“Beyond audio:” Why ARN’s The Edge made the switch to CADA


• Emily Copeland, CADA general manager, on the details of the rebrand

At 4pm on March 31st, ARN’s The Edge flicked the switch, officially launching its rebrand to a new national platform: CADA.

Mediaweek spoke to Emily Copeland, CADA general manager, about what the rebrand means for the station, listeners, and brands.

“We identified an opportunity to reimagine The Edge as a multi-platform youth brand – still anchored in hip hop and R&B, but really driven by multi-platform content,” says Copeland. “So it came about because we looked at the way that young audiences are engaging with content, and we knew that taking our offering beyond audio was really important.”

As for what CADA stands for, Copeland says that the answer is nothing in particular.

“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.

“In mentioning the word CADA to people, the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is cadence, which is beautiful because it’s the rhythm of speech and music.”

The logistics of expanding from The Edge’s focus as a Western Sydney broadcaster out into a national platform were never going to be easy, but Copeland says that the team didn’t stop there.

“We’re going to be much more than just a national station, we’re building this multi-platform offering. It’s going to allow us to provide a range of discovery points for our audience.

We’ll still have 96.1 FM in Western Sydney, then we’ll have digital radio in every capital city around the country, iHeartRadio nationally, plus we’re providing content for audiences to engage with on digital and social platforms. This multi-platform approach means that we’re creating content in a different way to traditional commercial radio. We’ve got our on-air studio, but we’ve also got video production studios, and so that’s going to allow us to turn multi-platform content around at the speed of culture.”

Despite going national, Copeland says CADA won’t be popping up in the Sydney radio ratings surveys just yet, as 96.1 FM is a Western Sydney and Blue Mountains station under ARN’s Katoomba licence.

Jumping behind the mic for CADA will be a line-up of hosts and creators as diverse as the station’s audience. Leading the charge are DJ & media personality Flex Mami (Lillian Ahenkan) and comedian & content creator Froomes (Lucinda Price). The pair are on air 5pm-6pm weekdays. 

Copeland says that they really wanted to make sure that everyone on CADA was a music lover and understood the audience they were speaking to.

“We’ve got ARIA nominated artists and content creators, DJs, fashion designers, chefs, and comedians. But we are so excited to be able to bring Flex and Froomes together on CADA because their understanding of how to engage with a youth audience via content is exceptional. The two of them are just as comfortable behind the mic as they are in front of the camera, and that’s also really important when considering our multi-platform content approach.”

the edge

CADA’s talent line-up

Of all the new and exciting things coming out of the CADA rebrand, for ​​Copeland one of the highlights is the opportunities the revamped station will present for brands.

We built this to be able to offer truly integrated opportunities to partners and really great content that goes beyond audio into videos, social, and experiential. We wanted to allow advertisers to reach a diverse national youth audience via this multi-platform approach. 

“We’re working with brands in a really integrated way to tell their stories through our content on air, but also through video, social and events, bespoke content opportunities, and talent partnerships. Brands will still be able to work with us to reach our audience via your traditional 30 second spot, but it is these integrated and multi-platform opportunities that we’ll develop in collaboration with brands, and with the input of our team who’ve all really got their finger on the pulse of music and culture that excites me the most.”

Looking ahead, Copeland hopes that the station becomes synonymous with championing a new way of approaching content for a youth audience. 

We’ve got this opportunity to see huge audience growth, and off the back of that there will be a plethora of content opportunities with both advertisers and artists. We really want to be known for setting the tempo for hip hop and R&B in Australia, for providing unique content opportunities for brands, for the music industry, and also for really championing a new way of thinking about commercial radio.”

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