Radio is, according to the Afrobarometer 2017, the go-to-source when getting the latest news. 45% listen to it on a daily base, 26% a few times weekly. TV (23% / 13%), Internet (8% / 7%), Social Media (8% / 7%) and Print (5% / 10%) follow with distance. Recent data looking at broader consumption habits, including for example also media usage for entertainment and sports, is not available. The latest such data, compiled by Ipsos, dates back to 2014 and confirms the picture – radio was used most frequently and print was placed last.
The same study shows that around one third of Tanzanian perceived the media as informing the electorate and influencing the choice of leaders. Fewer respondents at 10% feel that media is exposing poor leadership. Poor signals were and still seem to be a concern in a number of the radio and TV stations. News, sports and music are the main attractions in the majority of the outlets.
Trust in media decreasing but still strong
Trust in media depends on the kind of media outlet. The percentage of citizens who completely trust information from TV and radio is high, respectively 69% and 64%. Broadcasted coverage seems to be way more convincing than information discussed in public meetings (22%) or with close social contacts (13%). Newspapers are trusted completely by a sixth of Tanzanians. Information channeled through social media rank last, with only 6% finding them trustworthy. Despite the decreasing levels of trust in media, a majority believes in a fair treatment of media. For example, they suggest that the government should justify any proposed punishment for offensive content in court (54%). And citizens would rather have a newspaper that publishes false or incorrect information apologize and publish a correction (62%) than being shut down or fined (38%).
High Audience concentration in print, radio and TV
The Media Ownership Monitor shows that audience concentration exists in three sectors: the printed press, radio, and TV. A high audience concentration is identified when the top four companies together reach more than 50% of the audience share.
This was the case for print, where the top four companies reach XX.XXX% of the readership, with Mwananchi Communications Limited leading the game. A high concentration exists also for TV segment, where the top four owners represent an audience share of XX.XXX%. For both TV and radio, the IPP Media Group, Clouds Entertainment and also the state-owned Tanzanian Public Broadcasting (TBC) have strong positions in the market. Even though the radio market is more diverse, it still shows a high concentration around the four market leaders that together provide XX.XXX% of the listenership with news. Concentration in the online sector is low, stands at XX.XXX%.