Thursday, 1 May 2014

CliffCentral – revolutionising local content

This post is being typed from the new studios of CliffCentral, the groundbreaking initiative of radio personality Gareth Cliff and his team One On One Productions, including Rina Broomberg who was involved in launching Radio 702 in the 80s, the hugely popular talk radio station in Johannesburg. CliffCentral is the first internet radio station in South Africa that uses social media (WeChat) and television (ComedyCentral) for distribution, live.

Gareth’s team recently resigned from major national station, 5FM where he had gathered significant interest for his straight talking and at times, controversial, show. They saw an opportunity to take radio to a new level and in the process revolutionise traditional content distribution in South Africa. Indeed, he promotes his show as being very “unradio” and promises a unique experience beyond the restricted confines of traditional radio stations.
Testing yesterday

In just a few weeks, his team has kitted out a studio, negotiated partnerships with sponsors and distribution channels and began advertising for new shows and talent in the country, to join CliffCentral. Auditions for over one thousand applicants are live, taking place right now! Meantime, Nando’s, never to miss a beat, are serving a controversial “breakfast” with a puppet show (#hotornot).

There is a significant buzz and even a sense that a little bit of history is in the making. His first show streamed online, has already had WeChat searching for solutions to deal with the demand.


Of course all of this has interesting IP considerations, from cyber squatter protection and online reputational management to licensing models for copyrighted content and performance rights in new distribution channels, as well as structuring. It’s rare that I write about my work day (and not without permission) but it’s been great to be part of this.   

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