SA’s burgeoning online radio industry has taken a hard knock amid the storm over listenership figures. But bad attitudes have only made things worse.
It’s been a tough week for the burgeoning industry of online radio in South Africa, after blogger Shaun Dewberry made short work of inflated listenership figures, and an independent investigation confirmed his suspicions: the 40 000-plus listeners for certain online stations were revealed as little more than a few hundred.
But while two prominent online radio stations were equally affected by the revelations, their different PR strategies have made all the difference.
“I think 2OceansVibe has been quite exemplary whereas Ballz Visual Radio has continued playing the bully role with which they initiated the debate on their side,” said World Wide Worx MD and ICT analyst Arthur Goldstuck.
“What’s been made clear from 2OceansVibe is that they want to resolve this issue and be transparent whereas Ballz, although they acknowledged the situation and want it to be resolved, are still taking a shoot the messenger, and bullying approach.”
“There was quite a difference,” said Dewberry, a blogger and IT expert.
“Ballz responded with a direct phone call. They seemed to be under the impression that they didn’t know what I was talking about. 2OceansVibe seemed to keep a back seat.”