Digital,Tv media in Africa hailed as future

Posted on July 3, 2015 12:01 am

The future of television and digital media looks to be more promising that than of the print media due to vibrant developments in technology, according to a new research that Contador Harrison has obtained.In the study, African population loved watching television and accessing the Internet more than they liked reading newspapers.With a per capita income of more than US$1,000 in good number of African countries, people will buy more iPhone and iPads as well as other gadgets to access the Internet and watch the television programs that they like.Even in countries hit by a crisis like Libya and Nigeria it has not stopped people from watching television and using the Internet.Besides, as part of television advertising expenditure – well known as ADEX in accounting jargon, television accounts for less than 30 percent of advertising expenditure, with an 5-20 percent growth annually depending on the country, and the figure will continue to grow each year according to report authors.Local advertising spending in East and Southern Africa region will increase by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the survey.Television was still taking the lion’s share of growing advertising, reaping 57 percent of total spending by new advertisers, while newspapers were receiving 29 percent and magazines less than 5 percent from new advertisers.

And although the ADEX reaped by the Internet only reached around 2 percent, the potential growth was huge and could reach up to 200 percent in the next three years.Almost everybody watches television regularly in Africa. In the 15 densely populated countries that are home to almost 80 percent of all Africans, 87 percent watch the small screen every week.The current situation and future look bright for the moveable feast that is television. The visual advantage is also taking its toll on radio, down to 46 percent having listened every month. The future of the printed media is of course the big question.In South Africa and Nigeria, the decline of print continues visibly, albeit at a slow rate.Now, only 20 percent of the African population between 14 years read a newspaper once per week, down from 51 percent ten years ago.Magazines have fared no better, declining from 19 to a steady 4 percent today.Television in Africa, which gravitates around capital cities and major commercial hubs like Dar Es Salaam, Lagos and Johannesburg.The researchers believe that the industry should be broken up to make way for law-mandated network TV stations, to ensure fairness and promote local economies.

A vocal proponent of network TV, a communication expert told me that the TV industry was among those that hampered the establishment of TV networking outside major cities across Africa. The Private TV Stations are known not to abide by regulations on Broadcasting, which have often pushed for the opening of TV networks in remote areas of the continent.In Uganda and Kenya for example all commercial TV stations are based in Kampala and Nairobi respectively, where airing schedules are decided. All citizens outside the two major East African cities are basically just mute audiences. The television industry had found many flaws in the laws governing the broadcasting industry and regulations under it, and despite newcomers efforts to have it reviewed, the big boys have frustrated and fought off any attempt that will dwindle their earnings. Guidelines for technical standardization also had not been made yet in East African Community countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.Contador Harrison feels the regional law need to encourage diversity of contents and ownership.I wonder why do East African countries and other parts of Africa insist on centralized TV.I have on different occasions questioned the notion that local TV stations in Africa did not have a chance to survive.

Network television concept has worked very well in the Western World and this has helped empowered its audiences.The same concept can work very well in Africa and there were two kinds of networking the continent could adopt. First, Capital cities-based TV companies could establish stations and studios in other rural areas. Second, other rural areas could establish their own companies and open affiliations with other stations, including those in Capital cities.A considerable proportion of the content on most TV stations was produced outside Africa with exception of South Africa and Nigeria. However,eighty percent of African television news is local yet crews are still flown in from Capital cities to cover news in upcountry areas.Contador Harrison hopes Africa would open several broadcasting centers and stop presenting Africa just from Skylines of Capital cities and commercial hubs across the continent.African print media would have to transform its content into a digital platform.With Internet penetration among Africans at 72 million people out of an estimated 1.2 billion people, I strongly believe that Internet business had a lot of room for advertisements in the future.In the era of media convergence, a lot of Internet players are investing in television. Take Apple and Google for instance, they are investing in television now.

Contador Harrison