SA online media industry "surging"

Quite a nice article in Business Report, we issued via the OPA about “Online advertising surges”… our quarterly traffic release got covered in quite a bit of media, especially traditional media… which suggests to me that online is quite the hot topic at the moment…

It’s no secret that after being one of the pioneer nations of the internet in the 90s, South Africa has steadily slipped down the rankings. This is partly due to the fact that internet in this country is still relatively expensive, but also as a result of broader socio-economic factors in that internet and computers remain out of reach for the majority of the country’s population.

It’s encouraging to see more broadband services, such as 3G HSDPA, Iburst and others being rolled out into the market. It’s also encouraging to see prices being cut on ADSL and DSL. Bringing down connectivity prices in line with international trends will help grow the market, but to some extent the internet user base will always be restricted by the socio-economics of the country, which make it unaffordable for many.

From an advertising point of view online is an attractive medium. The internet is emerging as a key day-time channel for people at work. This is an attractive proposition for advertisers as they are able to reach consumers with buying power.

Looking at the high cellphone penetration rate in South Africa and the rest of Africa, coupled with the fact that cellphones are able to access the internet with increasing ease and efficiency, it is not implausible to suggest that one of the next big growth areas for online will be via cellphones.