When COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns made their way to Africa, the continent’s brand and media intelligence industries saw an almost immediate shift that will continue for years. This had adverse effects on print, which was struggling in most parts of the world, and led to unprecedented technological developments that point to an exciting future.
Changes in traditional media
In South Africa, traditional media with print, radio and TV in the lead continue to be the most accessible media with parts of the country still battling with connectivity and access to data. When South Africa went into lockdown in March 2020, Ornico saw a sharp decline in print media, where some outlets went digital, decreased staff and others permanently reduced frequency.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]76% of editors, CEOs, and digital leaders say COVID-19 has accelerated their plans for digital transition. [/perfectpullquote]
The world will see increased creative subscription models in media where some media houses will have more hybrid models with less advertising in their content. This will also enable media houses to develop more unique investigative documentary-style content that is solely designed for the web. Traditional media outlets that are increasing their digital footprint with subscription models will be disrupted by more nimble smaller players whose business models are designed the web.
Digital-first media approach and African consumption patterns
Research by Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, found that 76% of editors, CEOs, and digital leaders say COVID-19 has accelerated their plans for digital transition. They had 234 survey respondents that included digital leaders from 43 countries.
The distinction between digital and traditional media has been replaced by a digital-first approach to publishing and news cycles. With the digital-first approach, Africa’s media consumption trends and patterns will increasingly come to the fore.
Digitisation and collaboration with media houses in Africa will enable media intelligence companies to better collect useful brand and media data. Africa is building its voice across various digital platforms from podcasts, independent digital news platforms to video content that will influence brand messaging and continent’s representation across the globe.