With the launch of commercial broadcasters Star FM and Zi-FM, radio listenership in Zimbabwe has increased to 61 percent. Government-run publishing group Zimpapers owns Star FM and parliamentary aspirant Supa Mandiwanzira owns Zi-FM.
While the new stations have helped boost the number of Zimbabweans who tune into radio, according to the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey, for the last quarter of 2012, Star FM pulled in a mere 8 percent of the pie, just 2 percent above Zi-FM, which commands 6 percent of listenership on a national level. This is in spite of the hype that followed the introduction of the two stations last year.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp.’s youth-oriented Power FM is still the most popular urban station with approximately 2,138,221 listeners (32 percent), while Radio Zimbabwe, popular with rural and adult audiences, has 2,688,403 listeners (40 percent).
Multilingual National FM, which broadcasts in a dozen indigenous languages, attracts 698,320 listeners (10 percent).
“Shortwave initiatives such as Studio 7, VOP and SWRA together attract below 5 percent of national listenership,” said ZAMPS.