Deutsche Welle broadcasts live to Africa via Facebook

With an audience reach of 52 million in Africa, the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has become the first international broadcaster to launch ‘Facebook Live Audio’. DW has been streaming live radio programs for Africa daily on the network’s Facebook platform in English, French, Hausa and Kiswahili in recent weeks.

The live broadcast of audio content on Facebook has a distinct advantage over video streams, as the volume of data transferred is notably lower. Users can also look at other information on Facebook while the radio program is running.

“The greatest benefit of radio is that people can listen to it while doing other things – and that’s now something that is possible in both analogue and on social networks,” said Claus Stäcker, head of DW’s programs for Africa. “Facebook Live Audio fits into our concept for social radio. User comments are directly integrated into the live broadcast, intensifying the dialogue with users,” he added.

Studies conducted by the DW marketing and media research team show that the majority of people in African countries use social media almost exclusively on their mobile phones. In addition, they listen to the radio on their mobiles more frequently than the average person. Radio reception occurs online, although the network coverage in these countries is often weaker and mobile data packages are more expensive.

Stäcker said that, “Many listeners told us that it is easier to listen to our broadcasts via Facebook Live Audio than to download the program as a podcast.”

DW has had a presence in Africa for more than 50 years. At the moment, the German international broadcaster has radio and online offerings in 30 languages, including Amharic, English, French, Hausa, Kiswahili and Portuguese. DW’s multimedia offerings regularly reach an audience of 52 million people in Africa.

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