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PODCASTING

Podcasts are attracting more African consumers, but challenges remain

By our News Team | 2022

Audiences are generally young and are more likely to be female, newly published research from three African countries says.

The average listener to podcasts on the African continent is aged between 24 and 30 years, and more listeners are female than male.

These are among the insights to emerge from a new study that analyses the growing interest in podcasts in three key African markets: Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. 

‘Mapping Out the Present & Future of African Audio Storytelling’ is a report compiled by two Kenyan-based organisations, Africa Podfest and Baraza Media. The aim is to inform all stakeholders in the African podcasting ecosystem.

Podcasting

Photo by Gustavo Rangel from Pexels

Among the other insights to emerge:

  • A large number of Africans listen to podcasts from their own country as opposed to other African countries. 
  • The Ideal podcast duration is between 30 and 40 minutes.
  • The most listened-to platform is Spotify, which was named by with 35.1% of those surveyed. 
  • Most Africans listen to podcasts from their own country as opposed to those coming from other nations on the continent. 

According to the researchers, the podcasting industry is showing “tremendous potential” in Africa and it could ultimately provide “sustainable employment for millions of youth”.

However, there are still many questions around sustainability of podcasting – many of which the study seeks to answer.

Despite its progress, podcasting in Africa remains hard, an article published this month in Africa Renewal magazine warns. The online publication is a United Nations-sponsored project. 

The article, written by Josephine Karianjahi who is Co-Director of Africa Podfest, notes that podcasts are frequently funded from personal savings and their production often drains would-be podcasters, many of whom had hoped that podcasting would one day become their livelihood. 

“For example, podcast production can cost anywhere from US$1,000 per episode to $12,000 for a full season of 12 episodes. Even then, there are also national podcast registration costs in some countries, as well as annual licenses,” the article notes.

“Across languages and regions, their tenuous success is subject to various country-specific taxes, regulations and access to electricity. Affordable internet varies depending on which African country they live in.”

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