South Africa's online publishing industry attracted more than 3,5-million unique users and 106-million page impressions in August and draws a highly-educated, high-earning audience, it was revealed in September by the Online Publishers' Association (OPA).
The figures were released using the new Nielsen//NetRatings Site Census product (formerly Red Sheriff), which tracks the performance of the country's top online publishers. The new industry-wide system provides access to advanced statistics and demographics never seen before on the South African web. The system also allows South Africa's websites to be measured consistently, comparable to other media types.
According to the latest statistics, South Africa's online publishers attract a highly educated audience, with the largest group of internet users (about 24%) holding post-graduate degrees and about 20% of users holding bachelor's degrees. A total of 64% of the users have a diploma, associate, bachelor's or post-graduate degree.
Almost 20% of users - by far the largest group in the household-income category - are in the top-earning bracket (total annual household income of R400 000 a year or more). About 57% of users surveyed own the houses they live in (which includes paying it off). As much as 94% of the users possess cellphones.
The statistics also reveal that more web users access their websites from work (57%) than from home (33%); 59% of web users are male and 41% are female; and the predominant age bracket is between 18 and 34. Johannesburg was revealed as the biggest Internet city, originating 24% of the Internet audience, followed by Cape Town (15%), Pretoria (10%) and Durban (6%). 21% of respondents lived outside South Africa.
OPA chairperson Russel Hanly says the total readership of the industry is set to increase further because new members such as SABCnews.com, Creamer Media and JHBlive.com are yet to be counted on the new system.
"The comparable audience and site-activity statistics released for the month of August marks the advent of a new era for the online publishing industry in South Africa. Thanks to Nielsen's Site Census tool, marketers and their media strategists will for the very first time be able to plan their investments in the online medium in a similar manner to other electronic media," says Hanly.
The OPA is a grouping of South Africa's most prominent online publishers. The group's aim is to promote the growth and profitability of the online publishing industry, by setting the highest standards and meeting the needs of marketing and advertising professionals.
For detailed statistics and demographics on the online publishing industry, visit the OPA website at www.opa.org.za