How would Radio hold on in competing with Podcast: A look into Radio and Podcast Landscape in SA.

What has changed in the Media Landscape? Almost a year ago, I penned an opinion article wherein I was looking into the Media Landscape in South Africa for the next decade.

The main idea was to decipher the taking over of podcasts of the audio media — Radio in particular.

This was before the COVID-19 pandemic radically transforming many industries including the media.

Last week I saw a tweet that said “ Podcast is taking over radio”, and one of the responses said, “ Podcast isn’t taking over radio. And there are numbers to support that radio is still the best medium”.

This made me think if indeed podcast is becoming mainstream media, and that is likely to make radio obsolete.

Podcast in numbers

Let’s look at the recent stats in this regard to help us understand Media Landscape ( Media vs Podcast) in South Africa; according to a report by PB Podcast Black of 2019/2020 stated that Podcast in South Africa has increased by 43%. There is a high likelihood that these numbers have increased due to the penetration of online and digital communications assets in the past 12 months or so. As a result of technological transformation.

It is predicted that the worldwide podcast audience is set to top the 1 billion mark by 2022, jumping to 1.3 billion users by the end of the following year.

Radio consumption has increased as well.

Radio listenership has increased as well during the global covid lockdown. As people were forced to work from home. That means they needed to keep themselves informed about COVID-19 and other news in general.

And radio is the medium that one can listen to while working. While online content could be manipulated to perpetuate fake information. Radio stations understand their job is to curate news and eliminate fake information.

Access to the Internet and online assets.

The lack of internet access and affordability of data in South Africa as compared to other African countries has an impact on the use of online streaming services. And for that reason, radio continues to hold on as the best option over podcast when comes to audio media.

Henceforth, Most podcast listeners are employed full time. This indicates that the profile of the typical South African podcast listener is LSM 7–10. Furthermore, In South Africa, the primary podcast listener is aged between 35 and 54 (in line with US stats), with the secondary listener aged between 25 and 34. The majority of podcast listeners have a household income of between R100 000 — 1million.

We can therefore conclude this matter by saying that radio and podcasting will coexist for many years to come. Although the podcast industry is growing very fast all over the including South Africa. The onus is on radio stations to come up with innovative ideas in order to remain relevant and competitive.

I am a social media enthusiast. Marketing and communication are places where I find serenity. I like writing about Design thinking, Data analysis, Branding.