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See the latest Radio Listening trends

Posted by radio On March - 11 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

BRCSA recently published the latest SA radio listening trends, see below highlights:


  • 93% weekly reach = 35,4 million listeners listening anytime in the week
  • 76% daily reach (Mon-Fri) = 28,9 million listeners on an average weekday
  • 93% weekly reach = 35,5 million listeners listening anytime in the week
  • 76% daily reach (Mon-Fri) = 29,2 million listeners on an average weekday



  • Free State listeners spend on average 5hours listening to radio
  • Ndebele speakers spend 4h36 on average listening to radio
  • 52% listen to radio for more than 20hours
  • 64% listen to only one station
  • Phalaphala FM has the highest % of exclusice listeners at 65% followed by OFM at 61%.
  • Capricorn FM has the highest cellphone listenership penetration at 62%, followed by Yfm at 59%.



Provincial Share of Audience


  • Mpumalanga is still dominated by Ligwalagwala FM & Ikwekwezi FM
  • Umhlobo Wenene has 52% market share in the Eastern Cape
  • Lesedi FM is dominating Free State by 61% share of audience
  • Metro FM, Ukhozi and Lesedi FM have 37% share of GP combined
  • KZN is dominated by Ukhozi, Gagasi and ECR, together they have 76% share
  • Thobela, Phalaphala and Munghana Lonene dominate Limpopo airwaves.
  • NW airwaves biggest share is with Motsweding and Lesedi FM
  • Western Cape is dominated by Umhlobo Wenene, Heart FM, KFM and RSG.


Fore a detailed report visit



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Latest RAMS Nov 2016 from BRCSA

Posted by radio On December - 3 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The new RAMS from the Broadcasting Research Council of SA are out and the numbers look quite different from what SAARF used to show.


See below highlights:


Metro FM declining

  • Metro FM have lost listeners from 4,1m to 3,9m  [Jan – Jun] – [Jan – Sep]
  • Ukhozi FM remained flat at 7,2m listeners
  • Gagasi FM up to 1,4m from 1,3m listeners
  • Power FM broke the 100k line growing to 103k from 99k
  • Talk 702 declined from 547k to 530k listeners a week
  • North West FM is up from 203k to 212k listeners per week
  • Izwi Lomzansi is up to 109k from 93k



Interesting Listening patterns


  • 64% listened to one station only, Ndebele & Swati are driving this trend at 73% and 70% respectively.
  • 76% consume radio on their normal radios, 37% use their cellphones , 26% use vehicle radio , 8% listen via TV and 2% through computers.
  • 87% listens from their homes , 33% consumer radio while driving on the road , 11% while at work/school and 6% do so while at restaurants, malls or airports


New Insights

  • 7 Highveld has the highest % of people listening through vehicle radio followed by Talk Radio702
  • Rise FM has the highest % of people listening via Computers
  • Trufm & Rise FM are leading the pack on people listening through TV
  • Bok Radio has high % of people listening in their vehicles













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Latest RAMS show an increase in TSL

Posted by radio On April - 5 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS



  • This March 16 RAMS release contains a New Small Urban/Rural sample, covering July-December 15 fieldwork
  • The previous November 15 RAMS release contained a different Small Urban/Rural sample, covering January-June 15 fieldwork





  • The Urban and Rural samples cover the same fieldwork period for this March 2016 Release:

July to December 2015





  • Identical population figures to the November 2015 Release, have been applied to this March 2016 survey






Positions and 7-day incidences are almost identical to the November 15 release:


  1. Ukhozi FM                                                              –    7 532 000
  2. Metro FM                                                               –    6 856 000
  3. Umhlobo Wenene FM                                        –    4 662 000
  4. Lesedi FM                                                               –    4 069 000
  5. Motsweding FM                                                    –    3 137 000
  6. Thobela FM                                                            –    3 001 000
  7. Jacaranda FM                                                        –    2 024 000
  8. Kaya FM                                                                  –    1 832 000
  9. 5FM                                                                          –    1 817 000
  10. RSG                                                                          –    1 792 000
  11. Gagasi FM                                                               –    1 792 000



TIME SPENT LISTENING (TSL) has grown by 4 minutes per day


 Growth is across all communities, both Urban and Rural.


INCIDENCE OF LISTENING has grown significantly across the week, in both Urban and Rural areas.




  TSL TSLChange Number Stations Number Change 7-Day Listening
Gauteng 3h10 +4 min 2.2 + 0.1 Total and Commercial significantly upCommunity stable
Western Cape 3h07 +11 min 1.8 = Total and Commercial significantly upSome growth for Community
KwaZulu-Natal 3h08 -1 min 1.8 = Total and Commercial significantly upCommunity stable
Eastern Cape 3h05 +4 min 1.7 = Total and Commercial stableCommunity significantly up
Mpumalanga 3h21 +16 min 1.9 + 0.1 Stable, for both Commercial + Community
Limpopo 3h34 +17 min 1.7 = Commercial and Community are significantly up
Free State 3h52 -11 min 1.7 = Stable, for both Commercial + Community
North-West 3h12 -17 min 1.8 – 0.1 Stable, for both Commercial + Community
Northern Cape 2h57 -14 min 1.7 = Stable in Total + for CommunityCommercial significantly down




  • Urban and Rural Samples cover the same fieldwork period: Jul-Dec 2015



  • Listening levels are significantly up across the week – movements are two directional, station by station



  • In total, there has been a small increase of 4 minutes per day, compared to the Nov 2015 release
  • Growth is across both Urban and Rural communities



  • Very comparable in total for Mon to Sun audiences, compared to Nov 15 and Year Previous



  • 9 stations, per listener, per week – completely stable
  • Profiles of listeners by gender, age and population remain extremely comparable



  • WCape: Listening has recovered, back up to Sept 15 levels

This supports the research premise that the Nov 15 RAMS lower levels were potentially a combined effect of Seasonality, coupled with an atypically eventful Jan-Jun 15 fieldwork period – fires, floods, bad weather, student protests, new DA leader


  • Limpopo: Listening has recovered, back up to Sept 15 levels

This supports the research premise that the Nov 15 RAMS lower levels were possibly the result of the very eventful Jan-Jun 15 fieldwork period – strike action, municipal action/unrest, lead up to Julius Malema court case, ANC by-elections



  • The March 16 RAMS levels are almost identical to the Nov 15 RAMS levels – both surveys reflecting the Rural Eastern Cape radio audience



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New stations shine in the latest RAMS

Posted by radio On December - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The latest Radio Audience Measurement Survey (RAMS) by SAARF show that the time spent listening to radio per week has dropped by 42min year on year. The TSL per day also dropped by just 6min year on year.


  • In total, there has been a slight increase (+1 minute per day) compared to the October release
  • Listeners continue to listen to an average of 2.0 stations a week


Station Trends – Gained Listeners




Station Trends – Lost Listeners



  • Metro FM and Ukhozi FM are Gauteng’s most favourable stations
  • About 54% of time spent listening for Gautengers is spent listening to Metro, Lesedi,Ukhozi, Kaya,Highveld 94.7 and Other Community stations.



  • 82% of time spent listening by listeners in KZN is spent listening to three station only, Ukhozi (60%), ECR (11%) and Gagasi FM (10%).
  • Vuma FM has grown its listenership by 162% year on year


Westerm Cape

  • 55% of time spent listening by listeners in Western Cape is spent listening to three station only, Umhlobo Wenene (22%), RSG (13.5%), Heart FM (9.2%) and KFM (10.7%).









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RAMS Shows Increased Stability

Posted by radio On September - 2 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) has released the Radio Audience Measurement Survey for August 2014. The latest release contains diverse data which shows that South Africans have maintained their faith in radio and most consumers listen to the medium for two hours or[1]


SAARF makes full use of the diary method of conducting research, a method used by most countries around the world. A diary is simply given to an individual for a week, to document, in 15 segments which radio stations they were listening to at any given time.


Over 80% of South Africans over the age of 15 listen to the radio at least once a week and over two thirds of adults listen to the radio daily on week days.


Once again, radio listenership has remained stable showing steady listening levels, with Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday quarter hour levels that are almost identical to those of the previous results.

SAARF’s main objective is to direct and publish media audience and product/ brand research for the benefit of its stakeholders. It provides data for target marketing and a common currency for the buying and selling of media space and time.


Radio listenership in South Africa has shown little statistically significant change over the previous survey that was issued out in June.

Key news items that were singled out in the release include the Oscar Pistorius trial, continued search of the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370, platinum mineworkers strike, Boko Haram kidnapping of Nigerian school girls and controversy over upgrades to Nkandla among a host of others.


Commercial radio stations

Most successful commercial radio stations invest a lot of resources into audience research in an effort to understand their audience and make sure they cater for their growing needs and that they are attracting the correct target market.

Large Urban Data

Average Monday to Friday Listening – 76%

Seven Day Listening – 64.8%

Saturday Listening – 64.8%%

Sunday Listening – 63.8%


Demographic Time Spent Listening To Radio

Free State – 3h57

Limpopo – 4h09

Gauteng – 3h18

KwaZulu Natal – 3h26

Mpumalanga – 3h35


Western Cape – 2h50

Radio Stations Average Mon – Fri Listeners 

Metro FM – 12.2%

Lesedi FM – 12.0%

Ukhozi FM – 10.0%

Jacaranda – 6.6%

Kaya FM – 6.4%

Community stations have also fared well with adult listenership being the highest among these. The top community radio stations remained Jozi FM, Thetha FM, Radio Khwezi, Radio Tygerberg and Mafikeng Community Radio Station.

Jozi FM – 1.8%

Tembisa – 1.0%

Top Stations

More than 30 million South Africans have access to radio making it the most preferred medium.

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How radio performed? Latest RAMS

Posted by radio On July - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

saarfAudience levels declined, however, in Bloemfontein across an average Monday to Friday and on Sundays. Stations behind this movement were Lesedi FM and METRO FM, as well as the community radio sector, all of which lost audience in Bloemfontein across the week and on an average Monday to Friday. Radio listening levels for South Africa remained stable over the previous RAMS release, RAMS May 2014.



  • Seven-day listening (p7d) – 89.0%
  • Average Monday to Friday listening – 68.2% (with a decline in Bloemfontein)
  • Saturday listening – 64.4%
  • Sunday listening – 63.9% (with a decline in Bloemfontein)


On average, people listen to the radio for three hours, 30 minutes per day. Time spent listening was unchanged over the previous release.

  • Average weekly listening amounts to 24 hours, 30 minutes.



There were no significant audience shifts for any radio station, whether commercial or community.



RAMS June 2014 provides the first past-7-day audience figures for four new community stations (all results are off large-urban data only).






  • Both Christian station 103 Hope FM in the Sedibeng district and the West Rand’s Mogale FM have 9 000 listeners and reach 0.1% of the Gauteng adult population.



  • Christian station Cape Pulpit/Kaapse Kansel 729 AM has 1 000 listeners tuning in per week.



  • East-London-based newcomer Kumkani FM 95.8 MHZ has attracted a healthy 25 000 listeners since going on air in November 2013; it reaches 0.5% of the province’s adult population.


For more please visit –

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RAMS May 2014 indicators

Posted by radio On May - 23 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The May release of South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF), RAMS combines two Large Urban Fieldwork periods :

  • Part 1_2013 : Mid October – Mid December

  • Part 2 _2014 : Third Week January – Mid March

The overall large ample produced was 25 587


Radio listenership has remained stable on the previous RAMS release, RAMS Feb 2014.

The recent release on radio listenership shows steady listening levels, with Monday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday quarter-hour levels that are almost identical to those of the previous release.

Total listening levels are:

Seven-day listening (p7d) – 89.2% (33,208-million listeners)
• Average Monday to Friday listening – 68.7% (25,550-million listeners), with a decline in reach in Cape Town.
• Saturday listening – 64.8% (24,124-million listeners), with declines in cities and large towns, and in white audiences.
• Sunday listening – 63.8% (23,742-million listeners)

Time spent listening

Time spent listening rose by one minute over the previous survey, RAMS Feb 2014. The average time spent listening per day is now three hours, 30 minutes, with a weekly average of 24 hours, 30 minutes.

Individual station data

Only two radio stations showed statistically significant shifts in their audience levels over the previous survey. Power 98.7 grew its weekly audience figures from 0.1% to 0.2% (large urban data only), taking its numbers up by a healthy 52,000 listeners to 91,000 in total.

In the Western Cape, The Voice of the Cape, which previously shared a frequency with Radio 786, lost audience across the week. It now has 182,000 listeners and reaches 4.2% of the Western Cape, down from 5.7% (large urban data only).

Demographic shifts

5FM lost audience in cities and large towns on an average Monday to Friday.
• The community radio sector lost audience in Pietermaritzburg across the week.

Top stations

The top stations in terms of gross quarter hours on an average Monday to Friday are:

Total province English-speaking homes Afrikaans-speaking homes Nguni-speaking homes Sotho-speaking homes
Gauteng Metro FM, listened to by 13.1% of GP. 94.7 Highveld Stereo is the top station in 22.1% of English homes. Jacaranda FM, 29.7% Ukhozi FM, 28.9% Lesedi FM, 21.0%
KwaZulu-Natal Ukhozi FM, listened to by 60.1% of KZN. East Coast Radio, 50.7% Ukhozi FM: 69.0% of Nguni homes listen to this station.

Western Cape

Umhlobo Wenene FM, listened to by 23.1% of the province.

Heart 104.9 FM, 18.9%

RSG is listened to by 25.5% of Afrikaans homes.

Umhlobo Wenene FM, 62.8%%

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Focus on capability and community stations by RAMS

Posted by radio On February - 26 - 2014 Comments Off on Focus on capability and community stations by RAMS

[By: Radiobiz Reporter]


The questioning of SAARF’s merits as an independent media researcher is nothing new. Reports from the second half of last year were prominent with probes on whether the research body’s has the capacity to deliver dependable data. The loggerhead situation with the marketing association MASA, based on an insistence that marketers should play a more meaningful role, has also tested SAARF’s position.saarflogotop[1]


“Industry would like more marketers involved, so the more members they can attract the better. We need more marketers on our research council,” says Viginia Hollis of SAARF.


SAARF’s latest moves have however been deemed ‘encouraging’ by punters albeit the long road ahead to ultimately prove itself. The February highlights of RAMS, reveal more emphasis on community radio platforms in the spirit of greater representation.


Herewith data gathered:


Time spent listening


– In total, there has been no change compared to the December release


Incidence of radio listening


– stable on December release


-1/4 Hour listening levels


– Mon-Fri, Sat are almost identical to the previous release


Other trends


– Listeners continue to listen to an average of 2.0 stations per week

– Profiles of listeners by gender, LSM, age and population group remain comparable



Prominent headlines


Adverse weather conditions in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal; Nairobi mall massacre, striking petrol attendants, SANRAL implementing e-toll, mourning of the death of elderly statesman Nelson Mandela.


The most comprehensive data analysis of the latest figures has deliberately been between commercial and community radio stations. This largely due SAARF’s vision to offer research from the broader radio community and in the advancing the spirit of representation.


Gauteng’s community radio stations


Eldos FM – 0.2 In February 2014 compared to 0.3 In December 2013

Radio Today – 0.0 In February 2014 compared to 0.1 In December 2013

UJFM – 0.0 In February 2014 compared to 0.1 In December 2013


Amid the civil protests in the North West


Kopanong FM – 2.1 In February 2014 compared to 2.1 In December 2013

Letlhabile community radio – 1.5 In February 2014 compared to 0.9 In December 2013


SAARF’s documentation of developments in the community radio sphere, shows their commitment to an encouraging repositioning and rekindling public trust. The move reveals forwardness in vision the wake of much scrutiny. Time will only tell if this slight shift in perspective will hold.



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Notable Exits from SAARF over board seats

Posted by radio On July - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kagiso Mnisi]

After the resignation of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) from the South African Audience Research Foundation, and the motion being supported by both and SABC, confidence in SAARF has dwindled. One of the reasons out of a myriad is that the research organisation has refused to give broadcasters more seats on the board.


Another contentious issue is the unhappiness about a recent audit of Saarf’s Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS), which provides the daily audience ratings for television viewership of all television broadcasters in the country.


Saarf’s responses to these developments has been that its members were “extremely disappointed at the proposed resignation of the NAB from Saarf”. CEO Paul Haupt further says:


“Saarf wants to state unequivocally that it was not the Saarf board that refused the NAB proposal for greater representation of broadcast media on the Saarf board. Saarf members asked the NAB for extra time (two weeks) to consult their constituencies and to evaluate other options before meeting again with the NAB to try and resolve the issue amicably and to get a consensus decision from all Saarf stakeholders.


A host of other dissatisfactions with Saarf include:

  • Failure to keep up with the evolving South African demographic profile
  • Inability to measure a cross section of society
  • Failure to balance the panel by individual LSM
  • Failure to properly maintain the household meters used to gather the TAMS information
  • Failure to manage the declining efficiency of the panel.
  • All of the above-mentioned failures resulted in unstable data from primarily lower LSM households.


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[By Kagiso Mnisi]


The fact that there is almost no conscious monthly tracking of RAMS by most media says a lot. This solidifies the speculation that some radio and television stations are planning to pull out from these surveys. Amongst reasons given is that the methodologies employed are out of touch with happenings in the media space especially in the advent of going social. There is little in the RAMS drive to document what audience patterns are in relation to the conversations extended through online tools, which the modern day programmes manager, host and other players are largely using to interact with their followers.



But before the jump off, here with the latest…


Sports as a glory filled audience puller has been expectedly included in the June survey. The fieldwork covers a campaign done from January to May 2013. Stability is seen to be sustained with only a single radio station able to chart a significant change in audience figures over the previous survey. Sports, especially soccer was also a predominant with the pull of a humdinging last leg of the premier soccer league, Nedbank Cup, the clash between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia, Confederations Cup, and Champions League.



Time spent listening

• Time spent listening is up by 1 minute on RAMS May 13. SA adults spend on average 3h29 minutes listening to radio each day.

• Per week, adults listen for 24h24 minutes on average, which is 6 minutes longer than in the previous survey.




• Seven-day listening (p7d) – radio reaches 89.4% of the total adult (15+) population. This figure is stable on the previous survey, although there has been growth in listening in Bloemfontein.

• Average Monday to Friday – 69.4%

• Saturday listening – 65.5%

• Sunday listening – 65.4%


Individual station changes

Commercial radio stations showed little change in their audience levels over the previous period. However some have audience levels which look significantly different now than they did in June 2012. These include:


East Coast Radio (reaches 5.5%, compared to 4.9% a year ago)

Lesedi FM (up from 2.11-million in RAMS Jun 12 to 2.35-million currently. The station now reaches 6.7% of SA adults, up from 6.0 %.)

Talk Radio 702 (Average Monday-Friday levels are also up, from 0.8% to 1.1 %.)


Community radio


Reach for the community radio sector as a whole remained stable over the previous survey, but is still not at the levels it was a year ago. Weekly reach was 24.9% in RAMS Jun 12 and is currently 23.5%, while average Monday-Friday listening levels are 11.6%, compared to the 12.5% of the year previous.


The Voice of the Cape grew its reach into the Western Cape from 4.7% in RAMS May 13, to 6.8%, with audience numbers now at 241 000, up 73 000 since the last release.





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