Gaming remains fastest growing part of South African media market

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Business consultancy pwc has released its annual report into the South African media landscape, and it’s good news for the cool kids we met at the A MAZE festival last week: video games remain the fastest growing industry in terms of revenue generated, with consumer spend rising from R2.56bn in 2014 to R3.6bn by 2018.

That’s an annual growth rate of 9.1%, compared to 3.9% for TV. What’s more, says pwc’s Charles Stuart, games are one of the few media types that have managed to retain customer spending, as opposed to ad revenue, as the major source of funding.

Even more interesting, the report says that mobile gaming will overtake console gaming in terms of market value in South Africa by 2018. So get making those Android games, guys.

According to pwc’s Stuart, the good news for anyone working in South African media is that all the sectors his firm identifies as media related (with the exception of music) are growing at a rate that’s much faster than the national economy.

Even spend on print advertising is still growing, although newspapers are struggling with the transition to “digital first”. Growth rates for internet access and online advertising dwarf everything else, with customers likely to spend R67.2bn on internet access by 2018 compared to R31.11bn in 2013, a growth rate of 22.7%.

The vast majority of that growth, says Stuart, will be on 3G connectivity. He also adds that the internet is still way too expensive in SA, with average spend on connections around 0.5% of GDP.

Of course, the thing to remember is that games are starting from a small base. With R21.22bn projected to be spent by customers on normal subscription TV in 2018, it’s still the biggest media in the country by revenue by far.

[Image – YouTube]

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.