Study shows a 31% year-on-year growth in SA’s digital media landscape

By our News Team | 2022

Finance, FMCG and alcohol remain the categories with the highest percentage of media spend in South Africa.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa has released the IAB South Africa / PwC Internet Advertising Revenue Report — 2021 Study. The report was compiled in collaboration with business consultancy PwC.

“The analysis and resulting findings are based on actual figures and provide realistic, reliable and trustworthy data that can be used by media agencies, publishers and marketers for improved decision-making for them and their clients,” says Haydn Townsend, Chairperson at IAB South Africa.

Digital Media Landscape

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Inputs from various market stakeholders are included in the study. Among them:

  • The Advertising Media Forum.
  • Online and mobile publishers and agencies.
  • Advertisers for the year 2021.

IAB’s Research Council, which is chaired by Shaun Frazao, Global Strategy Partner at media agency Wavemaker, drove the report.

“The study is conducted with buy-side advertising agencies and clients and this information is then cross-checked with information from research provider Omdia before being independently compiled by PwC,” Frazao explains.

Among the key insights is a 31% year-on-year growth in digital media, which is up by 21% from the same period in 2020. Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, sustainable high digital growth is expected as the economy recovers.

Other findings include:

  • Internet advertising is at an all-time high of 32.3% of the overall ad market, being up from 29.6% in 2020 and 22.8% in 2019.
  • Total Internet advertising revenue for 2021 was worth R12.1-billion (US$710-million), R2.9-billion (US$170-million) more than in 2020.
  • Paid search grew by 16.8% to 20.4% in 2021, which is up from 3.6% in 2020.
  • Google remains the market leader in paid search, with 99.0% of revenue in 2021.
  • Google Chrome remains the most popular browser in South Africa, with 69.4% of people using it.
  • South Africans remain worried about data privacy, with 47.5% reporting they decline cookies at least some of the time and 40.4% using ad blockers.
  • 61.5% of South Africans aged 13 or older use social media, with Meta accounting for 80.3% of paid social revenue in 2021.
  • Finance (29%), FMCG (14%) and alcohol (11%) remain the categories with the highest percentage of media spend.
  • Performance-based ad campaigns remain the most popular, accounting for 47% of purchases.

“Being able to benchmark available ad revenues over time is a measure of the health and opportunity in South Africa’s media and marketing space,” says Claire Cobbledick, Vice Chairperson at IAB SA.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.