YFM@10: a true revolution in urban radio

Nockus and Brown Berry

Since the liberalisation of the airwaves in the early 90s, the country’s radio space has had no ‘peace’ ever since. Radio stations sprung up in droves with most of them serving the general populace while the rest attempted to serve specific segments of the market.

In Accra, and by extension the Greater Accra Region alone, we have over 40 radio stations with most of them serving the masses in either English or Twi with a couple serving in the Ga Language. Some of these stations either serve all music or all talk but others offer a mixed package.

Arguably, before 2008, none of these stations really served the youthful urban segment of the population adequately. This fast growing market needed a radio station to cater for their needs but all those who attempted including a campus based radio station fell short of the growing taste of the urban youth.

Then YFM came to town and, according to radio experts and analysts, the growing urban youth finally had a radio station dedicated to their needs. Whether in terms of programming, content, or event the station offered, these young, enterprising and social media savvy Ghanaians lapped it all up. YFM has become a safe haven for their love of Hiplife, Hip Hop and anything hip.

YFM Staff popping champagne

Today, the station has withstood the test of time and developed a core following. As it marks its 10th anniversary this year with a tall list of activities, the station, which moved from 107.7mhz to 107.9mhz, has cemented its position as the leader of urban radio in Accra and beyond.

From a small office in Asylum Down to the Silverbird Cinemas at the Accra Mall and now at the banking segment at the mall, YFM started 10 years ago after the management of the Global Media Alliance (GMA) Group did a market study which gathered the opinions of focus groups.

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The outcome of the main focus group, led by Nana Kwame Osei Sarpong, popularly known as NOCKUS who is currently one of the longest serving staff of the station, led to the institution’s establishment.

Many popular Hiplife artistes in Ghana today were born out of YFM or had their songs turned to hit songs by the presenters and DJs of the station. The station can boast of a great team of staff made up of the best DJs in Ghana and Africa as well as great presenters in the business.

To underscore the station’s acclaim to leadership of a fast crowding urban radio market, YFM emerged the 3rd Most Influential Radio Station with massive presence on social media for the year 2017, just after Joy FM and Citi FM, which are mass market English speaking radio stations.

This was contained in the 2017 Ghana Social Media Rankings (GSMR) report which was conducted by Avance Media, CliQAfrica, Eazzy Social and Dream Ambassadors Foundation GH in partnership with Pearl Richards Foundation.

The GSMR ranking was based on analysis from the various Social Media followings, Growth Difference, Engagements, Post Reaches and Mentions of the Radio Stations’ social media handles. YFM beat off the likes of Adom FM, Live FM, Starr FM, Peace FM, Kasapa and Nyhira FM among others.

To kick-start the year-long anniversary celebrations, the station officially launched its 10th Anniversary to celebrate a decade of providing professional, entertaining and award winning content to listeners in Ghana and beyond with a massive party at Accra Mall Food Court.

Speaking at the launch of the anniversary dubbed Y@10, Ernest Boateng, CEO of Global Media Alliance Group, said since the establishment of the station, YFM has climbed the media ladder of success, becoming the number one youth station in Ghana currently, making the YFM brand a very powerful one.

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He added that as part of the Y@10 celebrations, there are going to be 10 major events including some Corporate Social Responsibility activities, with the biggest event happening at the end of the year. Some of the events include Area Codes, Slum Invasion and Loud in GH among others.

“Ten years ago, some great minds in the industry conceived and birthed the idea that has over the years become Ghana’s number one music station. Since the station was established by the Global Media Alliance (GMA) Group in 2008, YFM has grown to become the most listened to youth and urban station in the country. The station has climbed the media ladder of success, becoming the number one youth station in Ghana currently,” Mr. Boateng said.

He commended the hardworking and dedicated staff, management and clients for making the 10year journey an exciting and intriguing one.

The event which was heavily attended by the clients, celebrities and loyal listeners across the country, commenced with a documentary of how YFM started and the current state of the station with some of the YFM stars who have been around from the beginning – Nokus, Ms Naa, Eddy Blay, Trigmatic and DJ Killer Fingers among others- telling the YFM story.

“YFM has over the years groomed and trained various individuals who are currently working with other brands across the country. YFM looks forward to training and churning out more professionals for the industry,” Mr. Boateng disclosed.

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