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Are local radio stations playing enough local songs? … Stations weigh in

2020-07-17  Paheja Siririka

Are local radio stations playing enough local songs? … Stations weigh in
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Paheja Siririka

Local music enthusiasts came out guns blazing with mixed reactions recently when data from Radiomonitor, which tracks music airplay in 97 countries, showed some local radio stations’ playlists did not have local songs on sight.

Established 11 years ago in the United Kingdom, the organisation has been represented in Africa since 2015. 
The spokesperson of Radiomonitr Africa, Jarrod Assenheim, told Entertainment Now! from Johannesburg, South Africa, their mandate is to provide music airplay tracking across radio and television.

Assenheim said they monitor stations when they get requests from new territories. 
“We don’t have any clients in Namibia yet but we have recently started working with a local company, who is providing us with local content (we added more than 700 new local titles in the past few days) and are onboarding new stations as we get requests. 
We are up to 18 stations right now and will add more as they become viable,” he stated.   Assenheim said: “We have the most extensive database of music represented for the countries we monitor. We provide data services for music airplay tracking on radio and TV and the business is funded by customers who use the system.”

He said they have built relationships with music labels, pluggers, stations, CMOs, publishers and artists who require the services in the respective territories. 
“We add new stations when they come online. Some of the local NBC stations do not have stable streaming broadcasts and cannot be monitored correctly,” said Assenheim.

Radiomonitor currently observes stations such as Future Media stations (Radiowave, Fresh FM Namibia, Omulunga Radio), Hitradio Namibia, National FM, West Coast FM, Kosmos Radio, Energy 100 FM, 99FM and others in Namibia.

Zellmari Brandt, the station manager of 99FM, said the criteria for choosing local songs to receive airplay depends on the station’s brand. 
“The only criteria set is that it must fit with our brand, which is a mix between urban and Afrocentric and “lekker”. 
There is always room for improvement as far as playing local songs are concerned; hence, as of August last year, we switched up our music and we played about 20 to 30% local music on 99FM,” detailed Brandt.

She said the common requirement for local artists to submit songs is the cleanliness of the music-no vulgarism. 
“The songs must be clean - radio edited or radio-friendly, in station format - WAV and MP3 format and the music to be submitted must have proper sound mastering,” she stated.

Energy 100 FM’s Production and Programme manager Leizy Nainda said the station has and will always keep on supporting local artists. 
“We were the only station that strictly dedicated every second Wednesday of the month to playing local songs. 
Right now, we play 60% local songs on the station,” stated Nainda.

He said on Energy 100 FM, they play four local songs hourly. “Our criteria format allows for four local songs per hour but not sequential - and that is sufficient, as it complements our format wonderfully. Playing four local songs per hour is already telling the volume of the content of the local songs per hour. 
That, roughly, plus or minus, gets to be equivalent to 60%,” he reiterated.

Nainda mentioned the songs need to have a mass dance appeal and a decent potential to be listed on club DJs’ playlists. 

“All songs must have the quality to be aired.  We do not compromise when it comes to song quality.  All songs must be registered at the Namibian Society of Composer and Authors of Music (Nascam).  
This to avoid confusion and fighting among the local artists,” enlightened Nainda.  –


2020-07-17  Paheja Siririka

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