Here is a thought and it starts like this: So what if internet penetration is below or around the 10% mark in this country. Yes it could and should be higher and will soar higher as we see the proliferation of new broadband products take hold and get cheaper (the broadband-induced boom other nations experienced is only starting here now). But consider this:
Even though internet penetration is less than 10% in South Africa, which we keep on emphasising in caution, our local internet population is probably now nearing 4-million. But that is small you cry! Yes, but consider this: Even though it may be relatively small, that figure represents the entire population of Ireland — a developed country by world terms. In this context, 4-million local internet users looks more attractive.
So we can denigrate local internet here as we always do because of its low penetration, but it’s a significant internet audience, even in world terms. Now the question I would have is, what is the online advertising industry worth in Ireland and is it anything similar to the R170-million industry here?
And if you consider the outside traffic that local sites get, that 4-million figure shoots up to probably at least 12-million worldwide people visiting local sites. (I base this on the fact that the 30 or major sites listed in the OPA attract around 8,5-million unique users monthly worldwide).