Dashboard with mobile device listining to podcast

How will streaming media affect advertising budgets and the mediums that are heavily invested in South Africa?

Radio listenership remains popular in South Africa. Podcasting however has yet to gain that same traction and there are reasons for that that are unique to not only South Africa but other developing countries.

Radios are readily available and the technology that supports radio is pre-installed in motor vehicles and mobile phones that are, not only popular but affordable in the country. Podcasting has carved a somewhat niche market in the country.

Podcasting is dependent on internet connection- which may be seen as high barrier to entry for most South Africans. Internet connection is expensive and out of reach for many who may live in rural areas that just don’t have the technology or infrastructure to facilitate internet connectivity.

Podcasts are becoming increasingly ad-supported and these ads are more personal than general campaigns are meant to appeal to the masses. Advertising on podcasts tends to be targeted as podcasts generally attract a very specific listener.

Every podcast has its own audience and these audiences often share similar interests, say a podcast about technology, big data and business will likely attract people who are technologically inclined and may have a penchant for new gadgets. And so, brands like Microsoft and Apple could find a market to advertise to the listeners of this podcast. The devices and products developed by the aforementioned companies are designed to be heavily reliant on internet access and so, it is likely that the people listening to the podcast not only have access to the internet but are likely those in the high-income bracket and so can afford these products and their services.

Because podcasting has a high barrier to entry for consumers in South Africa, brands may find use for it in a South African context. People who listen to podcasts are likely to have access to resources most people in the country don’t have access to. Brands that sell products or services that are more ‘wants’ and for convenience than ‘needs’ could find value in podcast advertising.

Radio will never be obsolete, if the current trends are anything to go by, and advertising on radio will continue to have a market and brands willing to pay money to do so, however podcasting seems to be a medium that advertisers should watch and consider investing in.