As South Africans we are a people with a love for music. Music lives within us and forms part of the way we socialise, engage, reminisce, and connect. We are fierce karaoke singers, air guitarists and back-up singers. When lyrics fail us, we make up our own and we’re not afraid to turn up the volume on our favourite songs.
Radio has long served as the main source of South African’s musical fix, with more than 60% of adult population tuning into radio on a weekly basis. As a medium, radio has built and developed trust relationships with audiences and has become a mirror for the mood of the communities served and forms part of the collective voice of the people.
Radio has been an influential tastemaker in the music landscape, and it continues to be one the main reasons people engage actively with the platform. Despite an ongoing affinity with radio brands, which still form a considerable part of listening habits in South Africa, people have increasingly started experimenting with online audio consumption over the last few years.
The latest research findings from the second Infinite Dial study in South Africa indicates 61% of the local metropolitan population now actively listens to online audio, an increase by a staggering 22% since 2019.
As an agile medium, these changes in consumption habits and the rapid shifts in technology, has meant that radio has needed to shift to cater to the needs of audiences.
Audio and innovation
African Media Entertainment (AME) has a deep history with radio and the business of radio. From our two radio stations, OFM in Central South Africa and Algoa FM in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route, United Stations as a specialist radio sales house, MediaHeads 360 as a specialist agency with a strong audio influence and Moneyweb, AME is a business that understands the power and value of audio.
Our radio teams have intimate knowledge in catering to audiences, understanding the nuance of seasons, times of the day and what makes the music we play so popular. We’ve spent years catering to, and receiving feedback from, our audiences, sculpting playlists that have become the soundtracks to their days and lives! It is with this intimate knowledge of music and audio that we are excited to introduce our newest online audio addition.
Conceptualised with a deep love of music and understanding the evolving audio landscape, AME is pleased to invite you to push play on Simply Smooth.
With a successful history in serving audiences through crafted music products, I drove the vision of building a local offering, of the internationally acclaimed Smooth Radio format. With added expertise in music and lifestyle programming by Neil Johnson and Peter de Nobrega, this popular music format is set to create a unique sound that matches the relaxed South African way inspired by music and lifestyle.
As audiences embrace technology and actively engaging with audio content online, radio has evolved into being more than the box you used to listen to your favourite music on. Radio is now the all-encompassing art and science of conceptualising, creating, distributing, and engaging with audio.
Simply Smooth harnesses the power of music and the role it plays in peoples’ lives whilst acknowledging the need to be on multiple devices, embracing the power of digital. Music consumption is now not only powered by radio, but by digital audio platforms too. This is a unique place to be in as audiences can sculpt and choose their own selections based on what they feel like and their current mood.
The beauty of providing a digital stream with elements of traditional radio nuance, means that we can still take the listener on a journey and provide them with an experience an algorithm is unable to provide. Streaming audio removes the guess work and provides a service that digital music services don’t offer. Coupled with this, it comes at no additional cost to the listener.
Audio and technology
Based on bandwidth availability and the device used, the listener can control the quality of the audio stream. If the Simply Smooth stream is being accessed in a fibre rich environment on a hi-fidelity system, the user can opt for a high-quality audio stream while a lower connection could be used if one were listening on the move through your mobile phone.
The space where digital and audio meets hold infinite possibilities as one considers that rapid changes in the tech landscape in the last few years. The beauty of Simply Smooth is that it uses technology as a tool to enable communication but the power of radio to make the listening experience real and personal. In time, the listening experience and journey will become more engaged and enriched as the audience will be able to directly interact with their favourite audio stream.
The Simply Smooth sound
In a world of digital options and clutter it could be easy to be get lost in the noise.
Simply Smooth understands the challenges of going digital as much as we understand our audience. We’ve harnessed the years of knowledge gained from our media platforms at AME and combined it with our acute sense of the online and on-demand digital world to create Simply Smooth.
With a focus on digital metro dwellers with urban lifestyle choices and influences, Simply Smooth will deliver a uniquely local influence in music. The station will still deliver the best smooth options from around the globe with hit after hit after hit: all the songs you love with their cherished memories you cherish and the songs that have influenced your life. At the same time, Simply Smooth will make sure you’re still creating new memories with the latest contemporary hits, streamed to you 24/7, with no additional cost.
Simply Smooth is an always on music companion and available on www.simplysmooth.co.za, no subscription necessary.
Click, listen, and enjoy all the music you love in one place. You’ll hear local icons who’ve influenced the global stage from Johnny Clegg and Zahara, to global icons who’ve played on our local stages like Michael Bublé and Michael Jackson.
Dave Tiltmann is group chief executive officer of African Media Entertainment.
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