In South Africa, retail radio stations are rapidly rising, with retail chains reaching new audience growth and listener affinity with their digital stations.
The Head of HaveYouHeard, Jon Savage, articulated that success in retail radio is owed to understanding one’s audience demographics overlain by tempo maps.
Jon Savage referenced one particular sports retail chain as “catering for a more savvy and digitally inclined youth audience.” Being ahead of the trend is very important to this listener base; therefore, playing a generic FM station in-store wouldn’t resonate with this audience. “The music offering needs to be more than traditional radio stations and clubs,” Savage noted.
According to the Division Head, the strategy is to have new music selection before traditional radio stations and create opportunities for new artists to debut their music on the in-store audio space.
In addition to having a clear audience demographic – what they liked, where they hung out – tempo mapping has assisted the strategists in identifying what the audience was looking for when they came into the store, as well as how the audience behaved at different times of day and on other days of the week.
The tempo maps strategy led to them ‘upping the tempo’ on Friday afternoons and including DJ mixes on the playlists over the weekends.
“By applying this strategy, Sportscene, a sports retail chain, won the SA Hip-Hop Award for the coolest brand contribution to hip-hop; this approach has become a great success so much that the retail brand now has its own recording studio,” added Savage.
The audience at Markham, a retail partner of Sportscene, highlighted that their playlist needed to have a more commercial broader appeal, still youth orientated but more mid-tempo, more dance, a little more pop-based, a lot less cutting edge.
“With Markham, we have a broader audience that is more attuned to a popular range of music,” mentioned Savage.
“For Sportscene, we look at trends on TikTok to update our playlist. For Markham, we look at trends in our audience demographic throughout Spotify and traditional radio,” Savage said.