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Sydney, Australia – September 19, 2023
In a surprising turn of events, CADA, formerly known as The Edge, has found itself embroiled in an identity crisis following its ambitious rebranding efforts earlier this year. Once a Western Sydney broadcaster with a steadfast commitment to hip hop and R&B, the station’s recent transformation into a national multi-platform brand has left both listeners and industry experts scratching their heads.
The rebrand, officially launched on March 31, 2023, aimed to position CADA as “Australia’s home of hip hop and R&B,” but it appears that the station’s new identity might be harder to define than originally thought.
Emily Copeland, the General Manager of CADA, has been at the forefront of the rebranding campaign. She explained that the goal was to expand beyond audio and offer a range of multi-platform content to cater to the ever-evolving preferences of younger audiences. The station’s playlist began to feature not only hip-hop and R&B but also house and dance music, all without a clear acknowledgment of the genre shift.
Kian, Yaz & Avneesha
Copeland defended the decision, stating, “We wanted a name that was short, sharp, easy to say, sounds great on radio, and looks great written down. CADA actually doesn’t have any meaning, which means we’re able to build the meaning around it.”
While the station’s executives may argue that the identity crisis is an opportunity to redefine commercial radio for a youth audience, listeners have been left perplexed. Many long-time fans of The Edge remember the station as a dedicated hip-hop and R&B broadcaster in the mid-2000s and feel disconnected from the new multi-genre approach.
A listener of CADA, Kayla White from Blacktown, lamented, “I used to love tuning in to The Edge 96.1 for the best hip hop and R&B music. Now, it’s like they’re trying to be everything to everyone, and it’s just confusing. I miss the old Edge 96.1. Where did they even find half the personalities that are on that station, straight from Instagram or something, so confused!?”
Footwerk, hosted by Gold Fang, DJ Sarah Morgan, Munasib and Carolina Gasolina
CADA’s attempt to balance its roots with a nationwide, multi-platform strategy has sparked a bit of debate within the industry. While the station insists that it’s embracing the fast-paced nature of modern content creation, some critics argue that the shift dilutes its original identity and confuses CADA’s brand message.
As CADA navigates this identity crisis, it remains to be seen whether it can successfully redefine itself as a multi-platform youth brand while preserving its core values and maintaining the loyalty of its long-time listeners. The station’s willingness to adapt to changing audience preferences and its ambitious efforts to collaborate with brands may ultimately determine its fate in the highly competitive world of commercial radio.
Disclaimer: We attempted to contact CADA (formerly The Edge) for their perspective on the rebranding and identity crisis discussed in this article. However, due to challenges in reaching their team, we were unable to obtain their comments at the time of publication. We remain open to receiving comments, clarifications, or amendments to this story from CADA or ARN and will update it accordingly to ensure a fair and balanced representation of the situation.
Written by: Alex Aliheim
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