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Avusa Media LIVE breaks records

Posted by radio On June - 22 - 2012 Comments Off on Avusa Media LIVE breaks records

Strong content and innovation in the new structure of Avusa Media LIVE (AML) have resulted in the  AML team producing strong traffic and exceeding expectations across the board.  AML recorded a record month by reaching 2,097,317 unique browsers and 30,487,069 page views locally across their network in May 2012.    “It’s been a good year, we have realised efficiencies throughout the business and there is great content and user engagement on a scale never seen before,” says Derek Abdinor, General Manager of AML.

Sowetan LIVE saw a growth of 17% in their Unique Browsers, and their Page Views grew to nearly 15 million in May.  The Sowetan LIVE audience is one of the most engaging news sites in South Africa with users spending an average of 10:33 minutes on site per session.

Times LIVE recorded a record growth of 25% to 622,792 Unique Browsers and 27% to 5,528,052 Page Views respectively.  The growth can be attributed to strong breaking news on Times LIVE. Times LIVE Twitter (@TimesLIVE) has reached more than 50,000 followers.

Sport LIVE launched their LIVE Score Centre in April and is already proving highly popular with local and domestic audiences.  Sport LIVE recorded 63,846 Unique Browsers and 431,930 Page Views in May 2012.  This shows a growth of 32% on Unique Browsers and 48% on Page Views.  “Sport LIVE grew by 32 percent when our live scoring and commentary was picked up locally and overseas during the PSL and Champion League games” says Reuben Goldberg, Editor of Sport LIVE.

Marc Hershowitz, Sales and Commercial Manager, points out that “The industry has reacted very favourably and our reputation for innovation not only from an advertising and creative perspective but from a user perspective has been rewarded.  This is a talented team that is producing strong results internally and externally.

Issued by: Avusa Media Live

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Letter of Retraction

Posted by radio On June - 22 - 2012 2 COMMENTS

Radiobiz regrets the error in publishing the article “Kagiso Media Rebrands to Grounded Media”. The article reported that Kagiso Media had changed its name to Grounded Media, mistaking the fact that Kagiso Media and Kagiso TV & Communication are in fact two separate companies.

The article intended to report that the former Kagiso TV & Communications now functions as “Grounded Media” and that the new name is simply part of a rebranding process. Grounded Media is an independent, integrated communications specialist with expertise in the social development sector.

Kagiso Media Limited (the company), is not under the process of rebranding. The company is a black-owned and managed investment holding company with interests in substantial media assets through its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates.

On behalf of the organizations involved, Radiobiz humbly apologizes for the error and confusion, and emphasizes that the basis of the retraction is not based on fabrication, but on the confusion of reporting about two separate companies.

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Up Close and Personal With Qhubani ‘Qness’ Ndlovu

Posted by radio On June - 18 - 2012 Comments Off on Up Close and Personal With Qhubani ‘Qness’ Ndlovu

By Helen Phushela


Music is the back drop of Qhubani Andile Ndlovu’s life. Known as DJ Qness, Qhubani he was born in the Vaal, where his love for production and music started. People struggled pronounce his name Qhubani, and so the name ‘Qness’ was born.  The local producer founded his company ‘Native Soul Productions’ in 2008 when he released “Fungama Unamathe” under  his stable. It was then that Qhubani “Qness” Ndluvu made his first appearance with his first debut single titled “fungama unamathe”, which rocked dance floors across South Africa; the single was featured on DJ Mbusos “Phezulu Selections Volume2.


Qhubani fell in-love with music and sounds at the tender age of 14 when his parents got him a piano for his birthday. “I was self-taught. I used to rush back home from school, while other kids were rushing to parks and soccer fields. I would be in my parent’s dining room playing the piano.” His first performance was in high school, where he was an RnB singer for a boy band. He then moved to hip hop with the band, where he became the producer.  He went on to study information Technology and Programming, where he got exposed to the likes of Mbuso and Oskido’s music. In 2005 the production industry was booming with producers popping everywhere.  Qhubani was one of the many hopefuls who were looking for a big break.


Qhubani looks back on his Vaal days as the stepping stone to his career today. “There is no typical day in the life of a producer because each day is different”, he says. He gives us a run through his day, which he says starts with a prayer, then meeting with artists from his stable ‘Native Soul Music’. He emphasizes that his day is incomplete without his family and most importantly his son, Loyiso.


South African producers have clearly upped their standards these past two years, where we have been witness to major club bangers and quality beats, some of which emerge from local studios and labels such as Native Soul. However, Qhubani feels that as South Africans, we still haven’t capitalized on our own sound. “I feel like we are failing to come up with a signature sound, that can be recognised globally and also elevate our local artists to international level”, he says. The world is waiting for South Africa to bring its own sound to events such as the Miami Invasion, with talent such as Qhubani, that shouldn’t be long.


Qhubani has hit the big time after hard work, perseverance, and support. When asked for the formula as to how one can be a producer he humbly replies, “there is no formula to becoming a producer other than your talent and ability to make hits. Then the foundation can be built from there. There are endless opportunities in the media as well as the production platform in South Africa, as compared to previous years. Everywhere you go there is a production company or a media agency”.


Native Soul is working on an exciting venture, which will benefit all upcoming DJs struggling to make it. The programme will be called Apprentice DJ, where we will see Qhubani Qness Ndlovu help find another diamond in the rough.


South Africa’s youth need someone who speaks their language and Qhubani understands the youth culture very well. “South Africa has so many trends going on and every young person wants to be an artist, and people will only listen to some who relates to their daily lives.” says Qhubani.


June is Youth month and as the descendants of the youth of 1976, we are going to be celebrating it differently, in different places. The earliest memory he has of June 16 is that of his performance at a school youth concert with his band.  Qhubani, ever passionate about youth development in South Africa, stresses to young aspirant music producers that “whatever you do, go to school first, then pursue your music dream, keeping in mind that there are hundreds and thousands of DJ’s out there. You have to be distinctive, just be yourself, there is only one you. People will love you for that.”


South Africa’s’ young and talented DJs must keep their ear to the ground if they want to be part of the Apprentice DJ programme.

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SABC To Commemorate June 16 in Eastern Cape

Posted by radio On June - 15 - 2012 1 COMMENT

The SABC’s CSI Department will commemorate June 16 outside Gauteng for the first time this year, by donating 2000 books to two needy schools in the Eastern Cape. SAFM will also donate various novels to the schools. Two of SABC’s Radio Stations in that region will be hosting the events. Umhlobo Wenene FM on the 13th June in Joza, Grahamstown, and tru FM on the 15thJune 2012 in Whittesea, Sada location Near Queenstown.

The two schools that will benefit from this initiative  were identified by the respective SABC Radio stations, Umhlobo Wenene FM and tru FM. Umhlobo Wenene will broadcast live from TEM Mkrwetyana School inJoza, Grahamstown. This SABC Radio station will broadcast their Women’s Lifestyle Show called Khanya Gqiyazana live from 09h00 to 12h00 at the school and the programme will be hosted by Lulu Haarmans, who was born and bred in Grahamstown.

Nompumelelo Senior Secondary School in Whittesea, Sada location has resource challenges such as a shortage of classrooms, laboratories and books, and tru FM will be broadcasting their programme called The Real deal hosted by Siphokazi January and Sisonke Kosani  from 12h30 – 15h00, live from the school.

The National Public Service Broadcaster has over the years become one of the custodians of the Youth Day commemorations. This year’s theme “Education”, has been adopted by the SABC’s CSI Department and prompted the initiative in the Eastern Cape.

The SABC’s Corporate Social Investment Department’s main function is to identify, facilitate and manage Citizen Empowerment Projects in line with the SABC’ s Corporate values, that of creating partnerships, restoring human dignity and building a common future. The National Public Service Broadcaster through its CSI Department has in the past supported and partnered with various stakeholders in Nation Building initiatives, such as Community Builder of the Year, Child Headed Households,HaitiEarthquake Disaster,just to name but a few.

Issued by: SABC Corporate Marketing

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Lotus Fm is coming to your home!

Posted by radio On June - 15 - 2012 1 COMMENT

Award wining Public Broadcasting Service, Lotus Fm has shared their experiences throughout the years with you the community, its now time for the community to share theirs with the world.

Lotus Fm’s “Midday Spice” programme hosted by Varshan Sookhun and produced by Pravina Maharaj, will be showcasing a newly inspired reality show “Full- house”  on the 18th and 19th June 2012. This outrageous yet exciting show has a surprising deviation from other shows as it will be broadcasted live from the homes of our devoted listeners and hardcore fans. Lotus Fm will be visiting the homes of Elmarie Botha, of Johannesburg Centurion, who is a huge supporter of Indian culture, food and entertainment and The Moonsamy family of Benoni, who has never missed a day without tuning into Lotus Fm.  Both listeners were chosen for their contribution to the Lotus Fm spirit and the richness of an inspiring South African family.  Pravina Maharaj has fashioned this show to demonstrate Lotus Fm’s commitment to their listeners, learning about their history and covering secret recipes, whilst celebrating South African families, who are renowned for their hospitality.

“Full-house is an ideal way of spending time with our extended Lotus family and getting to know them better. I am ecstatic about taking the show into their homes and hearts of our listeners and interacting with those who are imperative in the success of our brand” said Varshan.

The Full-house campaign is an exciting drive, exercised to confirm Lotus Fm’s passion for togetherness, diversity and family.

Tune into Lotus 87-106 Fm to share this experience.

Issued by Roberta Pillay

Lotus Fm

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Mvela Makes Firm Intention to Acquire Avusa

Posted by radio On June - 15 - 2012 Comments Off on Mvela Makes Firm Intention to Acquire Avusa

The Board of Directors of Avusa Limited has received from Mvelaphanda Group Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Richtrau No 229 (Proprietary) Limited, a firm intention to make a cash and share offer to acquire all the shares in Avusa that it does not already own.

The cash offer is R24.00 per Avusa ordinary share, while the share offer comprises a share exchange of Avusa ordinary shares (or a portion thereof) for Richtrau ordinary shares (at the prevailing 30-day VWAP). The transaction is subject to all the requisite shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The transaction offer structure provides Avusa shareholders with the flexibility to realise their shareholding in Avusa at a substantial premium and/or continue to retain their shareholding in Avusa through listed Richtrau shares. Avusa will be delisted from the JSE and Richtrau will be listed on the JSE and unbundled to Mvela’s shareholders, pursuant to the transaction. Colin Cary is to head up Avusa post the conclusion of the transaction. Blackstar Group SE, as the largest single shareholder of Mvela, is the promoter of the Transaction.

“The independent board of Avusa is supportive of the transaction and the flexibility offered to shareholders under the offer, subject to a fair and reasonable assessment by our appointed independent advisers Ernst & Young,” said Mike Robertson – Acting Group CEO of Avusa Limited and MD of the Avusa Media Division.

“The new shareholders have committed to upholding and abiding by the spirit and principles of the Avusa Media Editorial Charter, which promotes a free media and editorial independence. “We look forward to working with Blackstar and the new shareholders of Avusa towards positioning the group to capitalise on its key competitive strengths and execute on future growth opportunities,” he said.

Background on Avusa

Avusa is a media company that informs, educates, entertains and connects people. We aim to provide compelling content and creative solutions to enrich lives, helping people know more, do more and live inspired. Avusa is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange with a market capitalisation of R2.6 billion. The various business units that make up the group are Media, Retail Solutions, Books and Entertainment.

The businesses are supported by end-to-end supply chain and logistics platform businesses. Avusa prides itself on having great content, great brands and great people that are the cornerstone of the continued success of the organisation

Background on Richtrau

Richtrau was incorporated in South Africa in 2008 as the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mvelaphanda Group with the sole purpose of holding shares in Avusa, which it acquired in November 2007.

Issued by Avusa


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Mpumalanga’s Mpower FM Recovers Ratings

Posted by radio On June - 11 - 2012 1 COMMENT

By Nyeleti Machovani



On December 29, 2011, Radiobiz made note of Mpower FM’s struggle to increase and retain their listeners, as the Mpumalanga-based radio station dismally sat at the lowest number of listeners in the commercial radio space at 55000 down from 108000 in December, 2010. Their listenership figures were dwindling, and popularity waning. Indeed, the year 2011 was a bad year for Mpower FM.

The Mpumalanga-based commercial radio station, Mpower FM, took to the airwaves in early 2006 on the frequency 94.3FM, after satisfying and securing the ICASA radio license application. According to, soon after the stations inception, the then Mpumalanga premier, Thabang Makwetla said he welcomed this new baby into the province and that the Mpumalanga Government looked forward to forming close relations with M-Power FM to assist in communicating with the people of the province.



Success certainly thrives through adversity, because astoundingly, Mpower FM is making a commendable come-back. In the 2012 RAMS, Mpower FM is currently pulling 85 000 listeners as of May, 2012. Radio is a numbers game and mathematicians believe that numbers never lie; invariably, the radio industry is sustained by decimals, as they are the most telling variable of a stations growth and popularity. A 30 000 surge in listenership between five months, not only deserves recognition, but also begs the question: “How did they do it?”

Mpower FM’s Head of Marketing, Jane de Jager credits the stations new charity venture, titled ‘Take a Step for Children’, as one of several reasons behind the success of the station in growing its listenership base. “We are supporting different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) every week, and we have managed to incorporate that into our radio programming. Every Wednesday, we invite the chosen charity organization in studio and learn about them, while encouraging sponsorships for these organizations”, says de Jager.

What Mpower FM has done differently in comparison to previous years, is to focus primarily on community development. The importance of networking, inter-connectivity, and striving for a common goal between a web of affiliates, has proven to be a successful working formula to gain listeners for the radio station. “As of 2011, we have been in partnership with various community development programmes, and support approximately 44 NGO’s, such as orphanages, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and  Life Line, to name a few”, says de Jager.

The Head of Marketing further explains that the inherent opportunity in this ‘Take a Step for Children’ charity initiative is that, all businesses aligned with these charity organizations, and support structures; such as social networking sites, i.e., Facebook, Websites, Twitter, ensure that everyone is connected. This has shown to increase the traffic of new listeners to the radio station tremendously.

Although the 2012 RAMS indicate a vast improvement from the figures of the previous year, Mpower FM still needs some heavy leg work to bring up their listenership to its former glory. In comparison to the RAMS figures of 2010, in October of that year, Mpower FM reached its highest peak with a listenership base of 120 000. “We have some exciting plans underway to make sure we keep growing our figures. Some of the upcoming projects are focused on rural development, and we will be working closely with schools and businesses in the province”, says de Jager, mindful of not revealing all the stations’ future plans to their competitors.

As June is “Youth Month”, Mpower FM has partnered with Riverside Park in Nelspruit, and organized a 10km Marathon on June 16, 2012, through the Botanical Gardens. In addition, the station has organized for Orphanages to partake in a business-to-business walk, where corporate partners will be donating items such as blankets, to guard against the cold for the under-privileged. These donated items will be hung on a lengthy washing line erected along the marathon route, in support of Youth Day.

In an active bid to successfully recover from their listenership decline in 2011; Mpower FM is continuously conducting surveys to better understand the needs of their listenership market. In doing so, the radio station is analyzing its output and working to meet the needs of their audience. Judging by the steady growth in listenership, Mpower FM definitely seems to have finally found the working formula to ride the ever turbulent radio airwaves. The station will hopefully keep building its portfolio by retaining and growing its market, through strengthening its communication and relationship with the people of the province. Nevertheless, the future certainly looks bright for this resolute Mpumalanga station.


 Did you Know?

  • Mpower FM is an English music radio station.
  • Mpower FM is owned by majority owned by local business consortium Mbombela JV with a 48% stake.
  • The other two shareholders are Direng Investment Holdings, 27.1%, and operational shareholders African Media Entertainment Limited (AME), 24.9%.
  • No station in Mpumalanga deploys more community events, contesting and marketing than Mpower FM.
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According to My Broadband, Interwebsradio recently became the first South African streaming radio station to be listed in the Radio section of iTunes.

Before getting listed in iTunes the radio station was already available on just about any computer and modern mobile device through its website and other streaming radio collections such as TuneIn Radio.

But just what does it take to run a radio station on the “Interweb” from South Africa?

“We are bootstrapping our station from open-source software, a little pocket change and an insane love of music,” Interwebradio’s Dirk Hanekom recently told My Broadband.

Asked whether the station is making money, Hanekom said that they aren’t showing a profit yet and joked that sponsors and advertisers are welcome.

“Seriously though, we do have a number of advertisers in the pipeline once we start showing real listenership figures,” Hanekom said.

The technology

Interwebsradio streams from servers in Germany, Hanekom said. “We also have a development server located in the US for most of our testing and monitoring purposes,” he added. “Some would call that the ‘Cloud’. We call it server hosting in a top-end redundant data centre.” Hanekom said that the high cost of hosting in South Africa forced them to make a choice between a little more latency and price. “The lower price won,” Hanekom said.

The service they receive in Germany is “ridiculously cheap” by comparison, Hanekom said, explaining that they get 5 Terabytes of data transfer per month before they get throttled to a “slower” speed of 10Mbps. “We aim to hit that target,” Hanekom said. “It’s a challenge!”

Hanekom said that they would love to have local server proxying content closer to SA listeners. “We’ll get there, but the ISPs need to come to the party first,” Hanekom said. If Interwebsradio decided to use overseas hosting services to cut down on costs, just how much bandwidth do they use? “It’s early days, so not nearly enough,” Hanekom said before breaking it down:

  • January: 303 GB
  • February: 430GB
  • March: 325GB
  • April: 250GB

Plans for the future

Asked about their plans for Interwebsradio, Hanekom said that they already broadcast as many events live wherever they can.

“We love the fact that we built this capability from scratch and it’s working really well… when we have connectivity,” Hanekom said.

Among the events Interwebsradio has broadcast live are album launches from The Bioscope in Joburg and concert gigs such as Park Acoustics in Pretoria.

Regarding the addition of DJs to their shows, Hanekom said: “We don’t ever want to bore listeners with the usual rubbish guess-what-I-did-yesterday-cos-I-have-so-much-time-on-my-hands that current ‘music’ stations have.”

Hanekom said that their shows will have a massive music focus.

“We’re still fighting over who has the best voice for radio,” he added. “We’re a bit shy about talking.”

Interwebsradio has a number of amateur DJs working on the planning for their shows, Hanekom said. These will include “The Old School Super Cool Rock & Roll Show”, and “Cover Lover”, among others


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New Markets Need A New Game Plan

Posted by radio On June - 4 - 2012 Comments Off on New Markets Need A New Game Plan

There is a shuffling of feet and suits in fully-booked boardrooms where minds are at play. The urgency is that the market is expanding, and advertising industry players in radio need new ideas, to retain, grow, and identify new niches in the market. Simultaneously, ever conscious of its relevance in contemporary society, the radio industry needs advertising bodies to keep up with changing trends and markets.

The cause for this clamber is because, on December 15, 2011, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) awarded three new commercial radio broadcasting licences to one operator in each of the primary markets of Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. A requisite of ICASA’S licence conditions necessitate new free-to-air broadcast licenses to start operations within six months. What this means is that the number of commercial stations is increasing. The questions which float in our head are; what does this mean for advertising spend? Is there a gap in the market for advertisers? For one, competition is going to become fiercer than ever before between radio stations that will be fighting to have their share of the proverbial pie.

As noted by ‘The Economist’, the advertising industry is passing through one of the most disorienting periods in its history. This is due to a combination of long-term changes, such as the growing diversity of media, and the arrival of new technologies, notably the internet. Consumers have become better informed than ever before, with the result that some of the traditional methods of advertising and marketing simply no longer work.

What to do?

A feasible alternative is for veteran radio stations, and merging radio stations to re-define what this new opportunity provides. Usually the word ‘competitiveness’ is met with slight discomfort, as it implies the end-result to dictate a “winner” and a ‘looser”. However, there is another perspective. Competition should be encouraged. More specifically, healthy competition should be encouraged, because it emphasizes the importance of working together; for the benefit of the industry as a whole, the particular stations, and advertising bodies involved.

SAARF (South African Advertising Research Foundation) provides annual research data (RAMS) about the listenership trends of all stations in the country; it clearly shows who listens to what station at what time. If radio stations worked together and shared the ad-spend by following their target market as and when they change the stations. If the stations can start analyzing the RAMS properly they can put an advertising package together that will see radio ads targeting the same listeners being aired according to the listenership patterns of the particular target market.

Too Many Choices!

To keep up with this emerging radio market, and still get the best of all worlds, you can follow a radio diet, for starters. An example of a personal radio diet would be; Monday to Friday, from 06:50am tune to Kaya FM’s 180 with Bob followed by Radio 2000’s Just-Ice’s Super Fantastic Breakfast.  Between 7am and 07:10 tune to Talk Radio 702, and from there, revert back to Kaya FM and Radio 2000. Alternatively, switch between Metro FM and YFM between 07:20 and 07:50.  If you are in LSM 10, male and 32yrs old every advertiser who wants to reach you can do that across all five stations within an hour. The same ads can be aired between these stations repetitively, even if you try to avoid these ads one them will eventually catch your attention as they are following your radio listening pattern.

According to chairman of the London arm of McCann Erickson, which is part of the giant Interpublic group; Rupert Howell, ‘the underlying principles haven’t changed [in radio and advertising]. Even the arrival of new media, like the internet, does not spell the demise of the old. Indeed, as he points out, TV never killed radio, which in turn never killed newspapers. They did pose huge creative challenges, but that’s OK, he maintains: “The advertising industry is relentlessly inventive; that’s what we do.” There can be a win-win situation after all.



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Feeling At Home With MiCasa

Posted by radio On June - 4 - 2012 1 COMMENT

By Gaopalelwe Moroane


It is difficult, if not almost impossible to wake up in the morning, switch on the radio for a breakfast show and not be greeted by J-Something’s sultry voice, singing, “Good morning to the world out there.” It is even more difficult to not smile or bob your head along to the upbeat tempo of the song. These are the sounds of MiCasa’s award winning single, These Streets, which took South African airwaves, clubs and streets by storm and later went on to win them their  two SAMAs  this year . The album has also followed on to sell double-platinum.

MiCasa, which is made up of the trio, producer and DJ Dr Duda, vocalist J-Something and trumpeter Mo-T, began working together after a random session where the three individuals “free styled” an unrehearsed piece together and blew the crowd away. It’s been love ever since and the airwaves are grateful. The Portuguese–born lead singer, fluent in isiXhosa, is the very good looking Joao, who started calling himself ‘J-Something’ as people could not pronounce his name. He went to school in the Eastern Cape, Grahamstown school, Graeme College and worked on his musical talent when he got involved in the local church as a member of the ‘River of Life’s’ music team. Prior to shooting to fame, as the lead in the group, he sold t-shirts with his brother in Johannesburg.

After the release of the award winning single “These Streets”, MiCasa released Heavenly Sent, which listeners took a liking to almost as much and whose music video was released. It’s a lovely ballad accompanied by a beat that you can’t help but want to dance to, and the ever faithful Mo-T’s trumpet.

MiCasa falls under the successful record label, Soul Candi which is also the home of 5 FM’s Euphonik and Frankie, just to name a few. It therefore comes as no surprise that the trio produced a record of such a high standard.

The album itself consists of fourteen consistently head bopping tracks, and are well deserving of the Best Dance award that they received. My personal favorites on the album are their rendition of the R&B legend, Sade’s Smooth Operator. The only criticism that I found on reviewing the trio’s is that the album isn’t mixed like most dance and house albums are. This however does not take away from the general quality of the album and one can hear why it has been so well received.








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