Research is invaluable in this industry. Lynne Krog takes us through the latest ROOTS findings, unpacking just how and where South Africans are using technology in the home.
Over the past few years, South Africans have become a lot more technologically advanced. For example, ROOTS showed that 3% of PDMs purchased a full HD TV, an HD-ready TV, a LCD screen TV or a plasma TV in the past 12 months.
Bearing in mind that South Africa has faced some tough recessionary times, where purchasing behaviour has been thinner, techno items in the household have grown since 2007 and not necessarily in the past year. Now, 44% of the households measured have M-Net and/or DStv, 6% have a PVR decoder, 9% have any gaming technology, 1% have a Nintendo Wii, 6% have a Sony Playstation 2, 3% have a Sony Playstation 3, 1% have a Xbox, 11% have a laptop or notebook, 1% have a Palm Pilot/BlackBerry/smartphone and 3% have a GPS device.
PDMs and the Internet
Internet usage has increased and is definitely more prevalent in some areas and somewhat non-existent in others. Across the entire ROOTS survey, 21% of PDMs surf the Web weekly or more often, while 27% go online monthly or more frequently. This is up from an average of 15% in 2007.
Breaking down these statistics even further, ROOTS details exactly what these PDMs use the Internet for on a monthly basis: information (72%); as a yellow pages or directory service (15%); research or homework (42%); news, weather and current affairs updates (20%); surfing or browsing in general (42%); local news and stores (9%); social networking, like Facebook and Myspace, (39%).
From ROOTS 2007 to ROOTS 2010, we see that PDMs are using email more frequently. Twenty-two per cent use email once a week or more often, compared to just 16% in 2007. Twenty-three per cent of PDMs mail every two weeks or fortnightly (3% in 2007) and 13% of PDMs interviewed make use of email once a month, compared to 3% in 2007.
Areas with the highest Internet/email usage are Randburg North, Bedfordview and Edenvale, Cape Town southern suburbs, Midrand and Rosebank/Killarney.
Are you connected?
Most people who are connecting to the Internet do so at their place of employment, while 3% just aren’t sure how to connect…
ROOTS shows that, of the PDMs they interviewed who had been online in the past month, they had been connecting as follows:
- At work 47%
- Fixed line (ADSL) at home 26%
- Wireless/broadband: 3G 11%
- Via cellphone 7%
- Dial-up at home 3%
- ISDN line at home 3%
Of the PDMs who use the Internet/email at least once a month or more often, they usually use the following search engines:
- www.google.com 72%
- search.yahoo.com 26%
- search.msn.com 6%
- www.ask.com 4%
- www.live.com 2%
Interestingly, Sea Point/Camp’s Bay, Randburg North and Cape Town’s southern suburbs showed a particularly high incidence of utilising the Internet for Facebook or Myspace.
Almost 40% of PDMs who have been online in the past month have engaged in social networking.
According to ROOTS 2010, the definition of social networking incorporates:
- Sending SMSes online 31%
- Instant messaging 20%
- Reading blogs 13%
- Chatting in chat rooms 9%
- Updating own personal webpage 9%
- Updating own personal blog 8%
- Internet dating 6%
- Collaborating on forums 3%
- Contributing to blogs 3%
- Uploading own self-generated videos 3%
Mobile phones and what we’re using them for
Ownership of cellphones was pretty prolific in 2007, but these figures have also risen over the last few years. Eighty-two per cent of PDMs interviewed confirm ownership of a cellphone, compared to just 72% in ROOTS 2007.
So what are we using our cellphones for? ROOTS 2010 says:
- Send and receive SMSes 95%
- Voice calls 94%
- Taking photos 52%
- Taking videos 32%
- MMSes 30%
- Playing games 21%
- Downloading ringtones/wallpapers, etc. 18%
- Receiving photos or videos 18%
- Listening to radio/streaming audio 13%
- Social networking 11%
- Accessing the Internet 10%
- Sending/receiving email 8%
- Getting finance, sports, weather, news updates 8%
- Entering competitions 7%
- Synchronisation of calendar, email, contacts 6%
- GPS 5%
- Watching TV 1%
The ROOTS 2010 data is available free of charge to retailers, marketers, media planners and strategists, and is on Telmar systems. For more information, contact NAB at 011 889 0610 or visit www.nab.co.za.
Lynne Krog is senior manager of Caxton CTP’s central intelligence unit, a division of The Newspaper Advertising Bureau (NAB).
This story was first published in The Media magazine.