A radio station’s main objectives are to connect with their audience and produce engaging content that will attract listeners. But without a detailed understanding of their audience – their size, where they live, what age or gender they are, etc. – many stations are unable to do this effectively. Audience data and ratings solve this problem, empowering radio stations to make more informed choices about programming, engagement opportunities, and business strategies.
Since early 2014, Forcier has worked to establish South Sudan’s first audience ratings system for radio as part of a series of USAID-funded media development initiatives implemented by Internews. The immediate focus was on establishing an audience ratings system that is credible, validated, and sustainable for radio stations whose broadcasts cover urban Juba.
After two years of extensive research, the foundation of an audience ratings system was in place: monthly surveys produced systematic audience data for radio stations in Juba. With the methodology in place, the next phase of the project was beginning the formal service of providing audience ratings data to stations through a subscription model. Unfortunately, as a result of instability in the capital in July 2016, the ability to collect robust, representative data in Juba on an ongoing basis was jeopardized. Therefore, the audience ratings system project has been suspended indefinitely.
Although the data was intended to form part of an ongoing audience ratings system, it still provides a range of useful insights into the dynamics of Juba’s radio market, audience preferences, composition, and behavior, and gives some indication of what the audience ratings system service would have looked like. We hope that the media sector, development organizations, and the general public find this report a useful and informative testament to the potentials of audience research.
The results presented in this report are drawn from data collected between January and June 2016 and are representative of the three payams in urban Juba (Juba Town, Kator, and Munuki) approximately 200,000 residents. Each month, roughly 600 observations were collected and weighted by payam.