The SAARF RAMS figures for February 2013 shows that radio listenership is stable, with both time spent listening and incidence of listening remaining comparable to the previous release, RAMS Dec 2012. Across the week, quarter-hour listening levels are almost identical to the December release.
The only significant changes in listening on an individual station level were seen in the community radio sector. Of the 188 community stations measured by the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF), only three showed a change in their audience reach.
Jozi FM was the only radio station to show positive growth over the previous period.
Compared to listening levels in RAMS Dec 2012, current levels remain unchanged. Over the year previous however, weekly levels are up significantly. Quarter-hour listening levels are slightly higher on weekday mornings, while weekend afternoon levels are lower now than they were a year ago. Listening levels are:
Seven-day listening - 89.5%, with declines in metros, Gauteng as a whole, and Johannesburg and Soweto specifically. Seven-day listening is significantly up on the 88.1% seen in RAMS Feb 2012.
Average Monday to Friday - 69.3% (with growth in metros)
Saturday listening - 65.7%
Sunday listening - 65.4%
Time spent listening
Total time spent listening (TSL) per day is down by one minute, as was the case in the previous RAMS release. TSL is 3h30 per day, and 24h30m per week.
Three community stations bucked the medium's trend of stability. They posted significantly changed audience levels compared to the previous RAMS release.
Gauteng's Jozi FM is the only radio station that increased its listenership over RAMS Dec 2012. Its seven-day reach rose from 3.6% previously to 4.8% currently, bringing its audience up to 394 000.
Soshanguve Community Radio's reach fell from 1.5% previously, to 0.9% across the week.
Voice of the Cape's weekly reach has declined, from 5.7% to 3.6%.
RAMS Feb 2013 provides the first audience figures for Hope Radio (0.3%, 11,000 listeners in the Western Cape), and PE FM 87.6 (1000 listeners in the Eastern Cape). Both stations' audience figures are based on large-urban data only.
Demographic shifts over RAMS Dec 2012
5FM lost audience in cities and large towns (p7d).
Ikwekwezi FM has lower audience levels in Pretoria (p7d).
Kaya FM lost audience in cities and large towns on an average Monday to Friday.
Munghana Lonene FM's metro audience has declined across the week.
Thobela FM has grown its metro audience (p7d).
Ukhozi FM has increased listening in cities and large towns (p7d, and average M-F).
Total community (p7d) has attracted more listeners from Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg and Soweto, but has lost listeners in the Western Cape, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.
The second RAMS release of 2013 will be on 9 May 2013.
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Poverty is a huge social illness in our country and the therefore many residents cannot afford the luxury of a tv. This is an indicator as to why radio will always strive even in this new complex media environment