Digital Media Reduces Kenya’s Radio Audience



digital media reduces kenyas radio audience

Digital Media Reduces Kenya’s Radio Audience

Radio listenership in Kenya has seen a decline due to the increasing digitization of media, with the audience base dropping from 92 percent in 2014 to 77 percent in the recent years. On the other hand, television viewership and online access have surged, with percentages increasing from 46 percent to 74 percent and from 27 percent to 57 percent respectively.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) states that this shift in preferences reflects a dynamic transformation in the way Kenyans engage with media, with television and online platforms playing an increasingly prominent role. While the number of radio and TV stations has increased, newspaper readership has dipped significantly.

This trend highlights the evolving media consumption habits of Kenyans.

Shift in Media Preferences

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in media preferences among Kenyan consumers. This shift is characterized by a decrease in radio listenership, an increase in TV viewership, and a surge in online access. These changes in media consumption habits have been observed and documented by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya

According to data from the Communications Authority of Kenya, the radio audience base in Kenya was at 92% in 2014. However, by 2023, this audience base decreased to 77%. In contrast, TV viewership increased from 46% in 2014 to 74% in 2023. Similarly, online access surged from 27% to 57% during the same period. On the other hand, newspaper readership witnessed a significant decline, dipping to just 7%.

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Transformation in Media Consumption Habits

These changes in media consumption habits indicate a dynamic transformation in the way Kenyans engage with media. Television and online platforms have played an increasingly prominent role in shaping the country’s media landscape. As access to digital media becomes more widespread, traditional forms of media, such as radio and newspapers, are facing new challenges.

Increase in Number of Radio and TV Stations

Despite the decrease in radio listenership, there has been a notable increase in the number of radio stations in Kenya. In 2014, there were 120 radio stations, and this number grew to 228 by 2023. Similarly, the number of TV stations increased from 9 in 2014 to 182 in 2023. However, the growth in newspaper publications has been relatively marginal compared to radio and TV.

Proliferation of Digital Media

The proliferation of digital media has played a significant role in the increase in the number of TV stations. With the availability of stations across various platforms, including set-top-boxes and online streaming, consumers now have more options for accessing TV content. This shift towards digital media has allowed for greater flexibility and convenience in media consumption.

Gender and Age Demographics in Media Consumption

When it comes to media consumption, there are distinct gender and age demographics in Kenya. Male users and the elderly tend to listen to radio and watch TV more frequently. On the other hand, younger audiences have a higher internet usage rate. Internet usage peaks among the age group of 18 to 24, with 72% of them regularly using the internet. The age group of 25 to 34 follows closely behind, with 69% regularly using the internet.

Radio Consumption Mediums

Despite the rise of digital media, traditional radio sets remain the primary medium for radio consumption in Kenya, accounting for 78% of radio consumption. However, mobile phones are emerging as a significant alternative, with 30% of respondents reporting using mobile phones to listen to the radio.

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TV Consumption Mediums

Television sets continue to dominate as the primary medium for TV consumption, with 93% of respondents reporting using TV sets to watch TV. However, mobile gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, are also being used for TV consumption, accounting for 9% of TV consumption.

Social Media Consumption

The rise of digital media has had a significant impact on social media consumption habits in Kenya. Social media platforms are predominantly accessed through mobile devices, with 96% of respondents using mobile devices to access social media. Only 12% of users reported accessing social media through laptops or desktops.

Daily Engagement with Media

Daily engagement with various forms of media remains high in Kenya. Approximately 50% of respondents reported engaging with radio and TV on a daily basis. Social media usage also showed a high frequency of daily engagement, with nearly half of the respondents using social media daily. In contrast, newspaper readership has seen a decline, with more than two-thirds of respondents admitting to not reading newspapers.

In conclusion, the media landscape in Kenya is undergoing a significant shift in preferences.

Radio listenership has decreased, while TV viewership and online access have increased. Digital media, such as online platforms and social media, have become increasingly prominent in shaping media consumption habits. The rise of digital media has also led to an increase in the number of radio and TV stations in Kenya.

However, traditional forms of media, like newspapers, have experienced a decline in readership. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that these shifts in media preferences will continue, influencing the way Kenyans engage with media.

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