The OPA (Online Publishing Association) recently announced that the unique internet users in South Africa went through the 10 million mark in the last quarter of 2009. How does that compare with other media? And where is the ad spend?
The latest AMPS figures suggest that the traditional media together cover roughly between 85% and 95% of the population. Online then would be roughly at 33% of the adult population.
The AMPS figure for internet is just over 10% - and it may well be that we are not comparing apples with apples but the ad spend figures are hugely eschewed in favour of traditional media, despite the increase in internet users.
Ad spend of the various media as a % of total ad spend is:
TV - 42%
Print - 36%
Radio - 13%
Outdoor - 5%
Online - 2%
The figures suggest that online should obtain better ad spend than the current level of 2%. It also demonstrates that online has a long way to reach sufficient portions of the population before it can claim a bigger stake of the ad spend. The governmental aim is that all South Africans should have access to broadband internet by 2019. Before that happens online media will struggle to claim 'n significant portion of ad spend. The vexing question is at the expense of whom?
There is, of course, an alternative scenario. Due to the improved measurement and control of online media, ad spend will simply decline, as advertisers can plan a much more scientific advertising campaign with online advertising. This will shed the wastage factor which is so prevalent in advertising. It, however, still spells an enormous threat to traditional media and, as most commentators suggest, the most likely victim would be print media.
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