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Friday, 20 September 2013 10:57

Radio in Africa – Dead?

Radio in Africa – Dead?

Remember the wonderful story about the African gentlemen who learnt to speak English listening to the BBC’s Foreign Service; every few seconds he punctuated his sentence with static?


Does that tale have relevance today? If you were to travel in Africa, would you still find folk clustered around the radio, or have television and other forms of media broken radio’s stranglehold on the continent?


Research and strategy company, Dashboard Marketing Intelligence, and advertising and media expert, Dave Kelly, have joined forces to launch Pinpoint, a current and accurate media consumption and audience tracking tool for the African continent. 


Pinpoint examines public usage of TV, radio, newspapers and digital. A successful pilot has been conducted in Ghana, with plans to move into Nigeria, Tanzania, Angola and Uganda.


Launching the tool, Dashboard Managing Partner, Peter Searll, said that media investment in African countries is substantial.  However, there is little, if any, accurate or stable media consumption data. As more businesses develop their African footprint, this data is necessary to make the right media investment and sponsorship decisions.


Initial research from the Ghana study reveals that nearly 35% of the urban population in that country is accessing the internet on their mobile phones, but it tellingly highlights that 59% do not access the internet at all.


There is significantly more online activity across key cities Accra and Kumasi than in Tamele and Sekondi-Takoradi, and Facebook is by far the most visited site, followed by WhatsApp.  Blogs are also proving popular.


That’s all very interesting, but what about radio?


The most listened to radio station over the past seven days is Peace FM, with 18% and 16% of male and female respondents respectively claiming to have tuned in. Male preference is then for Okay FM and Joy FM (14%) while females prefer Adom FM, Kesseben and Fox FM (13%).


When it comes to the major cities, stations with the biggest penetration in Acra are Peace FM (35%), Okay FM (26%), Adom FM (26%), Joy FM (24%) and Radio Gold (22%).


Kesseben (24%) and Fox FM (23%) have biggest penetration in Kumasi.


These are the two biggest cities; to reach radio listeners in the smaller cities of Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale, you’d have to go to stations such as Skyy Rover, Radio Justic, Rok FM and Fiila FM.

Within the top 10 radio stations, there’s as expected a varied age split. Those appealing to the youth (16 – 18 years) include Luv FM and Nhyira FM (4% each).


19 – 25 year olds prefer listening to Peace FM (9%), Adom FM (7%), Okay FM (6%) and Joy FM (6%) while 26 – 35 year olds prefer Peace FM (13%), Okay FM (10%) and Adom FM (10%). A similar pattern is shown by 36 – 45 year olds (7%, 6% and 5%) but they also listen regularly to Joy FM (5%) and Radio Gold (5%).


Whatever product category you operate in, Pinpoint can highlight which stations have the best fit for your advertising. For example, if you wanted to advertise to Ghana’s beer drinkers you’d do so on Peace FM where 11% of beer drinkers claimed to have listened to the station over the past seven days, Adom FM and Joy FM (10% each), Okay FM and Radio Gold (9% each). You probably wouldn’t advertise on Fox FM, Luv FM and Nhyira FM.


You can also examine the demographic profiles of each station if that is how you are targeting your media spend.


Further insight into is given as to when to buy advertising slots throughout the day. Radio listenership is broken into 30 minute day parts. The busiest radio times are between 6 and 6.30 am, which is also the most listened to news broadcasts. Noon news is also popular, and the heaviest news listenership comes from Kumasi.


So, judging from the drill down into the data, there is still considerable radio listenership in Ghana. And it’s still an important medium in many people’s lives.


Pinpoint has been developed to support more effective media buying in Africa. Users are able to profile and size TV and radio station audiences, review ongoing insight into social media and internet usage and explore psychographic and attitudinal consumer mindsets. Marketers and planners are able to filter the data by users of any specific product category.


One of the biggest benefits of Pinpoint is that the data is available within two weeks after field, enabling media decisions to be made within a relevant time frame.


Dave Kelly, the advertising and media expert on the project noted: “Typically much media data is only available months after the research, making it more of a rear view mirror than a current dashboard.  Media planners need timely, accurate, rich data to make truly useful decisions.”


Searll added, “This type of information is long overdue and typically difficult to find.  Technology has allowed us to overcome the traditional barriers to collecting this type data. We have a lot of experience in research methodology and we understand of the depth of insight needed to design the right media placement strategy. We are well placed to tackle and solve this issue. And we’re eager to expand.  We will be starting in Nigeria next, and future reach will be led predominantly by market demand.”


Dashboard’s Pinpoint is available as a syndicated study.

Published in Advertising
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:23

In the past few weeks, I’ve been interviewed on eNews Africa, 702, BBC World Service and BBC World, as well as commissioned to write an opinion piece for the Sunday Times – all thanks to Twitter. That’s the power of being present in on a platform that carries more and more influence. Twitter is useful, not so much because it gives you access to customers or potential clients, but because it’s where the media increasingly choose to hang out and share the stories they’re covering.

Published in Online
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 13:54

Putting the US weekend iPhone 5 sales into a South African perspective

iPhone 5 goes on sales in the US

In the last week the Police Minister reported that South Africa’s crime statistics have shown a marginal improvement when reflecting on the crimes reported to police between March 2011 and April 2012. Across the world in the USA, a different set of statistics was released, those reflecting the sales of the iPhone 5 over a three-day period.

These two sets of reports are vastly different but a closer look at the numbers tells a different story. Greg Forbes, Managing Director of Lion’s Wing Brand Communications found a disturbing and fascinating perspective between the statistics of our country and those of the sale of the iPhone 5.

“With all the hype about the launch and sales of the iPhone 5, we should not be carried away with its imminent launch in SA, but rather keep in mind that there are far higher priorities for South Africans to focus on,” says Forbes.

  1. In the first three days of sales, Apple sold over five million iPhone 5 handsets. Interesting is that this figure is close to the average 5,6 million people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa (2009 UN AIDS report).
  2. The cost of an iPhone 5, cash, in South Africa is estimated to start at around R6000. That is a little under double the amount of the social grant wage given for one child per annum by the South African Social Security Agency – ZAR280 per month per child, or ZAR3360 per child per year (South African Government Services Website).
  3. Over the first 72 hours of the iPhone 5 going on sale, one was sold just over every 19 seconds. While in South Africa Interpol estimates that every 17 seconds, a woman is raped. That means that with every sale of an iPhone 5 during those three days, conservatively, one rape occurred at the same time.
  4. A conservative monetary estimate on the sales of the iPhone reached approximately ZAR8.5-billion, which is more than twice the amount allocated in the 2012/13 budget to the upgrading informal settlements – ZAR3,9-billion as stated within Minister Gordhan’s budget speech in February 2012.
  5. The incredibly sad reality is that the vast majority of South Africans have a far greater chance of being victims of raped, violent crime and murder than they do of ever being able to afford an iPhone 5.

“It is very sad to see what the numbers reflect. Although we know that the SA and US are two completely different worlds, looking at the stats of a luxury product dominating news coverage in relation to the harsh realities of our society most certainly assists with repositioning our minds to where they should be,” states Forbes.

“Lets just keep things in perspective. While many of us will be itching to get our hands on the new iPhone, we should remember that there are far more important things to be concerned about,” concludes Forbes.

Published in PR & Communications
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