Determining accurate data on advertising spending has become increasingly difficult, especially so across the African continent. 

Typically, this data is only available for a limited number of countries, and since it is usually published after several months have passed, it is often outdated. However, since the expenditures associated with advertising are a clear reflection of the state of a country’s economy, this information is crucial. 

Fortunately, information has become more readily available for African countries like Kenya and South Africa. 

Growth of Kenya’s GDP

According to data provided by the African Development Bank, Kenya’s real GDP shows to have grown in the year 2021 by at least 3.4%. 

This appears in line with data provided by the International School of Advertising as well as ReelAnalytics, who recently provided information regarding the first half of 2021. Compared to H1 of 2020, Kenyan advertising spending had increased by 15%, which is good news for the country’s economy. 

When considering the various categories according to media type, the following emerged: 

  • Television: KS35.1 billion
  • Radio: KS23 billion
  • Print: KS0.7 billion
  • Out of home advertising: KS1.7 billion
  • Total advertising spend: KS60.5 billion

From this information, it is clear that televised advertising continues to dominate the scene, while radio spending declined by 4$. Out-of-home advertising increased by 27%and print ads by 9%. 

The top television stations in the country contributed as follows to the overall TV advertising spend: 

  • K24: 7.8%
  • Kameme TV: 8.9%
  • NTV: 12.1%
  • KTN Home: 13.8%
  • Citizen TV: 15.2%

The fact that the top five stations in the country contributed to only 50% of the overall television advertising spend, clearly points to a deep fragmentation of the local market. 

The biggest spender of all had been Kenya’s sports betting and communications, which includes the mobile market. 

The expectation is furthermore that digital spending on advertising will increase by approximately 20.4% in 2021 – this when compared to the expenditure seen in 2020. 

Ups and Downs in South Africa

As for South Africa, global analytics giant Nielsen released its full figures for the country in March this year.

Unlike Kenya, advertising spending increased considerably in 2021 compared to the year before. The R47 billion spent in 2021 marks a 29% increase over a period of 12 months. 

Also, television advertising spending made for a much bigger piece of the pie than every other avenue: 

  • Television: 68%
  • Radio: 16%
  • Print: 11%
  • Out of home advertising: 5%

Digital spending, however, continues to increase in the country, which puts enormous pressure on television. 

While all the above indicate increased growth in 2021, there are a number of worrying aspects to consider: 

  • Mineral purchases are being enormously affected by a slowdown in the Chinese economy. Also, the ongoing war in Ukraine is having a negative impact on European continents, which directly affects the economic health of Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • No clear data is available in terms of the discounts offered by media conglomerates. Since Kenya’s market remains fragmented, discounts are naturally likely to be higher rather than level. And the very same can be said for countries like Uganda, Senegal, the DRC, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. 

It is clear from the above that now isn’t a good time to own a printing company or even a digital newspaper. 

Exciting New Developments

Despite everything that appears to be going wrong, much has gone right in Africa. 

Below are just some of what’s been experienced in Sub-Saharan Africa: 

  • Zimbabwe: The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) recently launched the country’s first-ever youth music channel, Jive TV. 
  • Nigeria: Nollywood actor Femi Adebayo has confirmed that his latest film, “King of Thieves”, has generated an astounding US$409,451 in only three weeks at the box office. Even during the period of Ramadan, the actor’s latest project achieved enormous success. 
  • Ghana: Local singer Stonebwoy, one of the most influential artists on the continent, has linked up with global giant Universal Music, to manage his next big production. 
  • South Africa: Television media giant kykNet recently re-joined forces with Red Letter Pictures for the production of Rudi van Rensburg’s “Hans Steek die Rubicon Oor”. The film documents the adventures of a lively 90-year-old character called Hans Kraaienburg, whose life is turned topsy-turvy when he is committed to a nursing home by his children. Chaos ensues, including strippers, dagga cookies, and comedic disorder. 
  • Kenya: Entravision recently announced that it is expanding its operations into Kenya. The media, advertising, and tech-solutions giant will be looking to expand its reach in Africa. 
  •  Netflix: The media and entertainment giant has just launched its first-ever African podcast, “Never Late”. The podcast will include interviews with some of the biggest names in showbiz. Those featured will include local comedian Celeste Ntuli, film producers Retti Ramaphakela and Jayan Moodley, and popular actress Connie Chiume. 

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