Catch-up TV to lead Africa online video use

April 14, 2015

Online video content services are expanding Africans’ entertainment options. Consumers, whose viewing habits were once determined by broadcast schedules and ratings seasons, now take advantage of the multiple on-demand video services to view TV and film content at any time and place convenient to them.While broadcast television remains the main entertainment medium, key markets like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have become keen users of OVC services at March 2015, 23 per cent of the three African countries adult internet users had viewed TV programs or feature films online.There are five types of OVC providers in Africa namely free-to-air broadcasters, subscription broadcasters, internet service providers,consumer electronics companies and OTT content service providers.There are now a number of new and soon to arrive OVC services in Africa, including Netflix, suggesting 2016 could be a year of change for the African content market. Contador Harrison and partners have undertaken this research to gather intelligence on the increasingly competitive OVC sector, a market that has the potential to significantly change Africa’s broadcasting and entertainment landscape.

To that end, it is intended to provide a snapshot of the current state of the market and to provide a baseline measurement of consumer behavior upon which to build in the future.My analysis on the report focuses on professionally produced long-form video content that is provided over a broadband internet connection or mobile network such as subscription IPTV services, over-the-top services, and catch-up television and film services.The online delivery of short-form clips, user-generated content such as YouTube clips and other material was not covered in this snapshot.Whether South Africans are watching broadcast or online content, viewers are building their own content library using different services, devices and networks . For example, an individual can view an SABC television program through a scheduled television broadcast, the SABC television catch-up service or a different online content delivery service via computer, tablet or phone. Top four Tv programs in Africa include Broadcast Tv, Online Video, Catch Up Tv and Subscription Tv.The selected devices include Tv sets, Smart Tv, Laptops, Mobile, Tablets, iPods and Notebooks while chosen networks include wifi, fixed line, mobile, broadcast and satellite.

Nonetheless, the television set remains the main device on which Africans watch video content. Data from early 2015 shows that even younger adult viewers, who spend more time on alternative screens than do older viewers, still spend more time on TV screens than anything else.A good case are those aged between 18-24 spent 48.1 mins on Tv sets, 6.56 mins on average on mobile phone, 1.9 on Tablet and 12.3 on PC/Laptop while all age groups spent 97.7 on Tv sets.When it comes to online viewing, a desktop or laptop computer 59 per cent or an internet-enabled television 24 per cent are the preferred devices. Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular especially tablets, which one in four consumers use for OVC access.Laptops lead devices used to access OVC with 68, Smart Tv 33, Tablet Computer 27, Mobile phone 7 and other portable devices at 2.The preferred device for accessing OVC also varies according to the viewer’s age, with Africans aged 16–24 years far more likely than older consumers to view video content on a mobile phone or tablet.

Televisions are favored for viewing films, while small-screen devices are most commonly used to watch shorter programs. A new study in South Africa found that people accessing content through a desktop computer or mobile devices were more likely to watch shorter online videos those of 60 minutes duration or fewer, while those viewing content on an internet-connected television were more inclined to watch longer-form content.While there are multiple avenues to access content in Africa, viewers are still spending most of their time watching television content at the time of broadcast. Figures I have shows the high take-up and consumption of live broadcast television compared with other services, including time-shifted content and catch-up services.Media services Broadcast Tv takes 89% with an average weekly use of 12.3 hours, Time shifted Tv takes up 29% with average use of 6.2 hours and Catch Up Tv currently takes up 27% with an average 2.9 hours.Live broadcast television has the highest take-up among online Africa and the highest average weekly use. In 2014, 77 per cent of online Africans aged 18 years and over watched TV compared with 42 per cent watching time-shifted television and 28 per cent watching catch-up. Online Africans spent an average of 8.7 hours per week consuming live television, compared with 3.6 hours for time-shifted television and three hours for catch-up services.

Contador Harrison