*CYBERTORIAL: In a bid to improve local content for an evolving audience and to put itself on a par with its international counterparts, SABC Radio has recently undergone a process of internal improvement to remain relevant to its listeners and provide a targeted, improved service to its advertisers.
SABC Radio has endeavoured to collate world-class research insights about each station and group of stations, drawing on the All Media Product Survey (AMPS), Target Group Index (TGI) through Ask Afrika, and the Unilever Majority report, which will be made easily accessible to clients. The analysis of the research and examination of changes in SABC Radio audiences over a ten year period revealed that there was significant growth in the audience profile, in terms of reach, listenership figures, and of the audience demographic.
The African Language Service (ALS) Stations portfolio has ten stations in the bouquet (uKhoziFM, LesediFM, uMhlobo Wenene, ThobelaFM, IKwekwezi FM, Phalaphala FM, Ligwalagwala FM, Munghana Lonene, TruFM, and Motsweding FM) and serves the highly aspirational, connected, rooted and relevant middle market.
ALS are dominant in South Africa in terms of listenership. According to the Radio Audience Measurement Survey (Rams) about 22.5 million people tune in to an ALS radio station every day. Of these 9.4 million (about 42%) do so exclusively. Through its nine stations ALS tells the nation’s story in people’s mother tongues through a bouquet of content, including drama, news, education, arts, business, health, and social responsibility.
“Our combined ALS stations continue to attract sizable audience. The audience behind this portfolio continues to evolve, are connected, technologically savvy and commercially active,” says Wanele Mngomezulu SABC general manager of Business Intelligence.
An important point to note is that ALS listeners are becoming increasingly in touch with technology and are open to messages from social media. ALS listeners own 48% of all smart phones in South Africa, 2,8-million own a personal computer, 48% are on Facebook and 39% are on Twitter. (Amps 2013AB)
ALS listenership in LSM 5-8 has grown by 33% for ALS, and 17% for LSM 9-10, and has decreased by 39% for LSM 1-4 over the past ten years. The ALS portfolio represents a mix of proudly South African adults and aspirational youth of which most fall into the Lifestyle Standards Measures (LSM) 5-8. This group, which is represented by 70% of ALS listeners, is a powerful middle market currently on an explosive growth curve. (Amps 2003AB and 2013AB)
The middle market (LSM 5-8) are driven by a need to succeed and change their current standing by, for example, owning a better home or car and ensuring that their children receive a quality education. Twelve million of the Real Majority Group listened to ALS yesterday, that’s 53% of all LSM 5-8’s. (Amps 2013AB) yet the advertising revenue value per listener for ALS lags at an average R48 compared to the R500+ of commercial stations.
The SABC own the mediums that deliver reach to the mass market. They reach markets that are difficult to access, and of course communicating in the vernacular is very powerful.
According to Ask Afrika TGI SA 2013C research ALS listeners have a balanced outlook on life with the home becoming increasingly relevant as is healthcare and their focus on finances.
“The middle market is more interested in financial services, 72% are ‘banked’ versus 54% 10 years ago. Almost this entire group, 99% has electricity at home. (AMPS 2013AB)
“Values are still highly relevant to the audience, they are consistently proud to be South African and believe that AIDS is a serious threat to the economy. Employment creation and addressing violence and crime concerns these listeners. However, they don’t worry about themselves as much as they used to. They are motivated and believe that nothing in life is for free,” says Maria Petousis, TGI Director at Ask Afrika. (Ask Afrika TGI SA 2013C)
Ten years ago they did mostly monthly bulk food and grocery shopping. That is still true today, but their frequency of shopping has increased significantly. (AMPS 2003AB and 2013AB).
“Deciding what they want before they do their weekly shopping is not as relevant as it was and they are not as bargain conscious as they used to be. They have consistently shopped around for the best prices, but increasingly save up for something they want,” says Petousis. (Ask Afrika TGI 2013C)
The research indicates that 40% of all vehicles in Mzanzi are owned by ALS listeners, 52% own their own homes. Of the fast food consumed in South Africa 67% is bought by ALS listeners and 50% of jewellery valued at more than R700, is bought by ALS listeners. (AMPS 2013AB)
As part of its improvement plan and to bring itself in line with market value the broadcaster has recently announced a rates increase (effective as of 1 November 2014). Although this will obviously necessitate a greater spend on the part of advertisers ALS still offers the best value for money in terms of ad spend. Significant audience research, technology and other investment are regularly ploughed into this portfolio so that it remains the market’s dominant player.
In addition SABC Radio has improved its service to advertisers by investing in research that will allow for optimised strategic media planning. With the new advertising packages offered across SABC Radio stations, advertisers will get maximum reach and impact for the correct audience, without having to substantially increase their spend.
*Cybertorial is paid-for content.