As we look around Africa we see that things are being shaken up and the old “guards or crooks” – we will leave that choice in your hands – are changing.
South Africa is in the midst of a huge shift; from the changing of the president to the umpteenth reshuffle of cabinet, the world is looking at us under a microscope and we are all in a flurry to up our game… all except in the online radio space media buying.
Online radio is not new to this country and certainly not to Africa. One of the early adopters in Africa was www.ebizradio.com, which launched at the beginning of 2011. It was not launched with huge fan fare – in fact it was done quietly under the radar. The plan was to launch, fix any bugs or issues, and just allow the business to grow organically whilst learning how to really make this business model work and upping the streaming game with innovative audio streaming partners. Today ebizradio.com is the leading 24/7 business audio stream in Africa.
The online stream focusses primarily on business and the various factors that influence business growth and development; from technology, marketing, retail and digital, to advertising, motoring, travel and lifestyle. Remember that a business is made up of people and how those people connect and communicate with their various audiences.
Ingrid von Stein, a long-standing innovator and disruptor to the communications industry, with a staggeringly impressive communications and business development track record, both globally and locally, has been at the helm of ebizradio.com since day 1.
Her determination and passion for everyday communication between brands, businesses and their audience has been the driving force behind this brand. Von Stein is always available to talk to anyone who has any questions around the online streaming industry and will never turn anyone away and say “well that’s our secret”.
Her attitude and business operation methods are simple – share your insight and information with everyone. The more we share the more we grow.
One of the key reasons that the online streaming industry has shown a lack of substantial growth over the past few years is that the media/ad agencies are still reluctant to take their clients’ “marketing and ad” spend and place it in the online streaming genre. This is due to them not being clued up as to how the industry works as well as the fear that losing out of their commissions will affect their bottom lines. Surely by now there is enough evidence available that proves that online streaming is highly measurable and is not a “thumb suck or overview of 2000 people’s opinions as to how they consume media.” Which, by the way, is still being used as the basis of motivation to their clients as to why they should be spending their monies on traditional radio shows, as these shows apparently have, for example, an audience of 100 000 listeners. But how do they actually measure that? Well, that’s a topic for another debate all together!
Despite the fact that some of the online streaming players are still trying to emulate a “traditional” radio model they are not seeing the support of agency placement spends. “We are seeing more and more “niche” online streamers coming into the market. This is a great thing and can only benefit the entire industry,” says Ingrid. “Perhaps when agencies start seeing that the “listeners” on traditional radio are dropping, they may wake up and see that online streaming has been a great option for direct engagement with a brand and its audiences. You speak directly to the people you want to reach, as opposed to just hoping that you reach them.”
With exact measurements tools in place, online is able to track unique IP addresses and measure how long they remain connected to the stream. “In terms of content that has also been podcast and made available for download and sharing via the ebizradio.com website, we are also able to tell a client exactly how many times that podcast was downloaded,” says von Stein.
The launch of www.awakeonline.co.za in late 2017, South Africa’s first agency specializing in online radio advertising/marketing campaigns shows that times are definitely changing and shifts are clearly being made!
The Internet of things is here, and one of the fastest growing segments is that of online radio. Those companies and agencies that adapt to this new and one day dominant landscape are best poised to take these opportunities and shape the future of their particular industries through meaningful conversations and engagements online.