Africa advertisers missing out on online profits

June 14, 2014

African countries lags other regions across the world in online advertising business, even as Internet usage in the sub Saharan Africa surged in the past few years, according to a top executive at research company I met few days ago. Africa advertisers spent more than $10 billion last year on advertising, but most is dedicated to print and electronic advert ads but the game is changing with mobile expected to surpass the two as the most preferred medium of advertisement in the next three years. Only about 10 percent of advertisers’ budgets go to online ads, citing his company’s research. He informed me that the online advertising industry here still had plenty of room to grow. Less than percent is still very low compared to other countries, which usually spend about 20 percent of their total ad budget on online ads. With Africa’s population of over 1billion, advertisers could take advantage of the many Internet users trolling the Web through their mobile phones on popular social networking sites to generate big profits.

According to shared data, Africa is going to be the second-largest market in the world when it comes to mobile advertising, with more than 300 million active users as at the end of 2013, about half of users in the continent. African countries now make up of the largest market for Whatsapp and Facebook. A recent poll by an American research firm showed that Africa is the leader in mobile Web surfing with 67 percent of African users accessing the Web through mobile phones. As a continent with high mobile browsing rates and strong, ongoing growth in use of social networking sites, the researcher told me that Africa is waiting to take off. However, for that to happen, the players in the information and communications technology industry need to work harder to convince advertisers of the benefits of exposing themselves through online media if they want to reap the potential

Contador Harrison