by Carey Finn. The youngest-ever ECR brand and communications manager speaks to us about her fast career track, and what she’s learned so far.
by Paulo Dias. Colleagues and friends across the industry have gently reminded me of what their stations have been up to.
In light of the recent online radio listenership scandal MarkLives wondered how offline radio stations are viewing internet radio. We caught up with Attila Bernariusz, divisional head of Kagiso Digital, for some insight into where Kagiso sees online radio headed. Kagiso owns majority stakes in Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio, minority stakes in OFM (Free State), Gagasi 99.5 (Durban) and Heart 104.9 (Cape Town) and an economic stake in Kaya FM (Johannesburg).
MarkLives: Are all your stations streaming online?
Attila Bernariusz: Yes.
MarkLives: What value and functionality does digital streaming add to radio brands?
Bernariusz: With 20% of Jacaranda’s online streams originating from outside of South Africa’s borders, digital streaming broadens the stations reach. With 93% of Jacaranda’s online visitors also listening to the station via another mechanism other than online, digital streaming broadens the stations frequency with its core listeners.
MarkLives: How are you integrating social media into your offering?
Bernariusz: Readers are able to share Jacaranda’s website content socially. Jacaranda’s DJs are able to post content to Jacaranda’s social pages. Jacaranda launched Ja.fm. Ja.fm uses crowd sourcing to allow online users to vote songs up and down the Ja.fm playlist, thereby determining which songs play next – enabling full participation from the audience.
MarkLives: Your digital radio audience is still quite small – what are the barriers to mass adoption and when do you expect them to be overcome?
Bernariusz: Most radio stations in South Africa have not been able to convert more than 10% of their on air audiences into online audience (online audience divided by on air audience). Of their total online audiences they have converted, not all of them listen online. The challenge is access to the internet, and the cost of doing so. As more South Africans start going online (for more than just email and chat (BBM, WhatsApp, Mxit, etc…)) so too will radio stations grow their online audiences.
Right on the heels of a judgement that would potentially complicate South Africa’s television content rating system by adding additional warnings to shows containing strong language (traditionally and recognisably marked with an L), the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has now taken up the mighty task of establishing the “bounds of humour” in a ruling that effectively finds stand-up comedian John Vlismas guilty of hate speech.