For the first time in South African online history, the black share of market among users of the Internet has surpassed white, reaching 46%, according to the AMPS 2010 AB Report.
White audience share has decreased to 37%, Coloured usage stands at 10% and Indian usage at 7% .
Although significant, this shift has been in the making for some time. Based on AMPS data, the number of people with Internet access in South Africa has grown by 213% since 2004, of this Internet access among the black population has grown by 432%. In 2004, the white online audience share was 57% and by contrast black audience share was only 27%.
As one of the websites in South Africa with a predominantly black audience, Sowetan LIVE is a home grown example of what this shift has meant. Since its re-launch in July 2010, their local audience now stands at 501,499 unique users , a year on year audience growth of 110%.
Elan Lohmann, GM of Avusa Media LIVE, says: “The latest AMPS figures clearly show a positive rise in empowerment within the black market, it makes for interesting times for those in publishing and advertising as this is an opportunity to reach a relatively untapped and content-hungry resource of online consumers that have historically not been accessible via the Internet.”
Translated into numbers, the AMPS data now puts the black online market at 2,056-million users, overshadowing the 1,654-million white audience. The significance is that only 8% of South Africa’s entire black population has regular access to the Internet – compared to 36% of white South Africans who are regularly online. “We’ve been watching this trend for some time and planning for it,” says Lohmann.
“The black online audience share is due to keep on increasing as the demographic shift in the middle class and urbanisation in the black market continues to rise. We have existing and exciting digital platforms that already cater to this market, and we’re looking forward to creating additional opportunities though our focussed strategy in this segment,” says Lohmann.