The MediaShop held its latest industry forum in Johannesburg this week, an event that saw speakers delve into South Africa’s digital landscape, and assess its power. Speakers Justin Sanan of AC Nielsen Africa, Fiona Potgieter of Yonder Media and Toby Shapshak of Stuff magazine unpacked some of the trends affecting and defining digital growth in the country.
“While TV viewership globally is at an all time high at 90%, there is a growing trend for viewers to be watching with their mobile device, with 60% of consumers engaging the Internet, Facebooking or Tweeting, whilst watching TV,” said Sanan. This phenomenon would only apply to top end homes in South Africa however.
Fiona Potgieter went on to explain that South Africa’s mobile penetration is at 105%, so every home has at least one cellphone, with some having two connections. She went on to say that locally, 60% of cell phones are WAP enabled and 27% of rural users access the Internet on their mobile phones. She added that 18% of South Africa’s 53 million cell phone users are using smartphones, equating to a market of 9.5-million consumers. Interestingly, 65% of all of Google’s weekend search happens via a cell phone.
Ending the morning session, Shapshak agreed that mobile is certainly the way forward, explaining that one billion people on the African continent are served by 650-million SIM cards and that more people have access to a cell phone than to electricity. “The most popular gadget in the world is the Nokia 1100 cellphone, and through WAP enabled phones like this, the African continent is the fastest growing mobile market in the world.”
“These sessions are invaluable as they offer an opportunity to add value to our clients and engage with them in an environment outside of the office. Some of our speakers, and the networking that happens afterward, sparks new ideas and approaches,” says The MediaShop’s associate media director, Richard Lord. “Each speaker provided valuable input and food for thought and reiterated that the online and mobile platform should not be underestimated by marketers but explored more thoroughly to maximise its capabilities.”