Cliff Central co-founder Gareth Cliff and ex-Metro FM radio personality Tbo Touch have joined forces to bring the next generation of entertainment streaming to South Africa. Touch made the announcement at a swanky media breakfast in Sandton, stating that the venture between himself and Cliff is "the future".

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The collaborative project named Touch Central will be South Africa's first ever 24-hour online streaming platform of its kind and will be free to the first one million subscribers. The online streaming service will also have a major focus on local music while including local and international radio personalities to host their shows.

"This is historic for me," said Touch. "Sometimes life gives you an unexpected opportunity, and you have to grab it. There were other offers but I've seen Gareth and the work that he is doing, and this is going to change the game."

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Touch will host a show from 3 pm to 7 pm on weekdays, keeping the name "The Touchdown" which he previously hosted at MetroFM. The two have also hinted at a top-notch presenter line-up, consisting mostly of female radio jocks; which might include Touch's former co-host Refiloe Mpakanyana, who left the public broadcaster shortly after Touch resigned. Touch also hinted that DJ Khaled could be hosting his own Saturday night hip-hop show on the platform.

Touch Central is a big step towards the future of entertainment streaming, and we assume it would have a similar format as 'Sway In The Morning' on Sirius satellite radio's Shade 45 station. South Africa seems to have missed the ball with digital radio (DAB), which is popular in many other countries such as the USA, the UK and across Europe. 22 million adults in Britain have access to DAB radio, with 94% of the population covered by digital radio signals, yet in South Africa, the format has hardly taken off after launching in February 2014.

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This online streaming service launching next month could usher in a new wave of radio stations, giving people exactly what they want without SABC's terms and conditions. Having an uncensored radio station allows for every angle of the platform to be fine tuned to the owner and the listener's needs and is an exciting step forward for the South African entertainment industry.


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