Ja.fm Finds Afrikaans Niche

Listener-driven online station highlights Afrikaans culture, language
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Listener-driven online radio station Ja.fm, provided by Kagiso Media’s Jacaranda FM in Centurion, South Africa, is letting fans of Afrikaans music tune in and hear what they want from near or afar.

The channel, which allows the audience to steer its playlist through online votes, plays a wide range of Afrikaans music to the contentment of many South Africans and South African expats.

“Listeners become highly engaged with the platform because they feel like they are shaping the music that it plays,” said Attila Bernariusz, divisional head of Kagiso Digital. “Our charts are an interesting reflection of the music that listeners want to hear.”

According to Bernariusz, the Afrikaans music scene is vibrant and the Afrikaans language and its culture are reportedly stronger than ever.

The results we are seeing prove that there is a viable business model for niche, online radio stations, Bernariusz says. The station has served more than 20,000 listener-driven radio sessions during a 30-day period, with audience interaction rates growing at 13% in the last month, according to reports.

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