I don’t listen to ZBC Radio much these days, but unlike some content I choose not to consume, with ZBC Radio it’s not because I don’t like the content. I actually love the content very much, especially that SFM channel. The reason I don’t tune in to it is that I can’t. I just can’t access ZBC Radio conveniently anymore.
I spend most of my day working at a desk in front of a computer, and like many people I know I’m connected to the internet most of that time. I don’t have a radio because, again like a lot of people, a gadget in the house or workplace that just does radio and nothing else is, well, so 90s.
Why does ZBC not just stream radio live on the internet?
I’m not talking about the kind of streaming they struck deals with JumpTV back in 2009 for. Clearly that’s not working. I’m talking about simple live radio streaming that SABC and 702 talk radio in South Africa are providing over the internet. Or what LM Radio in Mozambique is doing. Or what tens of other stations on the continent are doing.
And let us not give the ‘Zimbabwe has bandwidth problems’ excuse anymore. Radio streaming is not that heavy on bandwidth, nor does it require a super fast connection.
Of course there are still millions out there that don’t have access to the internet and do rely on radios, TVs and newspapers to consume news and entertainment. The good thing about streaming radio live on the internet is that ZBC can satisfy both types of consumers at the same time. I’m sure the folks in the diaspora would love this too!
The benefit for ZBC is that advertisers will love that they are reaching even more listeners, which just means more revenue to the company. Surely this doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars to do? And while they are at it, a free to air satellite radio channel wouldn’t hurt either. It will all just make advertisers happy to write them cheques.
Or is there another reason I’m just not aware of? Radio licenses?