RAMS shows continued drop in radio listening while TV viewing rises.


SAARF's latest RAMS release (February 2010) uses the largest sample to date (25 329) and shows that radio listening has declined in total over the previous year (RAMS Feb 2009) by 6.6% on listening across the week and 8% on average weekday listening. Both the large urban and small urban/rural sectors have contributed to this annual decrease.

On the weekend, Saturday listening declined from 70.9% in the year previous, to 64.4%, and Sunday listening dropped from 69.4% to 64.0%. Time spent listening per day - currently at three hours, 43 minutes - remains similar to the previous release, with only three minutes being lost over RAMS December 2009. Annually, there was a loss of 20 minutes, but this is due to the new small urban/rural sector, which was introduced in October 2009. TV viewing is up significantly in this sector, with a rise of 812,000 adults in the TV meter universe last year (AMPS 2009BA).

While radio currently shows comparable levels to those seen in December 2009, there have been a large number of significant shifts over the year previous. The majority of these changes were negative.

Two commercial/PBS stations and four community stations however, managed to buck this trend.

• North West FM's weekly audience rose from 384 000 in the year previous, to 675,000 currently. Its reach is 2.1% nationally, up from 1.2% in February 2009. The station's average weekday audience has also grown, from 0.6% to 1.0% reach over the same period.

• Substantial formatting changes bore fruit for Radio 2000, whose weekly audience is up from 1.1% in February 2009, to 2.3% in the current release. In thousands, the station's weekly audience is now 742 000, from 360 000 in the year previous. Similarly, average Monday to Friday listening has grown from 0.3% to 0.8%.

• Alfred Nzo Community Radio 98.3/93.8 fm: from 0.7% to 6.5% in Eastern Cape (317,000 listeners).

• Izwi loMzansi 98.0 fm: from 1.2% to 2.1% in KwaZulu-Natal (140,000 listeners)

• Moletsi Community Radio Station: a rise from 0.6% to 2.2% in Limpopo (78,000 listeners)

• Radio Khwezi: up from 2.0% to 3.7% in KwaZulu-Natal (246,000 listeners)