Long Live Traditional Media: TV and Radio Affirm Dominance over T&T Media Landscape


Advertising and marketing agency, cmb, has commissioned a survey on media consumption in Trinidad & Tobago. Guardian Media Ltd, the media group with the most comprehensive mix of advertising solutions in the country, has partnered with cmb for a series of reports on the survey’s findings to help businesses in T&T identify the best way to market their products and services.
Traditional media remains a mainstay for advertisers and marketers despite the incursion of digital formats thanks to the dominance of television and radio as the most influential media platforms among almost every demographic group in Trinidad and Tobago, a new survey of local media consumption trends shows.
The survey, commissioned by local advertising and marketing communications firm cmb, and conducted by data analytics firms Lucent Research Ltd and Sacoda Serv Ltd, found that television transcended demographic differences, featuring strongly among all ages, socioeconomic levels and genders with 86 percent of the population saying they watch TV, and nearly 65 percent of them tuning in every day.
Over 900 people were interviewed, featuring a mix best representative of latest census data. Overall, 58 percent of respondents named television as one of their most noticed media, while 62 percent named it their most preferred. Radio was second, with 44 percent choosing it among their most noticed media and 47 percent, their most preferred.
Movies (50.1 percent) and news (41.4 percent) were the most popular types of programming, followed by comedies (19.6 percent) and sports (19.6 percent). TV news was also the most trusted source of information overall (64.6 percent), and 7.1 percent of TV watchers chose “News” as their favourite TV show. Most people (68.7 percent) spent an average of one to four hours per day watching TV. Among the top 20 most popular TV shows as given by respondents (excluding News), only two—Crime Watch (1.3 percent) and Beyond the Tape (0.9 percent) were local productions.
Not surprisingly, then, 64.8 percent of people said they subscribed to a cable TV service, while 20.3 percent only had local programming. Online streaming outlets are also gaining traction, with 25 percent of people saying they subscribed to such a service, with US giant Netflix being the most popular (89.7 percent). Flow (33.2 percent) and Digicel (8.6 percent) were the two biggest subscription TV services—as well as the biggest internet providers (44.6 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively).
Radio owed its strong showing primarily to traffic, with the long morning and evening rush hour commutes proving to be the most popular times people tuned into the radio. Nearly 80 percent of people said they listened to radio, with 60.3 percent listing in the car and 59.4 percent tuning in at home, highlighting radio’s subtle influence as an ambient medium. Nearly 54 percent listened to the radio daily, on average for one to four hours. Only five precent of people (mainly in the 25-29 age group) listened to podcasts.
Most people (52.8 percent) chose morning drive time (6am to 9am) as the time they usually tuned in, followed by evening drive time (3pm to 6pm). “Mix” (35.4 percent) was the most popular genre; followed by “urban mix” (23.3 percent); adult contemporary (13 percent); and religious/inspirational (12.8 percent). The Boom Champions 94.1 FM was the number one station (11.8 percent); followed by Red 96.7 FM (9.7 percent); 96.1 WE FM (9.3 percent); and Star 94.7 FM and Slam 100.5 FM rounding out the top five with 7.3 percent, each.
Most people weren’t particularly loyal to a specific radio programme, although Boom Champions’ “Make Up or Break Up” had a strong following (7.8 percent of radio listeners). Morning programmes had the most followers, including the Red Hot Morning Show (3.1 percent); The Grand Slam Morning Show (2.9 percent); and Mixed Nuts on 105.1 FM (1.6 percent).
Knowing what people watch and listen to is fundamentally important to any media and marketing plan, as this helps refine strategies for reaching targets. An overwhelming number of people in Trinidad & Tobago have some sort of subscription television. The 7pm local newscasts continues to be the most viewed programming, but overwhelmingly, the trend is still for internationally produced content, often viewed via subscription channels, including streaming services. Age and socioeconomic status are also important— television is overwhelmingly popular among the C1/C2/D demographic, while 18-35 year olds gravitate to streaming services because they allow them to watch content without interruption. Evolving viewing habits means that marketers and media planners need to be more fluid and tactical when planning schedules
For radio, timing is important—getting airplay during peak drive time, especially on popular stations, can significantly boost the awareness of a brand. With commutes sometimes lasting in excess of three hours every day providing a captive audience, radio is an essential consideration for any strategic media plan. Online streaming options, either through a browser or app, means in some cases, radio stations—and even television stations— are able to straddle traditional and digital platforms.
Traditional media in Trinidad & Tobago continues to have relevance, even as digital communication methods are increasingly incorporated into media strategies. Given the massive reach of both television and radio, a comprehensive, symbiotic marketing strategy that incorporates elements of both these media will ensure maximum exposure to key demographics.


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