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Industry Updates

New HIP2B² digital radio station is the smart soundtrack to teens' lives

29 Nov 2011


HIP2B2 Radio Content Producer and Presenter
Neo Letuma does a roving report with HIP2B2 Brand
Ambassadors Thokozile Malaza (from Pretoria) and
Tsholofelo Ndlovu (from Kimberley)

Neo Letuma - Content producer and presenter
As youth go mobile, so does HIP2B² -- the successful youth brand promoting maths, science and technology -- through the launch of its latest touchpoint, HIP2B² Radio.  

The new digital radio station tunes in directly to teens through the technological media they embrace, streaming fun, accessible content through the internet and smart phones.

“We know through our extensive on-the-ground field research and interaction that youth are constantly online, and in particular, on smart phones, and as such, are readily receptive to the kind of smart educational content that we can deliver in a teen-friendly format,” says HIP2B² General Manager Cathryn Treasure.  “With their doors wide open, so to speak, we can be in that space with them, engaging with them interactively in ways we know will boost their desire to learn.”

HIP2B² Radio is streamed via the newly relaunched HIP2B² website (www.hip2b2.com) and can be accessed online and, through its new Mobisite, via smart phones.  It broadcasts live between 2 and 6pm every weekday, with content looping 24/7, which allows teens to log on and listen in whenever they wish.

Listeners join a digital community already 96 000 strong on MXit and 5 500 strong on Facebook. In addition, the HIP2B² magazine reaches seven million learners through its one million printed copies a year.

The station is being positioned as the "soundtrack to the social media lives" of teenagers and is in fact the only South African radio station specifically created for teenagers.  While it is targeted at learners in grades 8 and 9, HIP2B² Radio has proven popular with teens both older and younger.  

According to Treasure, the station has already notched up a listenership of over 18 791 who listen for 30 minutes or more per day during its three months of beta testing with more than half (52%) of them accessing the station via the Web while the rest tune in via their smart phones.   Out of these listeners, 19% spend at least two hours per day listening to HIP2B² Radio.

HIP2B²’s entrée into radio also opens up further opportunities for corporate partners, who play a critical role in the brand’s successful and far-reaching broadcast of its message.  “We think that corporates will be delighted to align themselves with another medium that delivers solid, inspirational messages to South African youth,” says Treasure.

Content is a mix of current chart topping hits (including 40% local music) and interactive shows featuring remarkable science news, brain teasers, entertainment reviews, exam study tips and accessible financial literacy education.  

"The stations' easy listening format is geared towards all the topics teens are genuinely interested in and that relate to their real lives - music, fun, life skills and getting through school, taking the learning experience away from the text book," says Treasure.

‘For youth by youth’ defines the HIP2B² approach to radio.   Content delivery is always real and relevant, without any patronizing tone.  A number of the programmes are produced and presented by HIP2B² Brand Ambassadors from all corners of the country, giving it a national perspective and uniquely South African flavour.  

In addition, programs have a specific teen hook.   For example, if the station is doing a story on careers in chemistry, it will focus on the student’s perspective – why they’ve chosen to study chemistry, what is required of them, what they love about it - rather than the standard dry career coverage teens are often exposed to.

The HIP2B² brand’s primary purpose is to inspire a behaviour change amongst learners in their choice of science and maths as Matric subjects.  These subjects develop entrepreneurial skills and analytical thinking, which lead directly to the development of problem-solving processes.

“Radio gives us another opportunity to change attitudes towards science and maths in school learners by making it relevant to their everyday lives as well as to highlight the value of these subjects in life after school.  The medium allows us to make these subjects fun and engaging and we know this is absolutely key to hooking learners and tapping into their natural curiosity and desire to learn,” says Treasure.

According to Treasure, researchers globally are finding a shift in radio listenership from AM and FM frequencies to digital platforms, especially amongst the youth. “It's a trend being born out in South Africa with its increasing Internet penetration and the dramatic headway smart phones are making in the mobile market,” says Treasure.

Research in the US by Edison Research shows online radio is growing significantly with weekly usage of all forms of online radio having doubled every five years since 2001. Time spent listening to online radio currently stands at nearly 10 hours.  Smart mobile devices are also fuelling new listener growth in the US.

Over the last decade radio has lost its edge as the most prevalent activity in the morning for young people in the States, Edison Research reports, with those listening to the radio dropping from 74% to 41% while use of the Internet rose from 14% to 42%.

Treasure lauds the extended possibilities of ‘New School’ radio, pointing out that in a digital format, content is easy to archive in podcasts.  She says that HIP2B² Radio aims to become a searchable archive of information to learners.  In the future, she adds, HIP2B² wants to expand the online radio station to first multiple community and ultimately a national frequency.

The new station allows learners another opportunity to interact with content created by HIP2B² and will hopefully reach those who might not have access to the magazine. “HIP2B² Radio will become a daily part of the social media lives of its listeners and so manage to insert math and science content into their daily conversation,” says Treasure.


For more information about HIP2B² log onto:
Website: www.hip2b2.com
Facebook: HIP2B2
MXit: Tradepost>MXit Mix>Mag Rack, HIP2B2
Twitter:
@HIP2B2_SA
@CathrynTreasure

Issued and prepared by Lisa van Leeuwen on behalf of HIP2B2. For media queries contact Lisa van Leeuwen on  (021) 447 3434 / 084 553 4629  -
lisavl@telkomsa.net