Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Sam Kamau

Second Supervisor/Advisor

George Gathingi

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Nancy Booker


Graduate School of Media and Communications


This study sought to investigate the effects of digital disruption on radio revenues among urban radio stations in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: (i) to explore the trends in radio revenues in a competitive media environment in Kenya; (ii) to examine how radio revenues have been affected by digital disruption; and (iii) to establish new revenue generation strategies adopted by radio stations in Kenya today. The study adopted qualitative approach and employed exploratory research design. Four radio stations in the country were the sample size; Capital FM, Radio Citizen, KBC Radio and Spice FM, where editors, station managers and business managers were interviewed. The sample size also included interviews from media research firms including Media Council of Kenya, Kenya Audience Research Foundation, WPP Group and TIFA Research. Furthermore, there was documents review, where previous studies published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Media Council of Kenya, Deloitte, Geopoll, Communications Authority, Ipsos and Kenya Audience Research Foundation were reviewed. The research was guided by Strategic Management theory and Media Economics theory. The study used interview guides and document review guide as the data generation tool. This study found out that the audience share has reduced due to a number of factors including digital platforms which provide the information and entertainment that radio and media in general does. These digital platforms have taken away considerable media advertising even as the business environment is very competitive. Despite these, new radio stations are still being opened signifying potential for radio as a business and public interest medium. The findings reveal that some of the trends in radio revenues are decline in revenues, devolution, digital migration and decline in mass market approach by advertisers. Digital disruption has impacted on radio revenues in that there is decline in listenership on broadcasting waves as people access the same information online, the rise of the influencer who are taking away advertisements that were earlier tapped by radio and media in general and move towards embracing digital advertisements only as stations seek to diversify revenue streams. The new revenue generation strategies include increasing direct online marketing through engaging with advertisers and advertising agencies, creating digital assets in diverse platforms where audiences are and learning their trends, establishing media agencies to reduce need for creative work being done by outside companies, banner ads on the radio stations’ website, call center and research for brands, and government. The study recommended maximizing of digital platforms through content and good distribution to tap into internet advertising, providing quality content consistency and content that is differentiated from other platforms, diversifying revenue sources, institutions of higher learning teaching broadcast should consider a unit in revenue generation and the Media Council of Kenya that is running media viability project should consider training media on how to maximize on revenue sources including government advertising.