I’ve been asked many times what the relevance of podcasts is when radio is there. The first thing I say is “Podcasts are radio on demand” which always brings out a curious look of ‘Go on, I’m listening.’ It is important to state that because if you look at the success of companies such as Netflix, Hulu, IrokoTV, Uber, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Lyft, WhatsApp and the like, their services are on demand. The consumer sets their own terms of when to access this service. People are increasingly controlling what they watch, how and when. Same applies to radio; people want to listen to radio programming that they want to listen to when they want to listen to it. Africa is no exception to those needs.
Podcasts are multi-faceted. In Africa, a lot of radio stations put up the best bits of their programming as podcasts on platforms such as Soundcloud and Iono.fm. South African radio stations do this a lot. That can be considered a fairly unique subset of what podcasting is because all they do is repurpose content that has been broadcast. Podcasts, however, in the greater context are so much more. A few African countries stand out when it comes to podcasting such as Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Ghana. These countries are at the forefront of spearheading the podcast revolution across Africa with long running podcasts over the last 10 years.
In the US, podcasting continues to rise, with monthly listeners growing from 21% to 24% year over year according to Edison Podcast Consumer 2017 research. African podcasting stats are harder to come by but the industry is growing at a steady rate. Some African podcasts are starting to see listens in the thousands as opposed to the hundreds. This is an encouraging sign and contributes to the overall positivity surrounding what podcasts serve as a purpose. We are also starting to see more companies sponsoring and backing podcasts in Africa.
We are here to help you get up to speed with some of the best African podcasts around!
Welcome to the future.