MWeb Enables South Africa's First Online Radio Service

Technology & Convergence

MWeb's unlimited internet has enabled the launch of SA's first online radio service that is targeting the tech-savvy market. 2oceansvibe Radio is aiming to change the face of radio in the country as it believes its target market is not catered for by the mainstream radio stations.

2oceansvibe was co-founded by Seth Rotherham, who four years ago hosted an internet radio talk show "for fun" via his website to test its feasibility. However, the lack of broadband and the price of internet in SA hamstrung his plans to launch a full service.

MWEB signed a contract with 2oceansvibe to provide it with high-speed internet, to demonstrate the benefits of having unlimited high-speed internet. "2oceansvibe is an online hub and we needed a partner who would be able to facilitate all our broadband and streaming needs with the least possibility of the service being interrupted," Mr Rotherham said.

Carolyn Holgate, GM of MWeb Connect, said MWeb's sponsorship of companies is limited but it "believes in 2oceansvibe as this shows the full potential of the internet. Over time internet radio will grow -- and to realise the full potential, uncapped internet at affordable prices will be key."

In March, MWeb became the first internet service provider to launch uncapped ADSL broadband in South Africa. Since then it has attracted more than 70000 subscribers to its low-cost, uncapped ADSL broadband offering.

However, until internet penetration increases in the country, 2oceansvibe will have limited local access. But those with smartphone handsets such as BlackBerry and iPhone will be able to access it.

Rotherham is targeting an LSM 12-14 niche audience and has 10000 listeners locally and internationally. It broadcasts from 8am- 3pm, with the intention of increasing the hours in future.

"The local radio stations do not appeal to me and our target market anymore. There is no platform for issues that our listeners want to discuss. The iPad, for example, might seem like a non issue to (the mainstream radio audience), but it's a big deal to the market we are targeting," he said.

Like traditional radio stations, 2oceansvibe makes money from advertising, but  Rotherman said the station's main focus is on high brand names.