Royal Media Services Citizen is not just the most popular broadcast house in Kenya. It’s the most influential media too, which by extension make its founder and owner, S.K. Macharia, one of the most influential guys in Kenya.
According to a regional poll by Ipsos, RMS-run Citizen Television and Radio Citizen are the third and fourth most influential brands, respectively, in Kenya. It beat Nation Media Group, the region’s biggest media house, which runs Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper in terms of circulation and readership. NMG also runs NTV and two radio stations.
The Standard, the second biggest media house in the country, with newspaper, radio and TV presence, does not feature in the top 10 influential brands.
Citizen TV controls nearly half the TV audience in Kenya, followed by KTN and NTV. That gives it an edge in influencing public opinion, especially through the many talk shows it runs alongside prime time news and in the morning. All the five week days are themed around issues of the day, while the weekend days take a magazine show feel of human interest and a bit of showbiz. The TV station also has popular presenters and news anchors who easily command the attention of many viewers.
Radio Citizen, on the other hand, is the most popular nationally with 27% of the market followed at a distance by Radio Jambo with 7.8% of the market, according to report by Ipsos for 2016. It has a national reach and broadcasts in Kiswahili which reaches a majority of the population, especially in rural areas and Nairobi’s low-income segments.
Young but popular
Royal Media Services, founded in 1999, is considerably a young station compared to its competitors, Nation Media Group (now 56 years old) and Standard which has existed for over a century now.
Under the influential survey, 100 brands were evaluated and ranked across 21 countries in the world in various sectors such as including telecommunication, media and communication, education and health. Facebook made it top 10 ten in Kenya, coming in at number 6.
Kenya and Nigeria are the only sub-saharan countries included in the study, with 36,000 people interviewed all over the world across all the brands. 106 of 5,000 brands in Kenya were selected for the study, which saw Safaricom bag the most influential telecommunication agency in of the year and most influential brand in Kenya.
Here is the list of top 10 influential brands in descending order.
3. Citizen TV
4. Radio Citizen
8. Ariel washing detergent
9. Kenya Power
10. Equity Bank