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“Radio is one of the greatest media man ever created,” says Benedict Matjiu, a radio producer at 5fm who has worked as a marketing consultant for some of South Africa’s top agencies, and who believes its extensive reach and the powerful stories it can share make it timeless. Matjiu speaks to The Future By Design.



#TheFutureByDesign: How is radio changing?

In short, very slowly. Given the age of technology that we live in, I don’t think radio stations, presenters or producers are moving fast enough to keep it as a cool broadcast medium. Over the last 18-36 months we’ve seen online radio making a mark locally; whether it becomes the new mass broadcast benchmark is another story.~ Benedict Matjiu

TFBD: What will radio look like in the next few years?

I believe radio will stay the same for the most part, purely because of the convenience. Hop in your car and you have a radio, take a run around the block and your phone has a radio (or your own music), while sitting behind your desk at work, chances are you’re listening to the radio.

More and more we’ll see online radio becoming something that people actively pursue, and thereafter podcasts will be the big thing if not already. We may also see more to choose from in the coming years; where we’re currently limited to x amount of talk stations and x number of music stations, people who have the ability and know-how to broadcast and create from home will do so. ~ Benedict Matjiu

TFBD: What do brands need to know about changes in radio?

Brands need to stop selling and start becoming part of the conversations and content. Though brands pay our salaries through scheduled commercials, what they should look to do is be part of what is happening in show content, therefore allowing the show hosts to naturally speak about the brands, versus forced 4 minute spaces made up of ads that may not even be heard by a missed target market.

How is streaming audio shaping up?
Streaming, in my opinion, is taking off. With data rates improving and internet access in homes improving all the time, listeners are now able to stream their favourite stations locally and internationally.

A simple download of an app opens up a world of incredible information, music and listening pleasure. Apps like TuneIn Radio allow for instant access to playlists and radio stations that we previously had no clue about. ~ Benedict Matjiu

TFBD: How is technology changing radio?

Access and speed are probably two of the biggest factors that influence radio. Access to social media creates a whole new dimension to radio. We now speak in hashtags and trending topics on air. With the access comes speed, speed with which to avail oneself to the vast array of information, people and interests. What was hot at 9am is dead by midday.

Technology also enhances the listener experience through multiple levels of interaction. Gone are the days when phone calls and SMSs were used to converse with listeners. The listeners are now active participants in the show. ~ Benedict Matjiu

TFBD: How influential are the new brands like Vice [Noisey] becoming?

Once upon a time, we dreamed of a time when we could wake up in the morning and have access to music that we love, but wanted more artists who would create the sounds we wanted. Today is that day, thanks to brands like Vice. A quick click through a site or browse through an app opens up gigs of artists, labels and music — perhaps a good place for brands to start placing their alluring offerings. ~ Benedict Matjiu

About: Benedict Matjiu

Benedict Matjiu is a radio producer at 5fm and has worked as a marketing consultant for some of South Africa’s top agencies.

Follow him on Twitter: @BenMatjiu