Western Cape Business News

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MARKETING: Radio Most Popular Media


Recent Western Cape Business News

Radio is by far the most popular form of media in South Africa. It is cheap, portable and requires no electricity or literacy to enjoy. There are more than 10 million households with radios and approximately 28 million people tune in to listen every week.

Vicki Myburgh, director of Entertainment & Media for PwC Southern Africa says, “PwC plays a pivotal role in supporting entertainment and media (E&M) across the business world. The PwC South African Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2010-2014 (The Outlook) provides an in-depth look into the performance and future of E&M industry in South Africa.”

In 2009, advertising spend accounted for 82% of the radio market despite experiencing a decline for the first time in five years. According to The Outlook, the economic recovery coupled with spending related to the FIFA World Cup, boosted advertising revenues for the six months ended June 2010 achieving a level of R1.24 billion, compared to R1.05 billion in the same period in 2009.

The radio industry is made up of three categories: public services broadcasting sector, a commercial sector and community radio stations. English is the most popular broadcasting language and accounts for over a third of programming, followed by Afrikaans and Zulu which account for slightly less than a third of programming.

Ukhozi FM, the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Zulu-language station, was rated the top station by audiences in 2009. Metro FM and Umhlobo Wenene FM took second and third place respectively.

Community radio stations attract much smaller audiences than the commercial or public stations, attracting more than seven million listeners per week. Jozi FM leads with approximately 500,000 listeners, followed by Unitra Community Radio and Alfred Nzo Community radio that each have about 300,000 listeners.

Launched in 2008, the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) was formed to promote the use of radio as an advertising platform. RAB is focused on educating advertising agencies on the strengths of the media and how radio can be used more effectively.

Public stations rely on advertising and public funding for revenues. Radio advertising has been negatively impacted by the recession and radio advertising declined almost every month in 2009 when compared to the previous year.

However, radio advertising is expected to reverse its downward trend in 2010, gains of approximately 10% are expected in 2011 and 2012. As the economy speeds its recovery, radio advertising is expected to accelerate with an 11.1% increase in 2013 and a 12.1% advance in 2014.

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