Radio is still on top overall, but television has become the number one source for news in urban Zimbabwe, with two-thirds of TV owners using a satellite dish…
Data shows that the market, until recently dominated by radio, is rapidly changing with increased use of satellite television, as well as new media among younger demographics.
“The notion that Zimbabwe is a radio-only market is outdated,” noted Sonja Gloeckle, Africa Research Analyst for the International Broadcasting Bureau, citing the increased uptake of satellite television and new media.
Zimbabwe has made for an excellent case study for how rapidly the media landscape can change in Africa. Only recently has satellite television become truly accessible, thanks to low cost dishes and new content providers delivering bouquets of desirable content. Last year’s data suggested the market had reached a tipping point, and this year’s data confirmed it — satellite TV use has intensified.
However, the television phenomenon is uneven, with 88% of urban dwellers reporting ownership compared to just 34% in rural areas. Among all TV owners, two-thirds use a dish for receiving content.
Beyond the television breakout, the survey shows a sharp uptick in the use of new media and mobile – mostly among younger demographics. Considering Zimbabwe’s median age is 19, one can expect this trend in usage to become increasingly important.
The shifts have implications for Voice of America programming, as the popular radio program Studio 7 is broadcast up against the emerging television prime time. As a result, audience numbers have suffered somewhat.
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