In brief

In brief

  • This research looks at the unparalleled opportunity for value creation that digital technologies offer stakeholders in the media sector.
  • By embracing digital technologies, South African media industry could generate an additional R93 billion in value.
  • The research further indicates that applying digital technologies across three opportunity themes, will be key to realising that value.

In South Africa, the media sector has been disrupted. New technologies are changing how content is created, distributed and consumed, while the entry of global players is eroding local market share and compelling local media organisations to rethink traditional business models. Accenture (NYSE: ACN) research indicates that by embracing digital technologies South African media could generate an additional R93 billion in value by 2026 for the local media industry and society.

Accenture’s research leverages a unique value-at-stake framework co-developed with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to quantify the value that digital technologies can add. Along with additional local, expert and other inputs, the research indicates that three digitally driven initiatives—hyper-personalisation and contextualisation, content fragmentation and partnering with users to create content—will be key to realising this value.

The effective adoption of digital media technologies to unlock value will require a collaborative effort by all the stakeholders within the media industry—specifically, policymakers, industry bodies and business.

The need for speed

South Africa’s media industry has been an essential engine of the democratic process in this country since its transition to an inclusive democracy in 1994. It gives voice to a plurality of views, offers entertainment choices to a diversity of cultures and provides employment to journalists, artists and the technical and support staff required to produce news, drama, sport and general entertainment.

While growth is still on the cards, much of it will come from digital. Low levels of connectivity and high data costs mean a large segment of audiences have yet to fully experience digital content delivery at scale. However, local media needs to move quickly to maintain and grow its stake in this sector as Internet access explodes, boundaries begin to blur between industry segments (e.g., music, publishing and printing, broadcasting and entertainment, gaming and gambling), global players enter the market and users migrate toward digital channels.

Local content alone will not be enough to stimulate more growth in the South African media market. The local media industry needs to evolve at a similar pace to the global industry, investing in digital capabilities and infrastructure, or risk being left behind. Additionally, significant network and infrastructure improvements are required to address the challenges local media players face in terms of reaching audiences.

Three digital opportunities for South African media

  • Hyper-personalisation and contextualization: Marketers and content creators will need to produce personalised content and personalised advertising to engage consumers facing information overload.
  • Content fragmentation across platforms: Broadcasters and advertisers have opportunities to exploit the popularity of the second screen, communities of content and instant messaging by creating integrated and complementary content across platforms.
  • Partnerships and convergence: Technology is enabling enterprises to partner with their audiences to fund or co-create innovative content. Companies will need to harness technology effectively, setting it at the heart of a digital organisation.

Accenture identifies three key digital themes that media sector organisations must explore if they hope to compete successfully and grow. But to unlock this digital value, collaboration among all stakeholders is crucial. Business, industry bodies and policymakers need to work together to drive adoption of these digital technologies.

For more insight into the unparalleled opportunity for value creation that digital technologies offer stakeholders in the South African media sector—and the steps they need to take to realise that value, click through to report below: Unlocking Digital Value in South Africa’s Media Sector.


The Accenture and WEF value-at-stake framework assesses the impact of digital initiatives (from driverless cars and predictive analytics to drones and remote healthcare) on industries, consumers, society and the environment over the decade to 2026. In the assessment of industries, the framework integrates all segments of an industry's value chain, capturing approximately 80 percent of revenues and profits. It considers the total addressable market and the adoption or penetration rates of new technologies over time, and is based on research, industry reports, existing use cases and expert interviews. The framework also quantifies Digital Value to Society by aggregating the key performance indicators that measure the impact of digitalisation on health and safety, employment, the environment, labour and consumers. Additional Accenture research, based on expert interviews, local statistics and other inputs, quantifies the value at stake in South Africa and identifies the key digital technologies and initiatives across industry sectors and government services that can unlock that value.

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