Digital TV and the African Market

Africa was the fastest growing mobile market in the past decade, and recently reached 500mn subscribers out of a total market of one billion people.

Digital TV could repeat this achievement in the coming decade as international investment, government stimulus, rising prosperity, global demand for African resources maintaining the region’s five per cent annual growth, and the analogue to digital TV transition which is just beginning on the continent combine to create the last high growth digital TV market in the world. 

Suppliers focus on the large China market of 1.3bn people which is likely to remain flat given the one child policy, yet ignore the easier to access African market which could reach a population of two billion by 2050 according to United Nations estimates. Africa doubled its population between 1982-2009.

The unique situation of Africa has stimulated innovations that have then spread to the rest of the world, e.g. mobile banking (i.e. mPesa in Kenya) and telemedicine both achieved mass-market adoption first in Africa, this is in part due to the limited existing banking and healthcare infrastructure. Similarly for Digital TV the infrastructure challenge makes the adoption of innovations such as multi-screen TV and internet TV (over the top TV) much more likely than in established markets where innovation is held back through incumbent business models and suppliers.

The digital TV market in Africa has been underserved, yet it presents the last high growth market in the world, with a far greater potential for innovation than in established TV markets such as North America and Europe. This reasoning combined with the direct local market experience of the conference founders has stimulated the creation of the “Broadcast, Interactive, Internet and Hybrid TV in Africa (TVA): Conference and Exhibition” 4-8 July 2011. This is not an international conference organizer taking its formula production to get another location in the world, this is an African event, with African organization working with international thought-leaders, to understand the unique Digital TV opportunity of Africa: the last high growth digital TV market in the world.

Alan Quayle

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