How much data does the Gareth Cliff CliffCentral show consume ? MTN says nothing

How much data does the CliffCentral show consume ?

May 1st is Workers Day. it is a Public Holiday in South Africa where South Africans remember the historical struggles of workers for fair employment standards. This morning, Twitter was abuzz, but not with workers Day stories but there was a greater power that had the nation glued to their TV, Computers and Mobiles phone as South Africans tuned in to listen as the self-titled President Gareth Cliff as he and his team launched

@Garethcliff took the top spot of trending issues in Johannesburg beating out the ANC and Workserday

CliffCentral rules Tiwtter

The “un-radio” terms was coined to describe the show as it is not restricted by traditional broadcasting rules due to the fact that is is streamed live on the net and via the WeChat app. However the show is also beamed directly onto Comedy Central on channel 122 on DSTV between 7h35 and 9h00 every weekday morning. As the show is broadcast live on TV, the team has to abide by some rules as that section would still fall under the traditional broadcasting authority rules. It will be interesting to see how the contradiction of “do what you will on the Un-Radio” and “remember the rules as we are live on TV” plays out…

The mass appeal of the show has been the non-traditional method of communication as the show is streamed  which lead to two questions that seem to come up from mobile-users:

How much data will the CliffCentral show consume?

Unlike traditional radio that is “free” as long as you pay your TV licence that is, if you listen to streaming audio or a podcast on your mobile phone there is a data cost that you have to pay. Streaming audio is highly compresses which means you still get the good quality but the size of the data flowing in and out of your phone is small. Data will also vary from time to time and from show to show.

This morning’s show streamed via the WeChat app, consumed just over 10 Megabytes of data for 1 hour.  So depending on your contract and the data bundles you have loaded, that would determine how much you would pay per megabyte of data.

If I would buy a Vodacom  Once Off Broadband Standard data bundle of 15 Megabytes it would cost me R8.99. Of course check with your own provider what your data rates are and the more you bundle, the cheaper it is.

There was a note from Gareth Cliff saying that “We’re working on ways to get those data costs down”.

If you want to listen to the show via WeChat and you happen to connect to a WiFi network, then there will be no mobile data cost as the device will use the WiFi network (provided it is set that way).

Update: 5 May 2014: – MTN has released new Data packages (see info here) and somehow, WeChat and Cliff Central have manged to negotiate that WeChat streaming of the show will be for free !

This is a rather big deal. By having MTN zero rate the data for this specific application it shows that not only does the networks have this ability, but MTN also sees a business advantage in being first automatically associating themselves with the hype surrounding CliffCentral “un-radio”. Very very smart.

mtn wechat

How do I listen to the CliffCentral show in my car ?

There are several ways to hook up your phone to your car’s audio so that you can listen to the show whilst on the go:

Bluetooth Radio

Bluetooth – if you have a sound system that allows for Bluetooth integration that is ideal. Refer to the car audio’s manual and look for the How to Pair instructions which will tell you how to pair your mobile phone with your sound system. Once it is paired then whenever you switch on any audio app on your mobile device you can set it to play via the Bluetooth Speaker which is this case would be the car’s sound system.

Aux cable

Aux – most newish car audio systems will have an Auxiliary port. This looks like a little hole that your headphones could plug into. Find yours. If might be on the car’s audio system or might be by the cigarette lighter or by the cup holders. Once you find it then buy Aux cable. Plug the one into the headphone jack of your phone and the other into the Aux port. Select Aux on your system and whatever you listen to on your phone will be played through the car’s system.

ps. If your car has an Aux port but no Bluetooth, you can also purchase a Bluetooth audio receiver so that you can just stream music to your sound system without the cables.

Civvo portable speakers

Speaker – you can purchase some ShoX speakers or Civvo Bluetooth portable speakers and simply plug those into your phone. Simple and effective.


So in summary:

Live streaming is not new. Podcasts are not new either. What Gareth Cliff has done is put together proven technologies which allow him and the team to host their show with very little interference. The WeChat app allows for direct engagement with audience, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are platforms for everybody to get involved and have a say.

CliffCentral is the love child Reality TV and No-holds-Barred-Unrestricted Radio. That is where real discussions can happen about real issues that people are already speaking about but now its in a format that  has mass appeal and mass audience.

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter

One thought on “How much data does the Gareth Cliff CliffCentral show consume ? MTN says nothing

Comments are closed.