Media preferences, preferred channels and media consumption habits

Editor’s note: Frankline Kibuacha is digital marketing and outreach manager at GeoPoll, Nairobi, Kenya. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “Media preferences among the youth in Africa and Asia."

Media has evolved. A long time ago, messages were put across through word of mouth, smoke signals, horns and other hyperlocal methods. Printing presses showed up in the 1400s, the radio was invented in the 1800s and the television came up in 1920s. These innovations have invariably led to changes in media channel tastes. Today we are in the era of the internet and there has been yet another massive shift to new media, especially among the youth.

This article will highlight snapshot results from a continuous survey we’re running on the GeoPoll App to assess the media preferences, preferred channels and media consumption habits among our app users in Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa.

Most accessed media in Africa and Asia (and why)

The first question we asked in the survey was which media our app users consume the most between the internet, TV, newspapers, magazines and radio. A vast majority of respondents (81%) chose the internet, affirming the importance of online media in day-to-day life. Overall, 13% selected television and 5% went for radio, although these shares varied from country to country. For example, radio scored 5.41% in Kenya but dropped off the charts completely in Indonesia, with very few respondents selecting radio as their most consumed media.

Which of the following media do you consume the most in your day to day life - internet, TV, radio, newspaper, magazine 

When we asked them why they most consume the various types of media, each channel displayed different reasons.

Why do you most consume the following media - newspaper, internet, magazines, TV, radio

Most people said they mostly read newspapers for political news. They access the internet, listen to the radio and watch TV for entertainment, and read magazines to stay on top of fashion trends.

Radio – most occasionally listen

Radio may not be the favorite media channel, but most people (82%) said they at least occasionally listen to radio stations. In fact, the highest percentage (42%) said they tune in daily. The next highest percentage (32%) rarely listen to the radio, while 17% listen about once a week.

How often do you listen to radio?

As to why they listen to the radio, half of the respondents said they listen to music while the rest mostly listen to news (26%) and talk shows (24%). This trend held in most of the countries surveyed with Pakistan being an outlier, as more people listen to news (44%) than listen to music (40%).

What do you often listen to on radio?

Overall, most people listen to radio at home.

Television – majority watch daily  

Now, let’s touch on TV viewership briefly. In the survey, we asked our respondents if they watch television, and most said they do (94%).

When we dug deeper into the frequency of watching TV, a majority (73%) said they watch TV daily with 10% saying they watch at about once a week. Fourteen percent watch TV less often than that. Pakistan showed the greatest variance, with 58%  that watch TV daily compared to 15% that watch weekly.

These results are from a survey conducted continuously via the GeoPoll App and pulled from data collected March through September 13, 2021. We have weighted the results featured in this article from 14,000 responses from respondents in Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa. Since this is not a scientific study, the findings are likely to skew toward younger males in urban areas.