Target markets are shifting and so too is the way that consumers choose and consume media, which means advertisers need to invest in different media platforms. Research completed by Decision Fuel and InMobi, as indicated in the graphic (1) below, shows that digital platforms, and especially mobile, has reached similar levels with television in terms of time spent on the medium.
When comparing the amount of time spent with the medium versus actual adspend, money spent on digital is still lagging behind even though investment in this arena has grown by 77.6% between 2007 and 2012, albeit from a small base. Interestingly, internet usage in South Africa has grown from 2.4 million in 2001 to 10 million in 2012, with the majority of consumers accessing the web via mobile instead of a desktop or laptop.
In 2012, R34 billion was spent on advertising, but there is huge disparity when comparing time spent versus actual adspend. The graph (2) below shows that the television and radio mediums still have the majority of share at 48%, followed by print at 30%, whilst internet only received 2%.
In the television space new channels are being introduced under the e.tv umbrella, namely eAfrica+, eKasi+, eToonz+ and eMovie+. This explosion of channels will cause an even bigger fragmentation of audiences, which might also bring about a dilution of the media spend. The question is: will the television piece of cake get bigger or will it simply cannibalise on the existing share? With consumers having choices as to when and what to watch using devices such as the PVR and products like Catch Up and Box Office, should the industry be making media owners more accountable for the audiences they can deliver?
The print platform is struggling to find and keep readers with the exception of free community newspapers which have seen a growth in readership. However, even print enjoys a higher share of the advertising budget versus the time spent with the medium. In the past breaking news was in print, however in the digital world, print doesn’t provide that particular competitive advantage anymore. This platform has to reinvent itself to keep readers and grow the category.
Online print editions are drawing large numbers, for example Mail & Guardian’s online edition has 20 times more readers than the printed version. But is print dead? Should print be considered as support to digital instead of them leading the way? Only time will tell how this cookie crumbles.
No matter which way the media pie is looked at, internet still remains the poor media cousin, despite the fact that consumers are spending more time on this platform. Although the internet is unlikely to overtake television as an advertising medium in its ability to reach a mass market, marketers and advertisers should relook the percentage of spend allocated to digital platforms.
Laiza Zikalala is associate media director of The MediaShop. This post was first published in the company’s newsletter.
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