Data on television advertising expenditure in Africa is often slow to come in and is not readily available everywhere on the continent. However, reports are now finally emerging and appear to indicate a resurgence in TV advertising across Africa over 2021. The most recent data comes mainly from two of Africa’s biggest television advertising hubs, South Africa, and Kenya.

Like elsewhere around the world, the impact of Covid-19 peaked in Africa over 2020. This has made it a watermark for comparing and analyzing post-Covid-19 stats. According to a recent study by the African Development Bank, real GDP on the continent appears to have recovered up to 3.4 percent in 2021. This is a notable improvement after a major 2.1 percent decrease in 2020.

This also correlates with new studies by Reelanalytics and the International School of Advertising that focus on advertising trends in Kenya. According to their findings, the breakdown of money spent on advertising in Kenya over 2021 is as follows:

  • Television advertising – KS35.1 billion
  • Radio advertising – KS23 billion
  • Out of Home ads – KS1.7 billion
  • Printed advertising – KS0.7 billion
  • Overall – KS60.5 billion

Aside from television and radio, the two biggest platforms for advertising in Africa, it was “out of home” advertising that apparently rose the most in Kenya over 2021 by a dramatic 27 percent. Printed ads also rose by 9 percent. This is thought to be due to greater attention paid to billboards and posters after lockdowns, as commerce and spending resumed. 

Otherwise, television advertising in Kenya continues to dominate, with the top five TV stations by ad spending, in percentage, being:

  • Citizen TV – 15.2 percent
  • KTN Home – 13.8 percent
  • NTV – 12.1 percent
  • Kameme TV – 8.9 percent
  • K24 – 7.8 percent

Others, such as Inooro TV, have dropped out of the list of top advertisers compared to previous years. The top five advertisers only account for around 50 percent of overall TV ads in Kenya, showing a high level of fragmentation in TV advertising in the country. 

South Africa’s sports betting and communications sectors, and particularly the digital sector, have also made an increased impact on Kenyan TVs’ major share of advertising over 2020 and 2021. Advertising in the digital sector is said to have increased by 20.4 percent in 2021, swiftly becoming a major competitor. 

For South Africa, Nielsen has released figures for 2021 showing a similar bounce-back regarding advertising. TV ad spending is up by 29 percent since 2020. Some of the bigger brands, such as Unilever, spent upwards of R2 billion.

In South Africa, TV advertising makes up around 68 percent of all advertising. Out-of-home and printed ads, like in Kenya, have also increased. However, just as in Kenya and the world in general, it is the digital platform that is predicted to become the most dominant competitor for South African TV advertising soon.

Factors that are predicted to negatively impact TV advertising across Africa in the coming years include:

  • The knock-on effect of the global economy on the economies of Africa. This includes the slow-down of the Chinese economy, a major player in African commerce, due to Covid-19. The war in Ukraine is also expected to cause a widespread economic recession in Europe.
  • Media owners will likely be forced to become more competitive in Kenya’s fragmented market, offering bigger discounts and better offerings to attract customers. The same is predicted for most of the continent.
  • The digital platform will grow. Strengthened tenfold by the impact of Covid-19, digital trends around Africa, and the world, have soared. There is now a far greater infrastructure and level of quality for digital services. TV will have to adapt and offer its own online services to compete.

Otherwise, other various news coming from around Africa is having, or soon will have, a significant impact on TV advertising.

In Nigeria

Nigeria’s bustling film industry continues to grow. Recently, famed Nollywood actor Femi Adebayo, revealed that his latest film, King of Thieves, grossed over US$409k in just a few weeks. This continued success of Nollywood greatly benefits TV advertising in Nigeria and Africa as the movies are eventually aired on TV, drawing viewership. 

In Zimbabwe

ZBC, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, has released Jive TV, a music channel aimed at young people. The aim is to bring the focus of the youth back to television. If successful, this will create opportunities for TV advertising.

In South Africa

Like Nigeria, South Africa has a bustling and highly lucrative film industry. In recent times the industry has become further bolstered by various new organizations such as The Durban FilmMart Institute, a non-profit company. 

Red Letter Pictures and kykNET have reunited and are creating a new movie in Cape Town. Cape Town is known for being a film industry hotspot, and companies such as this help to bring a lot of attention to South Africa. This eventually translates to greater TV viewership, and in turn, more TV advertising. 

In Kenya

Kenyan TV advertising is about to go through a major change. Entravision, a global media and advertising company, has announced its entry into Kenyan television. Entravision’s ambitious campaign aims to take advantage of various emerging markets in the digital sector. Entravision 365 Digital is the company’s African-based digital business unit.

Netflix in Africa

“Never Late” is the first-ever African podcast feature on Netflix. This will hopefully be the beginning of great things for some. Netflix, and other streaming services, are prime examples of where digital trends are predicted to take over from television at some point. As more viewers and advertisers gradually turn to the digital platform for news and entertainment, television will need to adapt and push the envelope or become obsolete.

A Future Outlook

The era of television advertising may very well come to an end at some point. However, this is not expected to happen for some time, and will also likely be somewhat slower to happen in Africa than in other parts of the world. Or not. The future is uncertain. For now, there’s still plenty of opportunity for television and TV advertising in Africa, with 2021 proving as much.

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