The latest AMPS AB Report revealed an interesting shift: for the first time ever, black Internet usage has passed that of the white population. It has reached 46 percent, while white audience share dropped to 37 percent. Coloured usage stands at 10 percent and Indian at seven percent 1.
“The trend is there and we have been tracking it and anticipating it for a while. The sheer numbers in South Africa might make the milestone seem obvious, but it is significant that after over a decade of Internet usage in South Africa the tipping point has been reached. Everything we do at Avusa Media LIVE strategically considers these dynamics,” said Avusa Media LIVE’S general manager, Elan Lohmann.
“The Times and Sunday Times have major penetration into the black market in print 53 percent and 61 percent respectively versus 95 percent on Sowetan (AMPS 2010AB). We are seeing these numbers echoed on our web properties. So our penetration is strong and on the correct path to lead this space,” he told TheMediaOnline.
This means the black online market now stands at 2 056 million users, overshadowing the 1 654 million white audience. The significance is that only eight percent of South Africa’s entire black population has regular access to the Internet – compared to 36 percent of white South Africans who are regularly online.
Lohmann said in light of these findings, Avusa Live would be “creating additional opportunities through a focused strategy in this segment”. What exactly does that mean?
“What I can say is that many print and online products with major black readership in our opinion do not cater for that markets needs. I often personally believe the black market accepts what is on offer because options are limited. But creating brand new content products is expensive and labor intensive. At the moment most digital products rely on the same sources of content – and the issue is at source in terms of relevancy. We are planning to address this tactically,” he said.
South Africa’s online advertising profile isn’t great. So will this kind of research impact on how Avusa’s advertising sales people pitch to possible clients who have not yet made the leap.
“Well, when only two percent of advertising spend is spent online in SA – which is tragic and shocking in my opinion – there is plenty of opportunity. But specifically – most definitely! Which advertisers should not be interested in upwardly mobile, potential-filled black South Africans with disposable income. The opportunity is there but we are still fighting relative inertia in the ad agency and strategic planning space. If advertisers are interested in honing in on this profile of consumer digitally we are the right place to do it,” Lohmann said.
Avusa recently launched a group-buying site, called Zappon. The question is whether the AMPS research will drill down to the market exploring the group deals concept.
“Definitely,” Lohmann said. “We see huge potential in the black market with daily deal and group buying concepts. Zappon is our first dip of the toe in the water to get our processes and tech well oiled. At the moment I consider it in public beta. We are learning and adapting all the time.