Zimbabwe Newspapers continues to dominate the media market, with The Herald and Chronicle, sister daily papers published in Harare and Bulawayo, now read by a combined 40 percent of all Zimbabwean adults and 51 percent of the urban adult population, about twice the readership of the number two.
The Sunday Mail, according to latest results of Zimbabwe All Media and Products Survey, is now read by 25 percent of Zimbabweans, and with its Bulawayo sister Sunday News by a combined 31 percent, with Kwayedza, a Zimpapers title published in Shona, coming in second in the weekly listings at 12 percent.
In fact, Zimpapers takes the top five slots in the weekly category: The Sunday Mail (25percent), Kwayedza (12 percent), The Manica Post (6 percent), Sunday News (6 percent), and B-Metro (5 percent).
No other weekly is read by more than 2 percent, although Zimpapers free Harare newspapers, the two Suburban editions, and its new Business Weekly, were not part of the latest survey.
In radio, Star FM, the largest Zimpapers station, leads with 45 percent of urban adult listeners, although it is just pipped nationally by Radio Zimbabwe, a ZBC station specially orientated to the rural listenership.
VIEW VIDEO BELOW
Zimpapers’ regional Diamond FM in Mutare is listened to by 38 percent of people in its area. Zamps is a highly independent survey done by a professional company, Topline Research Solutions, and funded through a levy on advertising collected by a foundation.
The survey is set up so that media companies cannot influence the results or even find out what they could be until they are published.
The survey was set up by the advertising industry to give essential data to advertisers about where they will get the best results for their products or services.
In the daily newspaper category, The Herald leads with 25 percent of the national population and 32 percent of the urban population reading it in the second half of last year.
It is the top-ranked paper in seven provinces: Harare (44 percent), Manicaland (32 percent), Midlands (35 percent), Mashonaland East (28 percent), Mashonaland Central (20 percent), Mashonaland West (30 percent), and Masvingo (30 percent).
The three western provinces are dominated by Chronicle, with readership in Bulawayo at 59 percent of the population, Matabeleland North (37 percent) and Matableland South (44 percent).
Overall Chronicle is third in the list nationally with 16 percent. The two Zimpapers dailies operate as a pair with little reader overlap. Hence combined they are read by 40 percent of the popualtion and dominate all 10 provinces.
The second placed paper, Daily News, is read by half that number, 20 percent, and Newsday comes in joint third, also with 16 percent.
The Zamps survey looks at readership rather than print runs or circulation. Advertisers are less worried about how many people buy a particular newspaper than about how many read it.
It is well-known that more people buy a personal copy of a Sunday newspaper than a daily although the dailies have higher readerships, largely because they are easier to share or can be read at work. Zamps party measures this. The last Herald read by the test subjects saw 44 percent borrow it and 5 percent read it at work.
Zimpapers Group Chief Executive said the latest ZAMPS results proved once again the dominance of the fully integrated media house in the media business.
“We continue to hold our own at a time when newspaper readership trends worldwide are showing a decline,” he said. “This is because we are known as a content factory. We distribute content through multiple platforms and that makes us a favourite with our audiences and advertisers.
“We also are a credible, tried and tested brand; hence audiences will follow us. I am encouraged that the brands continue to rally strong. We cannot, however, afford to be complacent. As we go towards elections, audiences will still want their content and the onus is on us to package the content in ways that make us relevant in the print, digital and broadcasting spaces. We must also be present in digital spaces where audiences are gravitating towards.”
Mr Deketeke congratulated his editors and their teams, as well as the Radio Broadcasting Division for the good showing in the latest survey and urged them to continue being innovative; saying only through new thinking; would the business continue to thrive.
He expressed his appreciation to the Group’s audiences and advertisers; saying it was through them that the company continued to grow.