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Youth Month Special Section

#YouthMonth sponsored by

SA youth continues to embrace the 'wireless' despite changing trends

To mark this year's Youth Day, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) shed some light on the evolving radio consumption habits of South African youth.

The Broadcasting Research Council of South Africa (BRC) data collected from February 2022 to January 2023 through its Radio Audience Measurement Survey (RAMS), revealed that young people between the ages of 15 to 34 are:

  • 40% more likely to listen to radio exclusively on digital platforms;
  • 26% more likely to listen to radio at a friend's house; and
  • 34% more likely to listen to radio on paid-for or public transport.

Continuing tradition 

Radio has long been a source of shared experiences and enjoyment, and the RAMS findings show how South African youth are continuing the tradition by consuming radio content in social settings. Radio is key to forging connections, and it allows for the exchange of ideas, information, and entertainment.

The data also found that more 15 to 34-year-olds listened to radio than streamed online video (e.g. YouTube), listened to a podcast or listened to music streaming services such as Spotify.

The data is significant as it shows that despite the emergence of new online media platforms, the medium of radio remains popular amongst the youth of South Africa. In addition, the data indicates that the youth’s consumption of radio has become more future-focused, with a growing number of young people accessing radio online.

The interaction of young South Africans with radio is evolving and digital platforms are making the medium more accessible and convenient for them. As radio marks its 100th year in South Africa, it is encouraging to see that it is still considered one of the most relevant platforms for the youth, who remain eager to engage with its content through apps, smart speakers, computers, and other digital devices, as well as traditional means.

Radio serves as a constant companion during young people’s daily commutes, providing them with a sense of connection to the world around them. The medium continues to demonstrate its power as a portable medium that entertains and informs young people on the move.

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