Its been a long time coming but we are finally starting to see irrevocable evidence that traditional media is being completely and irreversibly disrupted by digital media in Kenya. This trend is only going to gather momentum in the next few years as media consumption moves to digital channels in more or less a permanent manner? Below are our five reasons why we think digital media is slaying traditional media in Kenya:
1. Social Media Has Replaced Traditional Media
The reality in Kenya today is that the majority of news and information we consume is largely driven around social media. This means that both formal and informal news content is being ‘discovered’ via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. This trend means that increasingly consumers do not waiting for the newspapers to be published or watch the news on TV at night – social media takes care of that. If anything traditional media has now become an analysis of what happened rather than breaking the news itself. The caveat of this transition is that consumers increasingly see no need to buy newspapers or watch TV since its already happening on social media. Its as simple as that. Social media is eating traditional media for lunch!
2. Affordable Android Smartphones Have Replaced TV
When we informally polled the majority of our team members at Dotsavvy to find out if they still watched TV many of them said they do not. Instead, the majority of them use their Android smartphones to watch TV content via WIFI and their mobile networks. This is fascinating since people in Kenya no longer watch TV in the conventional sense unless its for live content like the English Premier League (EPL) or other unique content like Coke Studio. Basically, this means that unless there is a really compelling reason to watch conventional TV, everyone is streaming video content via YouTube, ShowBox, MobDro and Netflix mobile apps and that alone gets the job done for them..
3. Social Media Makes Everyone The Media
In addition to the fact that many Kenyans consume news and other content via social media, they have also become creators of content themselves. One of the ways that this is happening is via technologies like Facebook Live and Periscope. Basically, with Facebook Live, one person can instantly broadcast what is happening right there and then via Facebook to their immediate connections and beyond. This phenomena means that suddenly we have an army of Kenyan consumers who are now effectively a media of one themselves. The content creators with the best content are attracting massive audiences and breaking stories well before traditional media are able do. Indeed, this informal and low-cost approach to digital media has the potential to go really mainstream leading to truly disruptive times for old school media.
4. Affordable & Ubiquitous Mobile Broadband Powers On-Demand Digital Media
A few months ago Safaricom confirmed that over 10 million of their subscribers are on 3G connections or faster. This means that approximately 20% of the population in Kenya have access to broadband Internet connections. This is profound and meaningful in that for many of these consumers going online to access video or radio content is a no-brainer. They can do so at anytime of the day and anywhere they go through their smartphones. Many of these consumers may not own and will probably never consider owning a TV so their smartphones and the Internet have effectively taken over any traditional media that they may have consumed in the past. This trend is also increasingly popular with Millennial who number the millions in Kenya as a mobile-first and digitally fluent generation.
5. Digital Advertising Outperforms Traditional Advertising For Marketing Spend
One of the major anomalies in Kenya is that although the consumption of traditional media is declining the amount of spend going towards the same is actually increasing in some instances. This means that even though traditional media reach is declining the amount of media spend going to digital media is declining. What gives? There is a trend emerging where brands are starting to spend more and more on advertising via digital media rather than traditional media. One of the major factors behind this shift is that digital media offers far more accountability in terms of the Return on Investment (ROI) for each shilling spent. Digital media also offers the ability to reach target audiences far more accurately with all sorts of variables possible so as to ensure precisely targeted campaigns. This means a brand can actually spend less on digital media and realize even more ROI. Marketers in Kenya are waking up to this reality and as such budgets are moving digital marketing.