Gareth Cliff's 'unradio' venture may yet be a success

By Gabisile Ngcobo
17 July 2014

It’s been 10 weeks since the brave radio guru, Gareth Cliff took a leap of faith – quit his 5 FM breakfast show and ventured into what he calls “unradio”.

It’s been 10 weeks since Gareth Cliff took a leap of faith and quit his 5 FM breakfast show to venture into what he calls “unradio”.

And he says after 10 weeks CliffCentral.com is already a thriving community of engaged, interactive conversations that connect people across online radio, social media, and WeChat.

“After enjoying some 15 years on radio – from Tuks to 702 to 5FM – and loving every minute of it, it was time for me to do something new …to have my own business,” he wrote on his blog. It hasn’t been an easy ride -- TV channel Comedy Central recently dumped The Gareth Cliff Show as a simulcast web show because it didn't attract enough viewers who wanted to listen and watch it on DStv satellite pay-TV platform. But Gareth is determined to soldier on and if the numbers are anything to go by perhaps his idea wasn't bad after all. Here are the stats that show Gareth may be on to something:

• The online talk radio station now has 12 hours of live programming every weekday.

• They have more than 111 000 subscribers on WeChat and have been seeing a daily increase in the messaging facility direct to the studio.

• CliffCentral.com has 44 000 Facebook friends and 26 500 Twitter followers.

• The podcast downloads are gaining momentum with 38 000 downloads during June.

• CliffCentral.com had 47 209 users, 11 6021 sessions and 282 242 page views in the month of June.

“Our aim is to start small and build a solid foundation, accompanied by like-minded contributors, advertisers and ‘un-listeners’ who share our entrepreneurial spirit.

"I’m more convinced than ever that this will be the medium of tomorrow,” he says.

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