Digital Content

The number of people reading the news online is continuing to rise month by month, with traditional media titles steadily pushing up their online readership. More than 2,6-million South Africans accessed websites run by members of the Online Publishers Association every month in the third quarter of the year, up from 2,4-million in the second quarter.

The total number of visitors, including people accessing local websites from abroad, was 7,1-million compared to 6,7-million in the previous quarter. That continuing growth showed that the internet was becoming an increasingly mainstream media platform, the association said.

Research conducted by Nielsen/Netratings shows that the average online reader remains unchanged: typically young, higher-income office workers. Three out of four readers have full-time jobs, and 62% access the internet from work, 27% from home, 6% from an educational establishment, and 3% from an internet café.

The relatively low access from home showed that the high cost of internet access in SA was stifling the potential for a far greater take-up, said the association.

Johannesburg is still the internet capital, providing 27% of the online readers, with 12% based in Pretoria, 16% in Cape Town and 6% in Durban.

Although the level of online media readership is tiny as a proportion of the population, it has triggered strong growth in online advertising, with the revenue likely to hit R183m by the end of the year as more advertisers run online campaigns.

Business Day