Multi-Layered Video Ecosystem Gains Popularity In South Africa

According to Rachel Thompson, the Insights Director at GfK South Africa, YouTube is currently dominating the free online video sector in South Africa, connecting approximately nine out of 10 urban consumers that regularly access free video on YouTube.

Thompson said that cheaper, faster connectivity is changing the viewing ecosystem by offering consumers new options such as paid video downloads and video streaming.

Basing her statements on data from GfK ViewScape, a study panel that collects data from a sample of South Africa’s connected population, Thompson said that 86% of SA’s online community are watching free digital video and 45% are accessing the various paid digital video services.

Thompson said that consumers are no longer limited to linear TV, but have a wide selection of free and paid offline and online services available to them; and are willing to spend on mobile data because of the value they get out of online video.

Falling data costs could also boost exponential growth in the online video market.

The Insights Director said that even though digital video had not yet replaced linear television, it addresses the new, growing needs among consumers. A lot of people are using online video because it is available on-the-go wherever there is an Internet connection, and because it offers them access to a more extensive choice of information and “hometainment” options.

Thompson concluded that over the past five years, South Africa had shifted to a multi-layered viewing ecosystem that is a mixture of linear and digital, and free and paid services. She said that consumers have more options than ever before – and the result is that they are viewing more video content than they did historically.

South Africans now have access to video everywhere they go, a trend which has become a game-changer for the country’s broadcast industry.

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