According to the stations, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on businesses in South Africa and disrupted the country's economy. Brands both big and small have been forced to reevaluate their advertising spend at a time when communicating with their audience is vital.

East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM say that they understand that all sectors are struggling financially. In light of this, the Kagiso Media-owned radio stations hope that the decision not to increase their rates from Wednesday, 1 July to Wednesday, 30 September will help brands "rebuild and remain top of mind during the lockdown".

East Coast Radio’s commercial manager Malani van Huyssteen says, "During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are adapting and evolving our pricing approach because we understand that businesses have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Advertisers will benefit from buying ECR at the FY20 price."

According to the stations, radio remains a popular advertising medium during the pandemic. Surveys conducted by Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio show that listeners are not only consuming more radio than they did before the crisis, but they are also spending more hours tuning in — in many cases for more than six hours a day.

The survey results also show that listeners were consuming multiple content types on multiple platforms, including the station websites and apps. Podcast and video content also saw a significant increase in downloads.

The stations say that the pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to digitise. Radio as a reach medium works well with digital, and East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM are both strongly in favour of converged campaigns that make use of all platforms to enhance ROI. Both stations will be adding their digital and audio streaming inventory costs to their rate cards for the new financial year.

Jane Ruinard, commercial manager at Jacaranda FM, concludes, "Creating a fully inclusive rate card will give advertisers the opportunity to view all our rates on one consolidated rate card. Ease of use and access is key to assist with planning a fully integrated campaign."
Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio have an ecosystem that is designed with the aim to help advertisers leverage all of their platforms, enabling advertisers to plan and ensure cohesiveness when buying from the stations.

East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM have indicated that they will review their rates going forward to ensure flexibly with market conditions.

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