GroupM, a global media investment group, recently launched the Africa Media Index, its inaugural study on the media landscape in Africa. The study aims to provide insights on trends and knowledge of the media sector and how it affects investment, governance, local business and economies.
This study comprises data from 14 African countries, namely Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola and Ethiopia. It identifies trends that are relevant to industry investors looking to increase their footprint and reach multiple audiences in a meaningful way across Africa.
The report focuses on five key categories including Economy and Business, Media Landscape, Media Consumers, Technology and Governance and Legislation.
While the African middle class population is growing impressively, so is their access to technology and media consumption. This is demonstrated through the rising sales of televisions, which now replace radio as a preferred purchase option in places where electricity supply is increasingly available.
Access to the internet also accounts for a large growth in the media landscape, however, internet use is restricted by high data prices in various regions. More than 83% of respondents believe online media is growing significantly, while 75% of them think radio, through internet broadcasting is on a high trajectory.
Print media is also experiencing positive growth, contrary to what is happening in the rest of the world. In Kenya, newspaper consumption has grown by 14% in 2018 versus the previous year and 12% in Nigeria according to This Year Next Year report, by GroupM Global.
Of the surveyed respondents, 49% of East Africans and over 36% Southern Africans think media corruption is, while 41% West Africans say the media is hopelessly corrupt. Corrupt state media, bribe taking journalists and self-censorship by the independent press were cited as examples of corruption.
Investment indicators, as opposed to business confidence, for Southern Africa are good overall. Leading in this is South Africa with an overall score of 65.97, which takes three of the top five positions in overall Economy and Business rankings. However Ghana (51.65), and Kenya (47.67), reflects a mixed regional picture.
Speaking on the launch, Federico De Nardis, CEO at GroupM Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) said, “Many companies, both those already on the continent and those wishing to reach consumers and businesses across Africa, often struggle to find consistent and reliable information which gives a clear understanding of the media landscape. The intention of the Africa Media Index is to bridge that gap.”
“The 21st century new media wave has been driven by the African people as they are choosing preferred mediums and content. Investors in Africa’s media industries can be assured that African media consumers are the same as media consumers in other markets who are perpetually craving better media services that are interactive and advertising that is created to each market’s unique nuances,” concludes De Nardis.