The total Internet population in South Africa in 2013 is estimated to be almost 14-million users, or 39% of the adult population.

This is according to research by the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) and Echo Consultancy. The figure was derived from the All Media Products Survey (AMPS) and independently validated by Effective Measure (EM), the DMMA’s official measurement provider for digital audience data.

We needed to provide our members with a more realistic view of the total Internet population in South Africa,” says Jarred Cinman, chair of the DMMA Steerco. “The validated figure of 14-million users is significant as it indicates that a greater percentage of South Africans are consuming media online than previously reported.”

Peter Langschmidt, MD of Echo who also sits on the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) board, explains.
“EM derives its figures through tagged sites, which count unique browsers. Some users access the Internet from more than one device – such as laptop, mobile phone and home computer. EM will count this as three unique browsers, but marketers are interested in reaching people not machines.

“Therefore, we weighted EM’s unique browser data against AMPS’ multiple device usage and the EM panel to translate the number from browsers to people.
“In the case of Internet penetration in South Africa from AMPS, there is most definitely respondent confusion regarding Internet usage, with many respondents not equating websites accessed via their mobile phones with Internet browsing. Through recoding AMPS to take mobile access into account, we were able to provide a figure that matched the EM online universe.”