Kenya’s radio advert spend largest in Africa

6 October 2017


Radio remains the key mode of advertising in Kenya, despite Internet access being the fastest growth industry in the Kenyan market.

Over 67 per cent of the country’s population uses the Internet, thanks to the increase of smartphone ownership, which is the preferred way to access Internet, but this has not seen consumers abandon radio.

As a result, in 2015, revenue from radio advertising was $313 million (Sh32.2 billion), but is expected to rise to $342 million in 2016, $372 million in 2017 and to $497 million in 2021, according to new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the entertainment and media outlook in Africa: 2017-2021.

At the same time, Internet advertising revenue was $100 million in 2015 and is expected to rise to $120 million in 2016, $141 million in 2017 and $227 million in 2021.

“Prior to 2016, Kenya’s largest advertising market was radio. Considering its small economy, Kenya has the largest radio advertising market in the Middle East and Africa region and the 14th-largest in the world. By 2021, it will generate more radio advertising revenue than Italy, a country with a bigger population and an economy more than 20 times larger,” reported PwC.

“Its low costs and robust listenership are key pull factors to businesses looking to advertise on Kenyan stations. Due to the range of radio stations in the country, advertisers can reach key demographics, meaning targeted and more effective advertising campaigns.”

This is in contrast to Nigeria, which has a lower mobile Internet penetration, its advertising revenue in radio is expected to slow down in the coming years and the Internet’s to grow as the penetration increases.

In 2015, it was $48 million while radio’s was $62 million but radio’s is projected to decrease to $58 million in 2016 and grow slowly to $62 million in 2017, reaching $76 million in 2021 as Internet access revenue grows in the country. Internet advertising spend is expected to rise to $65 million in 2016, $82 million in 2017 and reach $157 million in 2021.

In Kenya, marketers have been forced to switch their strategies and spend on radio advertising since it is the most common entertainment platform in the country, especially rural areas.

Over 7.5 million homes own radios, of these, 5.5 million are in rural areas and 1.9 million in urban centres while 3.2 million others have television sets.

As of March 2017, there were 178 radio stations according to the Communications Authority of Kenya. These provide a wide audience reach for rural areas in particular where more than 65 per cent of the country’s population live and vernacular radio stations are popular thus advertisers can also benefit from targeting by locality.

“What radio provides for marketers cannot be achieved through any other advertising mode because it is not a limited product in that it is way cheaper to buy than a television, including maintenance. Also every mobile phone including feature phones have an inbuilt FM radio,” said Kevin Munyao, a Kenya entrepreneur.

“Additionally, given how much time we spend in traffic in matatus on Kenyan roads which mostly play radio music and the growing attractiveness of online radio at work, consumers are exposed to a lot of advertisement and sponsored content using radio presenters.” Indeed, radio giveaways in Kenya have become a popular concept, with almost every radio station promoting one.

Audiences are encouraged to listen to a particular presenter or programme in order to win a prize ; it eventually leads to a growing radio listenership and even loyalty to that radio station, presenting an opportunity for advertisers seeking an attentive and large audience.

For Kenyan brands seeking to increase their consumer base in all demographics, radio advertising might just be the preferred mode.

Source: Business Daily