WATCH LIVE | What are SA’s telcos doing to keep the media and ad industries afloat?

Join the Future of Media digitised event on September 2 at 10am

21 August 2020 - 08:51

Smartphone penetration is at an all-time high in SA. It increased by almost 10% between 2018 and 2019 to reach 91.2%, according to the Icasa 2020 report. And about 28-million of the smartphone and tablet devices in use are LTE-enabled, carrying the 4G wireless broadband standard. 

This level of smartphone penetration and access speed has seen more than 36-million South Africans accessing the internet in 2020, with 95% of people doing so through their mobile devices. 

It therefore makes sense that from a news, information, advertising and entertainment perspective, internet-enabled mobile devices should be a very direct conduit for reaching audiences and consumers to spread an idea or sell a product.  

While the cost of data has been dropping, it’s still unaffordable for the majority of South Africans. This does somewhat tarnish those latest impressive smartphone penetration stats cited earlier: citizens may have devices, they may be able to connect to the internet and social media periodically, but we are not yet a country positioned to take advantage and be online all the time.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns have hastened the need for South Africans who are not yet online, to get online.

Whether it’s working from home, participating in remote schooling and online learning, or taking traditional brick-and-mortar businesses into the e-commerce space, the demand for a robust infrastructure of broadband or fibre and access to affordable data is essential.

Therein lies the challenge for the telcos — MTN, Cell C, Telkom and Vodacom. What responsibility do they, and other players in the industry, have in extending infrastructure, driving data costs down, and innovating to make the mobile platform as attractive and effective as possible for media and marketers?

As far as innovation goes, Vodacom is launching the first-of-a-kind programmatic text platform “which marries the benefits of the ubiquitous reach of text advertising with programmatic ad buying”. Vodacom is also using rich communication services technology that offers far more functionality to brands and marketers than traditional SMS.

Knowing these technologies and solutions exist is essential for anyone involved in brand management and communications, because any solution that can reach consumers without landing heavy data costs on them is one that will give brand campaigns the strongest chance at gaining traction.

Join the Future of Media in partnership with Vodacom and EziAds as digital marketing experts discuss the technology innovations taking place at the telco level, and how brands can make the most of them.

Panellists in the discussion, moderated by Kenzy Mohapi (Jacaranda FM radio personality) include:

  • Benjamin Fahmueller - head of global partnerships, SSA, Google
  • Kerstin Trikalitis — CEO, Out There Media
  • Sarah Utermark — director of commercial partnerships south africa, Opera Software
  • Denvor Daniels — head of sales, Vodacom Digital Advertising
  • Sindy Snow — product owner: digital advertising, Vodacom

Date: September 2 2020
Time: 10am

Partners of the Future of Media digitised series include Everlytic, Proudly SA, The MediaShop and WAN-IFRA.

Join the discussion about what SA’s telcos are doing to keep the media and advertising industries afloat on September 2 2020.
Join the discussion about what SA’s telcos are doing to keep the media and advertising industries afloat on September 2 2020.
Image: Pexels/Adrianna Calvo