It has been a busy first quarter for Volume — one of JamLab’s teams from the first accelerator programme in 2017. Since completing the six month programme and getting funding of a half million Rand from South African Media Innovation Progam, they have been focused on strengthening the commercial side of their business.

Co-founder, Roland Perold, says getting this investment has made a big difference.

“That really impacted the way that we are approaching this year. We all of a sudden had access to some resources that we can use to really sell and build up the business. So that’s been a really big change,” say Perold.

In addition to the grant funding, Volume will have access to mentoring and expertise for the next three years, to help them become financially sustainable.

During their time on the accelerator programme the team ran under the brand “Volume News”, but have since then focused on building out the broader brand. They’ve started working on a new website that will be hosted on with the goal of conveying the new message.

“We want to offer community radio stations better content, better advertising, better local news in a more efficient, timely manner. And enable them to grow their audiences and offer a better listening experience to their listeners. So that’s kind of the mission of volume as a business,” says Perold.

Perold says they are focusing on their value proposition to community radio stations as well as providing value to advertisers. Their goal is to offer the best content in terms of local news, advertising and sponsored content to enable them to increase their listenership and provide a better listening experience to listeners. Their commercial focus is on businesses and brands and enabling them to reach audiences across multiple community radio stations in a creative way.

“I’m pitching that part of our business to advertisers and brands quite aggressively. That revenue stream that would enable us to sustainably run the volume news part of our business. So that’s been really exciting. It’s a whole different game to doing local news. It’s obviously a different message and a different approach,” added Perold.

Late last year the team was awarded a work space grant at the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct sponsored by the Skills Education Training Authorities (SETA) foundation.

“We got two desks at the precinct sponsored for a year and a full year membership at Tshimologong. That’s been a massive cost saver for us, for one, and secondly, just being part of the community here has been awesome,” says Perold.

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