At this years’ Radio Days Africa, celebrity guest and Cliff Central Founder Gareth Cliff gave some hard hitting facts about the future of radio. Often deemed controversial and opinionated, Cliff shared his experiences of leaving 5FM and the huge advantages of podcasts in radio.

Gareth Cliff is no stranger to the spotlight and his presentation at the Radio Days Africa 2015 conference, hosted at Wits, confirmed the adversities he had to face in launching his online radio channel Cliff Central which has turned into a huge success.

Cliff shared his frustrations with working at a terrestrial radio station such as 5FM particularly the time constraints when talking to guests; the spot breaks, the news, traffic, commercials, music and other time check station ID’s. On an online radio station “You can have a real conversation,” he said.

The radio  television personality expressed his passion for podcast usage by audiences. Listeners are able to pause when they like, and play it over, “I can pick it up again later, and its my little bit of me time; it’s selfish, it’s indulgent, it’s pure. You miss something on radio, you missed it.”

Cliff also noted the importance of catering to the specific needs of people rather than a large unrelated number of people. He expressed that if a listener is passionate about fishing, or needle thread, they should be able to find that and keep that. He also says its much more effective in advertising.

The often ignored and normal way DJ’s carry a show is outdated he emphasized. Letting the listener know about the time, weather and that ‘You’re listening to… your hottest frequency on…”, that formula is dying.

Cliff expressed his excitement about the future of radio and particularly online streaming and podcasts in Africa. “We’ve got great talent, we’ve got abilities, we’ve got people who have stories to tell, and the world wants to hear our stories!”

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