Preparing for the digital tipping point

Titled “Beyond digital: empowered consumers demand choice and convenience that transcend platforms”, Stuart finds himself in the perfect position to predict future media spending patterns in three of sub-Sahara Africa’s core markets: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. 

As a member of PwC’s entertainment and media outlook editorial team, he’s an expert on developing entertainment and media trends and has closely studied historical and current advertising and consumer spending patterns in the ‘traditional’ versus digital space. Armed with these facts and figures, conference goers can expect to receive a pretty accurate prediction of when each of these markets will reach the tipping point when digital spend will eventually eclipse traditional spend.

How media groups respond to these trends and predictions are imperative to their ultimate survival. As it stands current figures show that there remains opportunities in, for example, Africa’s magazine publishing business while the projected growth of advertising spend in the digital space will continue to present challenges. “If we look at magazines…the majority of advertising spend is still in the traditional space. That will certainly change in the future,” says Stuart.

So how will the industry adapt in anticipation of this inevitable tipping point? Stuart says the industry needs to realise that traditional and digital advertising are not mutually exclusive or necessarily in competition with one another. While they are both very much revenue streams in their own right, the challenge lies in how the two mediums co-exist and how media groups adapt when existing traditional revenue stream comes under pressure.

“Exactly how media groups adapt to these pressures in the coming years will ensure their future,” says Stuart, adding that many factors will come into play. Magazine publishers, for example, will have to take a long, hard look at their approach to the creation of content. “They will have to ask themselves how niche or unique is our product? Or do they need to create other value-added options that will ensure continued circulation value from subscriptions? Alternatively, the question might be how do you manage pay-for-content models to ensure revenue from digital content.”

Stuart says it is important to take cognisance of the fact that a large percentage of the current digital spend is driven by internet access, which is the fastest growing segment of spend at the moment. And, as most people know, by far the largest percentage of spend is in the mobile space. Projections in this regards will constitute an important part of his talk, offering an understanding of current and future trends in the digital space. By analysing current successful trends, Stuart will offer possible solutions to these inevitable challenges.

Don’t miss Charles Stuart at 2pm on Wednesday 10 February on the main stage at FIPP Middle East and Africa in Dubai.

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