The future of radio broadcast business is visual

Radio station

Radio is going visual buoyed by ease of sharing content across digital platforms.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Radio broadcasting in Kenya has recorded notable changes since independence. The national broadcaster, then Voice of Kenya (VoK), was renamed Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in 1989.

KBC continues to broadcast in English, Kiswahili as well as regional languages. In the 1990s, liberalisation of the airwaves led to the emergence of many vernacular stations, perhaps following in the footsteps of KBC’s Cooro FM, which broadcasts in Kikuyu language.

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, there are more than 100 radio stations in Kenya today.

From a standard studio barely enough for a presenter and a guest, media houses have invested in state-of-the-art studios, complete with the latest audio-visual technology for a full-spectrum listener experience. Some stations even offer their listeners an on-air live experience.

Online live feeds

Disc-Jockeys (DJs), who previously relied on the benevolence of radio stations for guest appearances, today run breakfast and other shows. Some stations have scheduled live DJ mixes, compete with online live feeds.

Radio personalities are largely becoming opinion shapers and digital influencers who are adept at creating and curating content online long after their respective radio shows have ended.

Video clips of presenters in studios are shared on official pages of media houses as well as by presenters on their social media private handles.

Radio is going visual buoyed by ease of sharing content across digital platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram. The reality is that commercial brands are aggressively adopting influencer marketing as well as content creators , including media personalities, as these have an eager an enthusiastic listeners and followers. A highly personalised connection digitally is indeed the future of radio.

Ms Akulo is a specialist in market research and communications; @akinyi.okulo


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