What’s Playing On Your Radio This Year? A Lot Of House!

Prince Kaybee’s Club Controller is the most played song on South African radio this year, according to data from Radio Monitor, an agency that provides music airplay data, media capture and media delivery to major record labels, artists, and performing rights organisations.

Data for the first six months of the year running from 1st Jan this year through to June 9th, house music leads the overall airplay stakes with 5 house songs in the Top 10 and 10 songs in the Top 20 most played songs on radio this year.

Lady Zamar’s Collide is the second most played song, followed by Niniola’s Maradona coming in third while Kwesta’s Spirit holds 4th for hip-hop and Shekhinah’s Suited closing up the Top 5, together with Please Mr, the songstress has two singles in the top 10 most played so far this year. This shows South Africa to be a house music loving nation, often referred to as the house capital of the world.

Hip-Hop continues too be under pressure; Kwesta’s Spirit is the only local hip-hop song in the Top 20, with Drake’s God’s Plan and Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther soundtrack All The Stars the only other hip-hop songs in the Top 20. AKA’s Sweet Fire comes in at 21, a far cry from his hugely successful The World Is Yours the previous year.

In terms of local music airplay, only 12 of the 40 most played songs on radio this year are international. The overall local vs international split on the 100 most played songs gives shows a precise 60/40 split to local. A clear improvement to our overly westernised sound on radio in the last couple of years.

Major labels are the undisputed kings of radio airplay, accounting for two-thirds of music on radio. Universal Music Group owns 39 of the top 100 songs, Sony Music Entertainment owns 30, Warner Music 9 and 21 independently owned. If you want your music on high rotation, a major label is your best bet.

Contrary to popular belief, radio remains one of the strongest and most important mediums in South Africa, penetrating over 90 percent of the population.

As the music industry prepares for summer releases in the second half of the year, it should be interesting to see who will own the airwaves towards the end of the year. We will continue to watch the radio airplay space.

For now, here is are the Top 10 most played songs on radio this year as captured by Radio Monitor;


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