In South Africa, Radio, as a medium, is still dominant and resilient. That was a key finding from the recent release of first quarter 2023 results by the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa.
BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker, said, “Radio holds a position of dominance within the media environment that is buoyant in an array of media formats. However, the emergence of this array of media formats is changing the dynamics of the media environment.”
Regarding overall collective media consumption, the act of ‘viewing’ takes the lead with 86%, encompassing various forms such as free-to-air and satellite/subscription channels, video streaming, and TV streaming services.
Following closely behind is the ‘listening’ collective, which includes radio, music streaming, and podcasts, accounting for 83% of media consumption. The ‘internet’ collaborative, consisting of social messaging and social media, takes the third spot with 81%, with ‘reading’ occupying the fourth position with 51%, including online newspapers or news sites, print newspapers, and magazines.
Historically, the 35- to 49-year-old demographic, comprising 11.7 million people, are ardent radio listeners but are now increasing their video streaming. Younger listeners in the 24 to 34 age group are increasing engagement with music streaming and podcasts within the listening cluster.
Radio listening amongst male audiences is vital at an almost 80% P7D (Past 7 Days) reach, with a slight decline in female listeners.
Radio is stronger in the middle- and upper-income brackets/economically active population, while lower-income individuals have a slightly lower reach.
What is interesting to note is that those segmentations that have a broader media repertoire tend to have a higher radio reach. This highlights and demonstrates radio’s popularity amongst various media types.
The report highlighted that music still rates highly in the shows that people like to listen to. Local news, weather, advice and traffic at 65.9%, 64.8%, 59.4% and 55.9 respectively, indicate that localised content still drives radio listenership.