Study shows dramatic growth in online audio and podcast listening

By our News Team | 2022

Monthly online listening grew to 61% of the surveyed SA audience, compared with 39% in 2019 – an increase of 56%.

Sixty-one percent of the South African major metro population age 15 and older have listened to online audio in the last month, while 26% have listened to a podcast in the last month.

This is according to The Infinite Dial 2022 report, which shows dramatic increases from the prior survey in 2019. The second iteration of the report was commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters South Africa (NAB) and produced in association with The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC). 

The study explores digital audio, mobile, smart-speaker ownership, podcast consumption, and social media usage among South Africans age 15+ living within the major metro commercial areas. It covers the upper two of the three SEM Supergroups (or upper three of the five SEM Clusters) in the eight largest metro areas of the country.

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Monthly online listening grew to 61% of the surveyed population, compared with 39% of the surveyed population in the 2019 Infinite Dial report, an increase of 56%. Monthly podcast listening was up 26%, compared with 10% of the population in the prior study. 

“While the pandemic may have accelerated these trends, the digital listening data still provides advertisers and media agencies with a rich research additive to traditional radio listening,” said the BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker.

Traditional radio listenership is still strong 

Even as consumption of online audio and podcasts continues to grow, listening to radio remains strong. 

Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed population are weekly radio listeners, consistent with 68% from the prior survey. Traditional radio ownership is still very high, as 94% of the surveyed population own at least one radio. 

Radio listening at home has also expanded to non-radio devices, as 64% of those surveyed reporting listening to radio at home on a non-radio device – an increase from 44% in the prior survey.

Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research, shared findings from the study in an online presentation. He noted that: “The increase in online audio consumption and podcast listening among those we surveyed in South Africa points to a space that can accommodate many audio platforms, while radio stays strong. We hope this data, that shows robust growth in audio consumption, motivates advertisers to consider all of these various audiences.”

Other highlights from the study include:

  • 90% of the major metro population age 15+ own a smartphone.
  • 32% of the major metro population age 15+ own a smart speaker.
  • 80% of the major metro population age 15+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month currently use AM/FM radio in-car.
  • Weekly podcast listeners consume an average of four episodes per week.

The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behaviour in America, created by Edison Research and tracked annually since 1998. The Infinite Dial study has been conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and South Africa.

Click here to download the report: https://brcsa.org.za/infinite-dial-south-africa-2022-webinar/

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.