The growth of digital: A South African perspective

TGI South Africa

The global digital hype and the uncertain fate of print media have seen the local media industry shift its budgets. But is South Africa too readily accepting and relying on global media models? As an emerging economy, with added complexities of the media space and audiences within South Africa, current predictions may misrepresent current use and motivations of media consumption.

It is generally assumed that higher income individuals drive digital media consumption and that traditional media is declining in this market. However, higher income groups have not betrayed traditional media in favour of digital media.

This group is still driving traditional print media consumption, making up 72% of heavy magazine readers and 65% of heavy newspaper readers. Contrary to the belief that print is driven by middle-aged generations, heavy users of print media are attributed to the young adult market with 38% of heavy newspaper readers and 36% of heavy magazine readers falling within the settled singles and nest builders (LSM7-8) categories. Economic pressures have resulted in younger South Africans being less optimistic and they are worried about the future. This is reflected in their serious attitudes to building a better future for themselves. South Africans are demanding transparency and brands need to speak to this growing awareness. In short South Africans are looking for brands who share their story, whilst paying cognisance to and identifying with who they are in the world.