Thabo “<a href="https://twitter.com/iamtbotouch” target="_blank">T-bo Touch" Molefe has announced that the online radio platform he started with Gareth Cliff (founder of <a href="https://cliffcentral.com” target="_blank">CliffCentral) <a href="https://touchcentral.fm” target="_blank">TouchCentral, will be relaunched and re-branded to Touch HD beginning on 3 April 2017. The relaunch is reported to be costing approximately $2,2 million (R28 million) according to T-bo Touch.
Along with the relaunch Touch HD have revealed that some new faces will be joining the online radio platform, among those is Glen Lewis, a veteran radio DJ who has served at South Africa’s METRO FM for over two decades. He will also be joined by another South African radio veteran broadcaster, Tim Modise, who will likely be hosting a talk show on Touch HD.
Although there continues to be a lot of buzz around online radio platforms, they come with challenges especially in South Africa. One of those challenges is the cost of data in South Africa as the country is ranked among one of the most expensive Afrikan countries to buy data in. This has previously seen T-bo Touch lead the #DataMustFall campaign along with Gareth Cliff which eventually only resulted in TouchCentral and CliffCentral being zero-rated on MTN South Africa’s network.
With high data it means online radio platform listeners are not as hogh as their traditional radio counterparts but things should improve in the coming years as the South African government has said it is taking an active stance to see how it can influence the reduction in data costs.