Tholi B, Rudeboy Paul, Phat Joe and DJ Sbu, just to name a few.

Rhodes graduate Sibongile Gangxa also participated in the programme last year and is now a news reporter for the station. “I managed to impress a couple of people and get a permanent contract and am now drive-time news reader. “It was just a culture I could relate to”, she says.  Like the other Y academy graduates on their video diaries, “Sbosh” as she is affectionately known has nothing but good things to say about the experience. “It’s priceless – you are getting taught things people go to school to learn about,” she says excitedly.

For more information on how one can grab a hold of this amazing opportunity, visit YFM website. Radiobiz will be doing an indepth follow-up investigative article on Y-academy and the impact the institution has in building a sustainable radio elite.

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