When it comes to radio audience ratings, the battle goes down to English verses Kiswahili in ranking the top radio stations in Kenya. But, still, location matters.
That’s where ranking begins to consider Nairobi audience and the national/rural audience separately as radio is a highly regional medium that necessitates a split in listenership areas.
In the period between July to August 2019 GeoPoll examined three key time blocks in which radio listenership is typically high, and looked at listenership for ages 15-34.
The GeoPoll data includes data for the breakfast time block (6am – 10am) for Nairobi, data for the mid-morning time block (10am-12pm) from national rural areas, and data for the drive time block (4pm – 6pm) for national rural areas.
National Listenership in Kenya
Swahili radio stations Radio Citizen and Radio Maisha are the most popular stations, with 10.8% and 9.7% share respectively, followed by Radio Jambo with 8.9% share.
This finding echos the Kenya Audience Research Foundation (KARF) survey of February and March, which put Citizen Radio owned by Royal Media Services, top nationally at 13%, followed by Radio Jambo of Radio Africa Group at 7.3% and Standard Groups Radio Maisha with 6.6% and 6.8%.
The third place is taken by Radio Jambo, followed by Kiss FM, with Milele FM closing the five top radio stations in Kenya.
“As is expected due to the regional nature of radio broadcasts, we find that a large portion – 35% – of the target audience listens to stations outside the top 10 during the mid-morning time period,”says GeoPoll’s latest survey conducted between 1st July and 31st August 2019.
The same pattern is recorded in the afternoon, with Radio Citizen taking the lead with a slightly higher share than the morning, at 11.6%. Radio Maisha has a 10% share with rural audiences age 15-34 from 4pm – 6pm. For both the mid-morning and the drive time periods, females have a slightly higher share on Radio Citizen than males, who are more likely to listen to Radio Jambo.
Nairobi Radio Listenership
The battle for listeners in Nairobi is tight, and shifts to between English and Kiswahili stations, as it were. During breakfast time from 6am – 10am, Classic 105 dominates the airwaves with the ‘Maina and King’ang’i” show. In July and August, Classic 105 had a 19.5% audience share among the target group from 6am – 10am, and an average 20.8% share during weekday mornings.
Radio Jambo, KissFM, Radio Citizen, and Milele FM were also in the top 5 radio stations in Nairobi during this period. “We find that listenership is quite fragmented, with a high portion of the audience listening to radio stations outside the top 10,” GeoPoll says in the survey.