The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh, has predicted that internet penetration in Africa will hit 50 percent by 2025. The current level of Internet penetration on the continent is about 16 percent, a poor statistics when compared with the global average of 35 percent.

He stated this at a briefing on the topic: “Africa’s Media –The Future,” at a cocktail put together by members of KPMG Nigeria Alumni in Lagos recently. According to Momoh, the number of internet users would increase to 600 million by 2025 from 167 million. Quoting a recent global report, he also predicted that the number of smart phone users in Africa will rise to 360 million by 2025, from the current 67 million.

“The total mobile subscriptions count in Africa was 851.13 million at the end of the second quarter of 2014. Ovum forecasts that Africa’s mobile subscription will exceed one billion during 2016 and reach 1.23 billion by the end of 2019,” he added. “Africa’s mobile broadband subscription count will rise from its previous count of 26.5 million at the end of 2010 to 950 million at the end of 2019.”

The ace broadcaster, while making reference to a global IT analysis and advisory firm, the International Data Corporation (IDC), explained that a vibrant African digital media scenery was rapidly evolving. “The IDC believes that the future remains bright for the continent, although key challenges such as low propensity to pay for applications and content as well as lack of ubiquitous high speed infrastructure continues to hamper progress and will take a while to resolve.”

Managing Director and CEO, Ebony Life Television, Mo Abudu in her presentation titled:“Future of the Media and Entertainment Industry in Africa,” also highlighted some of the contributing factors to the evolution of the media industry. These include the need to customise content to targeted audience, increasing efforts to attract and manage audiences, need for more sustainable value chain models, creation of authentic content across platforms for the consumer.

She explained that the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) is the third most valuable in the world, with cinema screens totalling 111 and revenue exceeding $250 million. “Pay TV revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa will reach $6.22 billion in 2020, up from $3.54 billion in2014,” Mo Abudu added.

“Excluding South Africa, pay TV revenues will climb from $0.83 billion in 2010 to $1.73 billion in 2014 and $4.12 billion in 2020.  For Kenya, in 2013, total television revenue reached $323 million, 13.3 per cent more than 2012, with the figure mainly made up of advertising revenues.”

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