What This Year’s Most Played South African Songs On Radio Tells Us About The Industry

South African radio, particularly commercial radio, has consistently been criticized for not playing enough local music over the years. Although international music still dominates many a playlist, local music has made some strides; we’re now hearing a lot more of our own music on the airwaves.

A Radio Monitor chart on the Top 100 Most Played South African Songs on radio from 1st January to 4th November found its way to social media recently; Radio Monitor provides music airplay data, media capture and media delivery to major record labels, artists, managers, label services and performing rights organisations.

This is what the Top 40 Most Played South African Songs chart tells us about the local music industry in 2017;

Prince Kaybee’s Charlotte, with 6760 spins, is the most played local song on radio this year. AKA’s The World Is Yours (2), Caiphus Song (11), Don’t Forget To Pray (26) and 10 Fingers (34) make him the artist with the most songs on the chart. Features included; Shekinah and Lady Zamar share the second spot with three songs apiece. Amanda Black, Euphonik, MiCasa and Mobi Dixon have two songs each on the Top 40.

House music is the leading genre on South African radio, a staggering 22 songs on the chart fall into the House music category, followed by Hip-Hop with seven songs and Afro-Pop with six songs. The rest are a variety of genres from gospel to pop.

Major labels are still running the industry, Universal Music Group owns 14 of the songs on the chart, Sony Music Entertainment owns 9 and various indie labels own the remaining 17. Although the internet, through the growth of digital distribution and the proliferation of social media, has led to artists increasingly going the independent route, only two labels, MiCasa’s 34 Music and Ambitiouz Records have more than one indie owned song on the chart.

Although major labels are still dominant; indie labels continue to rise and succeed on their own, we’re still a massive house music market, and AKA is a pop star darling.


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