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BRC Announces Update to RAMS Data

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC), the independent non-profit industry body providing objective and transparent audience data for the radio, television, marketing and advertising sectors, has announced an imminent major release updating their radio audience measurement data.

The Q4 2023 RAMS Amplify dataset will span a comprehensive 24-month period, from January 2022 to December 2023. As previously communicated through various updates and live sessions, the BRC is aligning the Crosstab dataset with the Reach & Frequency (R&F) dataset for consistency and enhanced analytical capability.

“Historically, the Crosstab dataset was a 12-month rolling, yesterday recall dataset, while the R&F dataset operated on a 24-month rolling, past-7-day (P7D) basis,” said Gary Whitaker, CEO of the BRC. “The Q4 2023 RAMS Amplify release will now standardize both the Crosstab and R&F datasets to a 24-month rolling, P7D view, ensuring coherence and uniformity.”

To reiterate:

  • The R&F component is designed for campaign planning, media buying and ad booking purposes.
  • The Crosstab component should be used for strategic audience insights and analysis.

In their commitment for timely data delivery, the BRC will not be reworking the Q1, Q2, and Q3 2023 Crosstab datasets at this stage. These datasets will remain available but will be updated to the 24-month rolling, P7D format in due course. Consequently, comparisons or trend analyses between the Q4 2023 Crosstab release and earlier Crosstab datasets should be avoided until the conversion is complete.

The BRC strongly cautions against making comparisons between the different dataset formats, as these comparisons would incorrectly be comparing a 12-month rolling, yesterday recall dataset with a 24-month rolling, P7D dataset. Any apparent increases or decreases when comparing the two datasets are not reflective of genuine audience shifts. Accurate insights into audience changes will only be possible once the Q1, Q2, and Q3 2023 Crosstab datasets have been converted to the new format.

“Please consider the January 2022 to December 2023 dataset as a starting point until the earlier 2023 datasets have been updated,” concludes Whitaker. “We appreciate the understanding and cooperation as we transition to this improved measurement framework. Should there be any questions or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

The Q4 2023 RAMS Amplify dataset spanning January 2022 to December 2023 is scheduled for release in the coming weeks.

For more information on the BRC visit

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New MRF MAPS™ Consumer Data Reveals Shifting South African Landscape

The Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) and Plus94 Research announced the successful unveiling of the latest comprehensive MAPS™ (Marketing All Product Survey) dataset through a global webinar presented in partnership with ESOMAR, the world’s leading voice for the data analytics profession.

The MAPS™ May 2024 release incorporated three full years of data from 2021 through 2023, providing brands, marketers and their agency partners with an unmatched opportunity to analyse emerging consumer trends and shifting product purchasing behaviours across South Africa.

“Our long-standing MAPS program exemplifies the cutting-edge market intelligence capabilities within the South African research community,” said Johann Koster, CEO of the Marketing Research Foundation. “By collaborating with renowned organisations like ESOMAR, we were able to highlight how the quality, integrity and thoroughness of MAPS aligns with the highest global standards for consumer analytics.”

With a robust annual sample size exceeding 20,000 respondents across metro, urban and rural areas, MAPS offers unprecedented visibility into media consumption habits and consumer goods purchasing patterns nationwide. The study’s rigorous methodology, covering over 3 000 brands across more than 150 media and product categories, ensures MAPS data maintains stringent quality thresholds.

Key findings from the MAPS May 2024 release painted a picture of South African households grappling with increasing financial strain amidst rising costs for basic goods and persistent issues like crippling electricity blackouts. Data showed significant declines in expenditures for discretionary purchases like dining out and cinema visits, however alcohol sales have remained fairly constant with beer and wine being increasing consumed. Media consumption remained stable overall, with streaming video and social platforms carving out their space in the video viewing universe while Television seems to have stabilised and is holding its own in terms of overall audience share.

The MAPS May 2024 webinar featured insights into wide-ranging topics such as:

  • Impact of escalating inflation on grocery and consumer goods purchasing power
  • Shifting habits around traditional and digital media consumption
  • Households’ reliance on mobile banking and money transfer services
  • Evolution of e-commerce and online shopping adoption across categories like clothing
  • Emerging trends in alcoholic beverage preferences and liquor retail channel choices

Koster further emphasised, “The insights derived from MAPS are invaluable for any entity looking to understand and engage with the South African market. Our data is a critical tool for developing strategies that resonate with consumers, drive growth, and adapt to the dynamic market environment.”

The webinar recording and presentation are freely available to all. For more information on accessing these assets, please visit

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