Sixty-one percent of the South African major metro population age 15 and older have listened to online audio in the last month, and 26% have listened to a podcast in the last month.

This is according to The Infinite Dial® 2022 South Africa, which shows significant increases from the prior survey in 2019.

The study indicated that monthly online listening grew to 61% of the surveyed 15+ population compared with 39% of the surveyed 15+ population in the 2019 study, an increase of 56%. Monthly podcast listening was up 26% of the surveyed population, compared with 10% of the population in the prior study.

"While the pandemic may have accelerated these trends, the digital listening data still provides advertisers and media agencies with a rich research additive to traditional radio listening," says the BRC's CEO Gary Whitaker.

The study explores:
  • digital audio
  • mobile
  • smart speaker ownership
  • podcast consumption, and
  • social media usage.
This is among South Africans age 15+ living within the major metro commercial areas, covering the upper two of the three SEM Supergroups (or upper three of the five SEM Clusters) in the eight largest metro areas of South Africa.

Even as consumption of online audio and podcasts continues to grow, listening to radio remains strong. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed 15+ population are weekly radio listeners, consistent with 68% from the prior survey, according to the study.

Traditional radio ownership is still very high as 94% of the surveyed 15+ population own at least one radio. Radio listening at home has also expanded to non-radio devices as 64% of the surveyed 15+ population reporting listening to radio at home on a non-radio device — an increase from 44% in the prior survey.

Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research, shared findings from the study in an online presentation. "The increase in online audio consumption and podcast listening among those we surveyed in South Africa points to a space that can accommodate many audio platforms, while radio stays strong. We hope this data that shows robust growth in audio consumption motivates advertisers to consider all of these various audiences," says Rosin.

Other highlights from the study show that:
  • 90% of the major metro population age 15+ own a smartphone
  • 32% of the major metro population age 15+ own a smart speaker
  • 80% of the major metro population age 15+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month currently use AM/FM radio in-car, and
  • weekly podcast listeners consume an average of four episodes per week.
Individuals are encouraged to click here to download the study. 

How the study was conducted

In November / December 2021, Edison Research conducted in-person interviews with a total of 1 500 persons aged 15 and older. All respondents are in the upper two of the three SEM Supergroups (or upper three of the five SEM Clusters) and live within the following eight major metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. These include:
  • Nelson Mandela Bay
  • Mangaung
  • City of Johannesburg
  • eThekwini
  • City of Cape Town
  • Buffalo City
  • City of Tshwane, and
  • City of Ekurhuleni.
The data was weighted to reflect the gender, age and race of this population.

For more information, visit You can also follow the BRC South Africa on Facebook