Podcasting muscles its way into the African marketing mix

By our News Team | 2022

On a continent where huge numbers of young people are embracing non-traditional mediums, the rise of podcasting seems assured.

By 2024, podcast advertising spend in the US will reach US$4.2-billion – a hike of more than 100% from 2022 figures, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC. Does the same rise in podcasting popularity apply to Africa too?

“Podcasting as a share of new media in Africa is growing,” affirms Josephine Karianjahi, co-founder of Africa Podfest, a repository of African podcasts and the custodian of Africa Podcast Day, a celebration of African podcasting held annually on 12 February. “But, currently, many people aren’t sure how much to invest.”


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While Covid-19 sparked interest in podcasts and audio-based content in general – as remote workers tuned in during working hours and people looked for human connections and access to information – little is currently known about the actual size of the African podcasting market. 

Fortunately, research reports from the likes of Africa Podfest, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) are increasingly adding colour to how marketers and brands see this growing new media channel. 

Karianjahi believes podcast marketing should undoubtedly be added to the marketing mix. However, effective execution requires the careful selection of potential partners and involvement from the ground up. This is to ensure marketing efforts are perceived as authentic by the target audience. 

Ways to track podcast impressions and measure impact

With companies such as NielsenIQ recently announcing that it has developed ways to track podcast impressions and measure the impact of marketing in the podcast space, it is becoming increasingly clear that the channel does yield benefits for brands that are looking for an intimate platform on which to engage a specific audience. 

Podcasting ad effectiveness insights from Nielsen shows that advertising on podcasts drives “an added brand recall rate of 71%, while 56% of podcast listeners say they pay more attention to ads read by the host(s)”. As such, the company notes: “In a world that is moving away from cookies and toward actual people, smart brands are looking to engage the right consumers with a well-tailored message rather than casting a big net and hoping for the best.”

The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Africa Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026 report, released in late October 2022, is similarly bullish about podcasting from a purely African point of view.

“Some of the most exciting developments in the media and entertainment space over the last few years have come from the digital audio sector,” the researchers observed. “Podcast advertising proved itself to be largely ‘pandemic- proof’ throughout 2020, with revenue growing by 30.4% in that year in South Africa and 41.8% in Nigeria”.

You will find this story, and much more, in Issue 4 2022. Strategic Marketing for Africa is the voice of African marketing and the official publication of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC). It is available quarterly in Digital and Print editions.