Highlights from The Infinite Dial 2019 South Africa

This year, we are proud to bring the Infinite Dial study to South Africa for the first time in partnership with Edison Research and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The findings from the study debut insights into South Africa’s digital audio and podcast landscape and have revealed many thought-provoking observations.

The Infinite Dial study is conducted as a high-quality telephone survey of all South Africans ages 15 and over, designed to represent the nation’s population.  The results were first made public at a live presentation by Edison’s President, Larry Rosin on Friday, September 9th in Johannesburg, South Africa.

With this being the first Infinite Dial study in South Africa, there is no prior data to compare the results to, however, in comparison to other studied regions such as the United States, Australia and Canada, South Africa’s insights showed significantly lower digital audio and podcasting awareness overall.

For example, in 2019, 32% of Germans, 49% of Canadians, 31% of Australians and 50% of Americans ages 18+ reported ever listening to a podcast, while just 19% of South Africans within major metro populations ages 18+ reported that they had ever listened to a podcast.

In addition, in 2019, 35% of Germans, 51% of Canadians, 54% of Australians and 59% of Americans ages 18+ reported listening to online audio in the last week, while just 32% of South Africans within major metro populations ages 18+ reported that they had listened to online audio within the last week.

Although online audio and podcast consumption is reportedly lower in South Africa, listening behaviors and device ownership are comparable to that of those specific regions.

Like the US, the majority of South Africans consume their podcasts at home with a reported 74% of South Africans within major metro populations ages 15+ reporting that’s where they do their podcast listening.

Furthermore, 87% of South Africans within major metro populations ages 18+ reported that they own smartphones in comparison to 80% of Germans, 82% of Canadians, 89% of Australians and 83% of Americans.

Other key Infinite Dial South Africa findings include:

  • 23 percent of South Africans within major metro populations ages 18+ are aware of smart speakers in comparison to that of the 65% of Germans, 65% of Canadians, 81% of Australians and 78% of Americans ages 18+ in 2019
  • 68 percent of South Africans within major metro populations ages 15+ and 68% Americans ages 18+ reported listening to AM/FM radio in the last week
  • 19 percent of South Africans within major metro populations ages 15+ and 51% Americans ages 15+ reported ever listening to a podcast

The Infinite Dial 2019 South Africa study was conducted in the second quarter of 2019 and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,500 people.  The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprising of both mobile phones and landlines, of all South Africans ages 15 and older. The data is weighted to 15+ population figures.

Click here for the full Infinite Dial 2019 South Africa study.

To learn more about the podcast landscape in South Africa, download our free 2019 South Africa Podcasting Data Kit for a wealth of information on podcast consumption and trends from the Infinite Dial 2019 South Africa. 

To learn more about the audio landscape in South Africa, download our free 2019 Audio Data Kit for a wealth of information on digital audio consumption and trends from the Infinite Dial 2019 South Africa.