The Future of Podcasts in South Africa

Posted on January 25th, 2019
Articles Thought Leaders

Podcasts in South Africa - What the Future Holds for Listeners, Creators and Brands

To help usher in an exciting New Year, a number of startup founders, accelerator heads and ecosystem stakeholders will be sharing with us their plans for the new year and their biggest wish for the local entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2019.

It’s only recently that the value of podcasts, as both a storytelling medium and a new content form to reach engaged audiences, has truly been recognised. More South Africans are listening to podcasts, according to local research conducted by Matt Brown Media, the number of podcast listeners in the country went up by 50% in 2018 with the medium being the fastest growing sector of media consumption in South Africa.

Both big and small brands have shown appetite for the medium, for example Discovery is collaborating with local finance journalist Maya Fisher-French on her personal finance podcast, Smart Money, on Cliff Central.

According to Mashudu Modau this upwards trajectory is set to continue. Modau is the man behind MashStartsup with Mashudu Modau, an entrepreneurship and business podcast targeting the continent’s “opportunity seekers, problem solvers, future shapers, world builders and entrepreneurs”.

Modau has interviewed the likes of Katlego Maphai, CEO of local startup darling, Yoco, as well as Mixo Ngoveni, techpreneur and founder/CEO of Geekulcha, a youth ICT platform.

Modau also has a Podcast Guide which offers all the technical ins-and-outs of launching your own podcast, from how to upload your first podcast, to editing tips and everything in between.

Mashudu Modau is the creator behind MashStartsup with Mashudu Modau, an entrepreneurship podcast.

Find out what Modau says about why 2019 is the year of the podcaster and why the medium presents a massive opportunity for brands. 

In your view, what can we expect from SA’s fledgling podcasting industry going into 2019?

2019 will be the year of the podcaster. There’s been a massive investment in pockets of creatives across the continent to not only produce great content but do it at high quality.

This is an emerging medium that will finally have its moment in the sun and truly become staple in digital content consumption for consumers in Africa.

Do you think podcasting will come into the mainstream – in particular with regards to local brands advertising and partnering with podcasts? What do you think needs to happen to make that a reality?

Audiences that consume podcasts are more deeply invested in the content and the creators who make them

Podcasting is an emerging medium in South Africa and Africa at large. With this reality it will take a lot more time to have the numbers and listens to justify traditional ad spend on podcasts. But it is a massive opportunity for forward thinking brands that see the opportunity to engage in an innovative medium with an engaged audience.

It will take time, and patience coupled with great creators making phenomenal content. You talking about a migration of consumers from mediums that have dominated their lives and behaviors for years to a relatively new medium. It’s going to take time.

What do you want brands to know about working with podcasters for a profitable partnership?

Unlike other mediums before, content is the defining magic that drives podcasts. And although the scale in terms of numbers and listeners is not where YouTube and other mediums are – the audiences that consume podcasts are more deeply invested in the content and the creators who make them. The winning formula is a co-creation model with an authentic connection between the brand, the host and the podcast content.

What are your plans for your own platform?

We want to take our place as a leading new media platform that documents and advances the African millennial narrative, that’s the plan, the goal and the vision. With incredible creators and amazing content, it’s only a matter of time.

Are there any local podcasts you think we should be keeping an eye on in the coming year?

Shamelessly, I believe everyone needs to pay attention to the amazing creators we have brought on board at Lutcha to create incredible, impactful and valuable content. These include the Mashstartup podcast, Pioneers VS Pretenders and four more podcasts which we will be launching at the beginning of February. Apart from that, the Lutcha library of podcasts consists the very best Africa has to offer and people need to start listening!

And finally, what broadcasting mistakes would you like podcasters to stop making in 2019?

The biggest mistake would have to be people not creating. Too many people want to make it “perfect”. The truth is, we are at the early stages of a emerging medium and this is the time to make all the mistakes and learn as much as possible in order to develop really great content rather than worrying about how “perfect” it should be. If you are creator your job is to create, create with a purpose and create at scale. Do that and forget everything else.