The future of media in Middle East and Africa? It’s a mobile story.

Charles Stuart, associate director, PwC Africa, presented the company’s Entertainment and Media Outlook2015-19 forecast today at FIPP’s Middle East and Africa event today in Dubai, and explained how this report helps predict what’s in store for the future of the region’s media industry.

Stuart said that digital monetisation is one of the key challenges in Africa. “Once the consumer has paid for internet access, they don’t see why they should also pay for content,” he said, but noted that there are lots of examples from around the world where this is achieved, not least outside the industry (e.g. Spotify and Netflix).

Stuart talked about the forecast for three markets in the region (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) and looked even further into the future. As well as mobile being key to publishers’ business development, Stuart said that measurement will also provide another key part of success. “Audiences are largely platform agnostic, and measurement metrics need to be the same,” he said. Noting that there has been some movement in this space, Stuart PwC developed a methodology to measure audience engagement, which ultimately drives effective advertising. “If you are able to demonstrate as a magazine publisher that you have an engaged audience as opposed to just giving your number of unique users, it can provide a competitive advantage and additional advertising revenue,” he added.

“The consumer has never been more up for grabs than now. Consumers want freedom, flexibility and choice. They don’t want schedules, but instead want on-demand content.” Stuart concluded by saying there are three “imperatives” to success: An outstanding user experience, great discovery and attractive content and social engagement.

Download Stuart’s presentation here.

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