Media in Africa - Statistics & Facts

Published by Amy Watson, Sep 4, 2019
As it continues to develop as a continent and many of its individual countries push towards higher levels of growth and technological advancement, Africa could soon become one of the world’s major consumers of media and entertainment. Africa is the world’s second most populous continent, and has the youngest population of any continent in the world with an average age of less than 20 years old.

Given this massive and increasingly tech-savvy generation of young African peoples, it is no surprise that Over-the-top TV and video revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to explode from just 37 million U.S. dollars in 2016 to around 467 million by 2021. Pay TV revenues are also expected to grow by billions of dollars in the coming years, as the number of pay TV subscribers reaches nearly 10 billion people in countries like Nigeria and South Africa. Aside from TV, many African countries have thriving video game markets, and the continent plays host to hundreds of millions of internet users. In most African countries, web traffic is dominated by mobile users, meaning that the market for smartphone and other mobile entertainment is huge.

Africa’s major media markets include South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana, all of which have consumer entertainment and media markets which are dominated by internet based media. These major markets are all experiencing increasing box office revenues, with forecasts projecting this trend to continue in the coming years as both domestic and international films become more accessible in African markets. Similar to many equivalently sized eastern and western countries, major African nations also tend to have strong TV/video and radio markets. Advertising revenues are growing in virtually all sectors from TV to newspapers to radio given the increasing reach of these technologies and the growing media use of their citizens.

The African continent also encompasses dozens of smaller markets, most of which are experiencing similar increases in media and entertainment consumption. These countries have historically lagged behind the major markets in terms of growth, but as political stability begins to increase they tend to follow the path of the major markets. For example, the share of Cameroon’s population using the internet grew from less than five percent in 2011 to around 25 percent by 2016 and similar trends can be seen in Zambia and Malawi. Social media sites are also becoming increasingly widespread in these smaller markets, with some African entertainers and influencers garnering millions of followers.

Overall, the media industry in Africa seems to be healthy, and set to experience significant growth in the coming years. From Morocco to South Africa, consumers are becoming increasingly exposed to and receptive of all forms of media and entertainment, and technology and internet coverage is becoming more and more available.

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Media in Africa

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South Africa

Kenya

Nigeria

Tanzania

Ghana

Selected information on smaller markets

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