BRC announces next Infinite Dial study

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) will be overseeing the next iteration of Infinite Dial, the leading study on digital audio from Edison Research. The South African edition of the study, set to go infield in August 2021, is sponsored by Triton Digital®, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry, in association with the National Association Of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Commercial Radio Committee.

“The Infinite Dial study, which debuted in 2019, explores the consumption of audio among South Africans living within the major metro commercial areas, covering the upper two of the three SEM Supergroups (or upper three of the five SEM Clusters),” says BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker.

This year, due to Covid, the research will be accomplished by Computer Aided Telephonic Interviews (CATI) as opposed to the face-to-face interviews completed in 2019. A total of (at least) 1500 consumers, aged 15+, will be interviewed with the data weighted to reflect the gender, age, and race of the metropolitan population.

“We are pleased to support the return of The Infinite Dial study in South Africa,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “The study will provide broadcasters, online audio publishers, podcasters, advertisers and the financial community with insightful data around South African consumption of streaming radio, online music and podcasts, as well as the usage of smart speakers and more.”

As demonstrated in the 2019 study, the continued power of broadcast media remains clear thanks mainly to its ability to keep up with and to navigate the digital world. Considering that the previous study was conducted before Covid, consumers demand and appetite for entertainment and news has grown significantly, especially through technologies and platforms that enable easier and more accessible content.

For example, United Stations’ audio streaming grew by 100% to one million streams per month across its network of radio stations and websites since the start of the pandemic* and Jacaranda FM, held the record for the most podcast downloads in a single day towards the end of 2019**.

Some of the highlights from the 2019 survey indicate that 44% of radio listening at home by the South African major metro commercial population was on a non-radio device, 39% listened to online audio in the past month and, while still in its infancy in South Africa, 22% are aware of podcasting, and 19% of the population have ever listened to a podcast.

“Technology is permanently evolving! In South Africa, the cost of data is coming down and broadband is becoming more and more accessible to the average person. Broadcast media is perfectly positioned to take advantage of these positive changes, especially in a post-Covid world,” concludes Whitaker.

“We are anticipating huge growth in these areas and we’re looking forward to viewing the shifts in digital use and how we (South Africans) now compare to international consumers when it comes to digital audio, radio, mobile, smart speaker, podcast consumption and social media.”

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