Android lead in Africa’s mobile advertising

August 17, 2015

Android, as a mobile advertising platform, has gained strong position in the African ad market, on the back of the declining feature phone ad impressions in the continent, research by an independent mobile ad network has revealed.The report claim African mobile ad market grew by 68 percent to 100 billion ad impressions delivered end of June 2015 from 49 billion in June 2014, with Android platform showing a significant increase of 9.1 share points in ad impressions compared to the same period a year earlier.Android now serves 9.6 percent of all impressions.Other platformed remained second with 3.3 percent share of impressions and they have began losing shares at 19 percent compared to last year, the study reveals. Africa continues to show strong growth rates as one of the most mobile-centric markets in this region. Smartphone adoption will continue to ramp up quickly with Android leading the way allowing brands even more creative and engaging opportunities to connect with their audiences according to the researcher.Mobile-device advertising revenue growth has accelerated faster than desktop advertising, reflecting the digital future. Desktop advertising, however, still accounts for the bulk of digital advertising revenues as advertisers look to get the most eyeballs for their banners.The latest survey reveals that advertisers spent US$4.96 billion on television and printed media advertising expenditure in 2013, a 13 percent rise compared to the previous year.The survey also shows that Newspapers remains the favored advertising medium, with 64 percent of spending going to Newspapers.However, the researchers noted that both desktop and mobile advertising had seen an uptick in the number of advertisers opting for these platforms.

Digital advertising was expected to grow by up to 30 percent in 2015, while mobile advertising would chart a higher increase reaching 43 percent. The growth of Android phone users in Africa is backed by its affordable price, as some have the same prices as feature phones but offer much more sophisticated technology.For advertisers, the shift from feature phone to smartphone provide them more room for creativity to develop the advertisement strategy itself, which offers clients a better way to engage its customers.According to a researcher behind the study whom I spoke with, even though the current mobile advertisement in Africa are still dominated by advertisements for feature phone, but the global trend starts to shift platforms to smartphones, from SMS-based to application-based advertising.A South African Tele-opertaor recorded a total of US$4.1 million in ad revenue of which 76 percent came from SMS advertising due to the larger feature phone users in the country. However, African advertisers have to adapt with the changing platforms that starts to shift from feature phone to smartphone.The total ad expenses in Sub Saharan Africa reached around $12.4 billion last year, of which 54 percent goes to Print media, with digital advertising share lower than three percent of the total ad expenses.Mobile advertising is the future of advertising because it can give the client the right target of the advertising and offers way to communicate with its customers.With more advance technology in the telecommunication industry there is still room to grow for mobile advertising in Africa.Despite the rapid change in the mobile advertising platform,Africa is still lacking in technology and faster Internet connection that hampered the advertisers to develop application-based advertisement for smartphones to increase its ad impression.

The network infrastructure in Africa is not yet sufficient for sophisticated ads, unlike in developed countries like Australia where I’ve deep understanding of the market and I think that is the biggest challenge.Overall, Africa’s advertisement revenues increased at a faster pace than the digital advertising industry overall.Mobile advertising recorded triple digit growth while desktop grew by double digits,the report notes.Desktop advertising still brought in most of the revenue,given that advertisers were keener on desktop advertising.However, mobile devices remain the primary devices for accessing Web content such as email.A constant challenge advertisers attribute to mobile advertising is that the screens of mobile devices, such as smartphones, cannot accommodate as many advertisements as desktop monitors can. Portable device users are also less tolerant of having their small screens crowded by advertisements. Advertisers in countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, the three countries account for more than 65% of all advertising spending in Sub Saharan Africa, feel that they cannot get as many eyeballs through mobile as through desktop.Large corporations including mobile phone operators and consumer goods companies remained some of the biggest spenders on digital advertising.Many advertisers are highly keen on digital advertising with many of them spending last year learning what digital advertising was about and this year, they have been actively inquiring about placing digital advertisements.Most companies strategy is focusing on mobile where smartphone penetration was still low, was apt since more people in the country were expected to adopt smartphones.The future will be mobile by default and in line with the shift to smartphones Africa is again setting the trend thanks to high uptake of Android based platform phones.

Contador Harrison