DRC capital’s online media audience increases
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Internet media audiences in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have grown by 7% in 2014 to reach 35%, according to annual media statistics of Kinshasa released recently by research company Target.
The findings of the study, which included TV, radio, internet, cable channels and newspapers, also show that cable TV audiences have dramatically increased, while print media readership and radio listenership have both decreased by 12% and 23%, respectively.
While free-to-air TV audience has gone up by a mere 3%, cable TV has seen its following base increasing by a massive 12%.
The results have surprised many industry watchers who believe that ICT penetration in the DRC was beginning to bear fruit.
“It looks like many people in Kinshasa have begun to hit the information highway, and are therefore turning their back on traditional media which all of a sudden appears to have nothing new to offer,” Jean-Albert Longange told Biztechafrica.
“The general perception out there is that online media outlets operating in countries such as ours that have a very low internet penetration cannot grow because of their poor base of readers. But things are changing with our country’s significant ICT penetration,” he pointed out.
These findings about the internet media mark the turning point for the future of digital media not only in the capital, but also in the whole country, Longange said.
However, it remains unclear why radio, a medium that has been a long time friend of the Kinois (residents of Kinshasa), has seen such a dramatic decrease of audiences.
But analysts believe that the fact that top radio stations in the DRC have boosted their online presence may have pushed many of their listeners, especially young people, to follow them online.