SABC radio stations playing 90% local music is a great idea: Gareth Cliff

The SABC’s radio stations playing 90% local music is a good idea, according to Gareth Cliff.

This follows the SABC announcing it will play 90% South African music across its 18 radio stations from 12 May.

Cliff, a former 5FM DJ with an extensive knowledge of radio broadcasting in South Africa, said the SABC is a public broadcaster and has a mandate to “put the country first, support local music, and promote local content”.

“In the short term, it probably will impact the listenership on a station like 5FM because radio is habit and people largely choose music stations based on their music selection,” said Cliff, who currently runs online radio station CliffCentral.

Commercial viability

Cliff said the fact that the SABC is publicly funded means any commercial effects the music content quotas have won’t be a large financial concern to the broadcaster.

He said the music quotas may give non-SABC radio stations an edge, though, as they do not have to comply with the 90% local requirement.

Good for CliffCentral?

Cliff said while local music stations may benefit from the move by the SABC, CliffCentral was not looking to compete with the national broadcaster.

“We’re not in competition with the SABC. CliffCentral is about producing local content and already provides a platform for local musicians to tell their stories,” he said.

“Now they will have more chance of their music actually being played on SABC and reaching a mass audience.”

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SABC radio stations playing 90% local music is a great idea: Gareth Cliff