On­line show­ing strong growth

Finweek English Edition - - Techtrends -

LEAD­ING ON­LINE pub­li­ca­tions in South Africa are show­ing strong growth, with Naspers-owned News24 lead­ing the pack with a record 2m unique read­ers/month. While that’s still some­where off from the 4m weekly read­ers of Jo­han­nes­burg’s Sun­day Times news­pa­per it does sug­gest South Africans are in­creas­ingly turn­ing on­line to ac­cess news.

News24 edi­tor Jan­nie Momberg says the bar­ri­ers to dig­i­tal con­sump­tion are fall­ing fur­ther ev­ery day. He says South Africans are in­creas­ingly able to go on­line and that cell­phones are fea­tur­ing promi­nently in the list of de­vices ac­cess­ing news web­sites. Says Momberg: “There’s no doubt cheaper band­width, ac­cess via mo­bile de­vices and so­cial me­dia have played a huge part in in­creas­ing South Africans’ ap­petites for on-de­mand news con­tent.”

So­cial net­work­ing was cited as a strong part of the growth in traf­fic, as users of ser­vices such as Face­book and Twit­ter used those plat­forms to share news sto­ries.

Momberg added In­ter­net users were in­creas­ingly cre­at­ing the news con­tent them­selves. “We live by three rules: con­tent, com­mu­nity and en­gage­ment. MyNews24. co.za – our cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism hub – shows off the ben­e­fits of that ap­proach, where user-gen­er­ated con­tent of­fer­ings have sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased our trac­tion by cre­at­ing a two-way plat­form for users to en­gage with the news of the day, giv­ing it more depth and pub­lic per­spec­tive.”

Some an­a­lysts pre­dict mo­bile will drive growth in SA. Momberg says traf­fic to News24’s mo­bile of­fer­ing – m.news24. com – has in­creased by more than 124% since Fe­bru­ary this year, high­light­ing the im­pact such tech­nolo­gies are hav­ing on on­line me­dia.

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