CliffCentral turns 5

CliffCentral held an event at its studio in Sandton this week to celebrate its 5th birthday as well as to outline its growth.

The podcast platform was started by former 5FM breakfast show host Gareth Cliff on 1 May 2014 under the mantra of being “unradio.”

Since then, it has grown to the point of having 58 shows listed on its website.

CliffCentral’s audience

According to Cliff, what is truly important when developing a reputable podcast platform is providing listeners with high-quality content.

“We’re talking to thought leaders, we’re talking to upwardly-mobile people, we’re talking to early adopters – and all of those people are extraordinarily powerful endorsers of the content they’re spreading around,” said Cliff.

Ernest North and Timothy Maurice, hosts of “The Naked Economy” and “The Brain and Brand Show” respectively, also gave speeches on how CliffCentral’s listenership is particularly loyal.

North said that he conducted a test on a 10-episode CliffCentral show to determine how loyal listeners are, and found that listeners share content with their friends.

Effect of data prices

Cliff also spoke about the price of data, and said that data costs aren’t as big a hindrance to CliffCentral as many may believe – even though he believes they are way too high.

“Five years ago when we began this, everybody said ‘your biggest stumbling block is going to be data costs’,” said Cliff.

To counter this, he highlighted two reasons why he believes this statement to be false:

  • People’s time is their most precious asset, meaning that they are willing to pay for data if it means listening to something that matters.
  • Poor people are often the victims of “soft bigotry” – more affluent people often believe that just because people don’t have a lot of money, they don’t know how to spend it well.


The growth of podcasts

Cliff said that podcasts are a fast-growing medium, and are performing well in international markets.

“It started off at a much lower base, obviously, but it’s growing at 70% year-on-year in America, which is tremendous,” said Cliff.

“It’s on track to become as big as your Facebooks and Twitters and Instagrams.”

One reason for the growth of podcasts, said Cliff, is that they don’t compete for your time.

“This is completely different to the time you have to dedicate to YouTube, Facebook, television, and all of those things – which don’t fit into your life as easily.”

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CliffCentral turns 5