#30StationChallenge

It is indeed the hailed, and very momentus occasion that marks the end of another year.

And not to sound redundant, but yes, not just any year, THIS year.

The year that world came to a literal grinding holt, to only never stop spinning and spinning off its axis for the human race with all it has implicated on our global community.

But (and I do say this with mass sadness with regard to the insane current careless behaviour cored by it), we get a “reward” right now. A 2-week break to escape 2020 in all it’s trials and tribulation, and legitimate party like it’s 2019. (Terms and Conditions STILL should apply).

Okay, I’ll stop the public service announcement. It IS Christmas Eve by the way, Chris.

And so many reasons to be grateful, joyous, and soak in that well deserved R&R.

Do you know, that adding habitual radio listening to the mix will up the quality of this, your now, and after everyday life?

According to Radio World’s Susan Ashworth, the following advantages were a result of a research initiative she executed in why listeners are actually listening.

report released by the media research and consulting firm Jacobs Media Strategies found that radio again tops the pile as most-listened-to platform — but that TV/video and the smartphone are not far behind.

The results were gleaned from more than 51,000 respondents who were asked about their listening habits. Jacobs organized its findings into two different pyramids in the 2017 Techsurvey 13 — a Media Pyramid and Brand Platform Pyramid.

Radio sits atop that Media Pyramid. Ninety-one percent of the 51,760 respondents in the survey said that they listened to radio one hour or more per day, a figure that is similar to listener levels found in the 2016 Techsurvey 12.

Following radio, consumption of media was neck and neck between TV/video and the smartphone (both at 87%). Media consumption via social media also came in high (at 86%).

But after that, consumption levels changed considerably. Consumption via tablet came in at 68%, while streaming video came in at 66% and phone connectivity in the car came in at 64%.

Consumption via radio and music apps were at 63%, followed by streaming audio (58%), smart TV (54%), MP3 players (47%) and video games (44%). Satellite radio was at the near-bottom of the pyramid with 23%, followed by the likes of podcasts, HD Radio and smartwatches.

With radio at the top of the media consumption pyramid, the report’s next findings are perhaps not a surprise. When asked for the main reason that they listen to radio, listeners cited the draw of favorite music as well as the connection to personalities.

“Hearing favorite songs” was listed 66% of the time, followed by the fact that the format is free (57%). The power of local DJs, hosts and shows was important (at 56%) as was the simple power of habits: Fifty-two percent said the main reason they listen to AM/FM radio is because it is a habit.

There are powerful emotional benefits, too, to tuning into radio, the survey found. Radio keeps listeners company (48% cited this as the main reason they listen). It also gets listeners into a better mood (42%) and helps them escape life’s pressures (35%).

Even radio’s reliability as an effective communicator made the list. Respondents said the main reason they listened to radio was for emergency information (33%), followed by weather and traffic at (27 and 24%).

As it has in the past, a key advantage of radio remains its focus on local issues. When asked if one of radio’s primary advantages was its local feel, 79% agreed/strongly agreed.

According to the survey, a growing number of those surveyed listened radio this year. Seventeen percent say they listened to more AM/FM radio over the past year. Only one in 10 listened less, the survey said, which was mirrored numbers reported in the 2016 survey.

When asked why they’ve been listening to less radio, survey respondents said the reasons were too many commercials and repetitive music (both at 40%). Other factors included lifestyle changes (37%), less time in their car (33%) and the impact of music streaming services (30%).”


So, there is the so-called “hypothesis” to this article.

Now. The proposition.

I’m starting the #30RadioChallenge, where over the next couple of weeks, spend a day or so listening to a station. When you’re done with that one, move onto the next.

From the 1st to the 30th station you have cultivating both yourself and the richness of diversity in the radio landscape.

Considering the average radio listener will tune into 3 maybe 5 rotating choices of frequencies, this is going to be just like the theme of this year, “A New Kind of Normal”.

Radio has truly been a godsent this year, and proved again why the world community need the medium.

In a time where information was truly essential, where fake news flew ramped, and a matter of life AND death – radio has been that real time connection to what was happening in our locked down 4 walls.

I started this a week ago, and have been posting my station to station progress on social media.

But let’s make it official and bring it all together right here on my landing site.


Let’s start something super cool for all the radio enthusiasts out there.

It’s important to expose yourself to as much radio as possible.

Introducing the #30StationChallenge

Pick a frequency. Listen to it for a day. Mark it off your list.

Hey. Even tag me. I’d love to share your journey of discovery.

I’ll start.

Station 1: Thobela FM Yaka

Things I loved and learnt:

  • the station’s playlist today was great. A mix of religious, traditional and current music
  • I’m impressed with the number of ad space that has been sold. The ads are surprisingly longer than your normal commercial 20, 30, 45 second. They incorporate mass storytelling to sell lessons and products. Cool!
  • in one show. There was content for kids and adults. Although I don’t speak or understand Sotho, I understood the range and direction.

http://www.thobelafm.co.za/sabc/home/thobelafm


Station 2: Heart FM

Things I loved:

  • the pace of the station is amazing. It’s dynamic so it feels like something different is always happening. Big up to show producers!
  • I live for stations that don’t cop out on the WhatsApp voice note. Have a balance dammnit. Be like Heart. Mix up live calls with your social media strategy and WhatsApp vnotes.
  • the music. Certainly my cup of tea. Old skool R&B reigns supreme. Snoop, Dr. Dre, Next, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, Biggie, Busta Rhymes…Holy Crap. Seventh Heaven! I think I’ll keep Heart on for a day or fifteen

https://www.heartfm.co.za/


Station 3: CapricornFM

  • so let’s remember, this is weekend listening = more music, less talk. Having said that, the music is on point really highlighting support for local afro-house and kwaito, while spicing up the playlist with old skool dance classics and R&B love. All in all. It gave my Saturday life.
  • so I chose to jump onto the site and listened to a couple of the podcasts to get a taste of what is circulating on CapricornFM. I was pleased to find some gems in local community awareness and assistance in secondary school education. Which is 2020, the more help students could get, the better. So really nicely done in placing the station in the center of the listener’s life.
  • at a surface level (and I would love to listen longer) CapricornFM has a dynamic “lit” lineup that for an infant station (CapricornFM went to air in 2007), the voice of Limpopo is greatly representative across vernacular communities.

https://www.capricornfm.co.za/


Station 4: 702

  • I’ve been listening to 702 over the weekend and this morning. I absolutely love the completely controlled execution of Broadcasting that this station owns. There is just a slick culture of a profession that 702 demands and so deliver.
  • what I really really applaud is the pace at which their drive time and other weekday show run at, where there are MULTIPLE content conversations are executed at the same time. One would think this would be chaos, but it’s refreshing and most suitable in an era of instant gratification and short concentration spans.
  • I leave listening to the station very informed, gaining perspective, and feeling more prepared for facing the world around me. Really a pleasure.- and lastly, bookmark the site. EWN surpasses any current and lifestyle news need that you will have on a daily basis

Station 5: SAFM

Find them on http://www.safm.co.za/

  • I’ve been listening to SAFM for a couple of days. In terms of talk radio format, it has a completely different feel and tone to 702 which we previously looked at. And that’s ok. Each station needs its own fingerprint. The “stand out” factor is the percentage of talk awarded to the listeners. We have much longer interaction segments. The callouts last considerably longer. And again, there is almost a real-feel of legit conversation happening between presenter and listener
  • each presenter has their own style (which I know seems obvious), but some are considerably better than others. That seems unfortunate, and it is, but it’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive time presenters. Good form. I’m a passive listener, but I felt obligated to call in.
  • the capacity of social awareness on a national level (which is an obstacle in its own right) is fair and relevant. Love it. Truly felt the voice of a nation.

Station 6: Power FM Check out the amazing site at

https://www.power987.co.za/

Things I loved about Power:

  • I really really enjoyed the past couple of days listening to Power. On weekends very light shows, music-oriented (and the music is a ripe fine of fantastic), then wanting to get to the weekdays to make sure I got some talk into my listening.
  • Presenters are all-around vibrant. Maybe it’s just a new year, but they really felt like a breath of fresh air, and the listeners love them for it. I hate the misconception that just because it is a “holiday period”, people are not listening to the radio, where in actual fact, again more so in the current socio-economic climate, the radio has been our best friend and true dependant.
  • The site is remarkable. Check out the jobs section if you’re an aspiring media practitioner. I spent a lot of time on the site. From the great features in the Press Room, to the podcasts, and the departmental breakdown of current news in business and lifestyle. Top-notch. Loved it. Thanks, Power.

Station 7: YFM

Hop onto the website https://www.yfm.co.za/

Things I loved about YFM:

  • Look. To be fair, we are still in the ‘holiday’ period where a lot of the music stations that rely heavily on their main line up, are still running fill in generic shows across the schedule. But I thought I would provide an overall “thumbs up” to YFM. The station that really caught the country’s attention with a big bang in the early 2000’s as the IT station for urban youth with their savvy ownership on street culture and over the black next generations that have something to say and have actions to lead our country into new directions.
  • Without saying, the music is great. Really pushing what I call alternative urban, and being able to be the portal for all upcoming kwaito and trap SA musicians to spotlight their talent.- They really are focusing on their strength, which is being a voice for the youth. And the youth, love them for it.
  • On the site, You might have missed out on this year’s applications to attend the Y Academy, but in the meantime, build up your talent profile, record some podcasts, boost those social media interactions and rich content. And make it a 2022 goal.- Also, check them out on https://www.youtube.com/c/YFM992/videosfor some really great content from BackBeat and many more.

Station 8: 947

Hop onto https://www.947.co.za/ for a vibe!

Things I loved:

  • So without coming off biased because of my 8 odd years spent at Primedia, I’ll give you some inside info. The team at 947 is pedantic about perfection. A lot of resources are invested in researching what listeners want and what global radio trends might be the next big thing. This is a massive credit to 947. They really do care about their family of listeners, and their listeners are devoted to them.
  • Without sounding redundant, but it’s true. 947’s two broadcasting powerhouses, Anele and Fresh really STILL hold up to their reputation. The shows are fun. And I love that. A constant focus on listener interaction and captivation. And a great balance of what reflects a listener’s life, good and bad, happy and sad, funny and serious. It’s all there.
  • A ton of on-air features can be found on their website. So jump on there to enjoy them.

Station 9: GROOTfm 90.5

Things I loved:

  • remember 1994? When democracy was lit and we were finally the rainbow nation? What I loved most about freedom in our country was the opportunity to really let our cultures and races learn from and respect one another. The apartheid government really did a number on the image of the Afrikaans nation and their culture. Two of my dearest and loved friends are Afrikaans and over 20 years I have learned a lot about how much love there is in their traditions, how staunch they are in their history, and how loyal they are to each other and their circles. And they LOVE their music. Also, the reason why Afrikaans artists are 2nd to the best selling musicians in SA, after Gospel. Groot FM celebrates the best in being an “Afrikaaner”. There is an atmosphere in their shows that has dare I say whimsy? From callouts that deal with boere chutney in all the wrong places to life hacks that came from ouma’s and oupa’s.

https://www.grootfm.co.za/

  • My Afrikaans is terrible. I had horrific teachers that refused to help me learn the language. One even called me “Blarry Ongeskuk”, coz I was tired of having education denied. And responded, “Well, I don’t really know what that means, thanks to you”. And I regret not being able to learn how to speak the language, because I was always made to feel stupid when I tried to speak it. (Sidebar: Teachers are key to so much, right?) But oddly, understand well enough. And I loved my “holiday” experience, out of my comfort zone, and touching base with one of the colours of our rainbow nation, listening to Groot.Servicing the Afrikaans community in the Pretoria, Groot is a boere plesier!

Station 10: 5FM

Things I loved:

– This week I hit back to one of South Africa’s LEGACY station. You can’t refer to South Africa without including 5FM. From the days when you would go to the cinema and watch 5FM’s unforgettable promotional adverts, to the urban pop format that 5FM reinvented for themselves in the 2000’s, 5fM has come a long way, and I hope it never goes anywhere else, but up.

– The lineup is diverse. From Roger, to Nic, to Nicole, to Rob and Fix – we love the distinct differences between shows.- 5FM remains pro. I switched on the radio (or more truthfully, switched on my RadioZA app) and within minutes enjoyed an interview with Black Coffee. Gimme what I want before I know I want it. Good job.

– It’s no secret that 5FM has been struggling to switch formats with slickness and charisma, but how often do you get to witness a national, commercial station do this, and not lose every single listener they have? 5FM. You’re holding strong, and we are there to support you in your ongoing growth in the radio landscape.


Station 11: LM Radio

Taken of the site, here is the beautiful history of this legacy stationLM Radio is a radio station based in Johannesburg, Gauteng and Maputo, Mozambique. Historically it was a shortwave station broadcasting to South Africa and Rhodesia from Lourenço Marques, the colonial era name of Maputo, hence the name “Lourenço Marques Radio” from 1936 to 1975 when it was shut down by the government of the then newly independent country.After an absence of more than 34 years, a new LM Radio, opened in Maputo and Johannesburg. On Christmas Eve 2009, a voice that had last been heard on the airwaves three decades earlier returned with an emotion-filled announcement. “This is LM Radio, Mozambique’s English-language music station,” it said. “We are back after a break of 34 years. I’m Peter de Nobrega. I made the closing announcement on LM Radio on October 12 1975 and it gives me great pleasure to make the opening announcement on this historic day in 2009.” The broadcast licence was granted on 20 September 2010. It is Mozambique’s only English-language broadcaster. The station’s official name is “Lifetime Music Radio” and the slogan is “Happy Listening”. LM Radio broadcasts on 87.8 FM in Maputo and surrounding areas including Matola, on 87.8 FM in Ponta do Ouro, and on 702 kHz MW in Gauteng South Africa and on satellite in Southern Africa and webstreaming.

Check them out at https://lmradio.co.za/

Things I loved:

– LM strongest hand is in their legacy. Days far back when SA listeners where listening to top notch stations like Bop FM, and our apartheid government was controlling the media

– LM was there too as breathe of escapism from the tyranny our country was going through. I find that the foundation of this legacy still remains in 2021 when listening to the station. I listened to the LM for the last week, but couldn’t get a sturdy grasp on it’s format. At first, I was very misplaced as a listener, but then as the week went by, I started to celebrate the mass dynamic of what the station offers. There’s a reason I didn’t include pics of the presenters. Because they’re actually not that important. The whole is greater than the sum of it’s moving parts, when it comes to LM. And that was a bit of a first in our quaint radio landscape.

– When listening to LM, prepare yourself for easy listening, from hits that grooved back in the 50s and 60s, to some CHR songs from the past 5 – 10 years. The discussions and listener presence are of a much older demographic, and so the ethos of the station becomes one of a mature, supportive and community feel. Our radio landscape needs a voice for every South African out there. And LM Radio is definitely stepping up to do their part.


Station 12: Metro FM

You can check out the beta site at http://beta.sabc.co.za/metrofm/

Things I loved:

– So Metro is one of my personal picks as a go-to station when I’m listening to the radio, but I’ll remain objective, and so, I’ll even include some crit on their shows. Like for example, it seems small, but it does resonate irritation – when the COVID-19 PSA is played out, the voice of Metro executes it in a sensual, sexual manner, it sounds ridiculous and makes me laugh in a cringe-worthy matter. There are also many growing pains around airing in the global pandemic, like DJ’s talking over one another (as a cause of being in remote locations) but still if you are aware of the problem, fix it. Having said this, the jocks need to be super proactive to executing dry runs to adjust to the change, and oil past these hiccups quickly, after all, Metro is one of the largest stations in the country and should lead with that privileged position.

– It’s unfortunate that the site is on a beta platform, but still has all the hotspots like their podcast collection and news stream

-There is obvious faith in the product, tons of ads, both digital and traditional, which if not scheduled correctly, sometimes feels like I’m listening to a spot flood on DSTV. But again, this is a clear sign, that the Metro brand works, and works well. – I’m really a fanboy of Thomas and Pearl. For the past week, I’ve needed easy listening, where South Africans can connect, and speak about everything other than the trials and tribulations of the pandemic.

– I will always and forever applaud Metro for the amazing radio they have provided the SA listener with, with legacies from Robert Marawa, to Glen Lewis, to Eddie Zondie to our current all-stars. Hashtag: We love Metro. It IS indeed, where South Africa is at.


Station 13: HOT 91.9

Go and bookmark the page at https://www.hot919.co.za/

Things I loved:

– I will disclaim first, that I am the direct target market for Hot 91.9 – so this week was an absolute pleasure listening to peers I’ve worked with, but also enjoying the R&B format, and 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s music. These are also seasoned professionals, so whether you’re listening to Sam Cowen or Simon Parkinson or Mark Pilgrim or Rob Vega – you’re getting quality radio.

– Not only has Hot 91.9 over the past years grown from strength to strength, but it’s also cleaned up at the Radio Awards – which shows you there is proof in that delicious pudding- The shows are fun. Even the presentation style just takes you back to this euphoric blast from the past, and it’s something you don’t get tired of.

– Well done Hot. You’ve got a fan in me, and many, MANY other listeners.


Station 14: Gagasi FM

Go check out their site at www.gagasiworld.co.za

Things that I loved:

– I’m so happy to not have anything bad to say about Gagasi. This was my first time to really commit the week and time to listening to Gagasi and it fast became one of go to stations moving forward. Is it too much to say they are doing everything almost perfectly? It’s just so ****ing REFRESHING to listen to a station and really enjoy listening to another 15 minutes, then another and another and another… until you realize they are a perfect companion for the day.

– There is something old skool about the way the shows are presented and produced. By that I mean, this is GREAT radio, with all the RIGHT toppings in the right places done in the right way. On team shows, there is a camaraderie where every member knows there’s place and position, and capitalizes on what they bring to the show. This is how it’s supposed to be done. Synergy. In its best form.

– If there is any crit, I’d say the landing page needs some work. There are a lot of empty spaces and it just needs a good refurbishing. Otherwise, top-notch radio at its kick-ass best.


MORE STATIONS COMING! FOLLOW THE JOURNEY!

Decided to take up the challenge?

Comment with your station picks or tag me with the hashtag #30StationChallenge with a post on

Twitter: @chrisj_papag

Facebook: Chris Christou Jordan

Instagram: @chrisjordanmedia

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