2021 has been a whirlwind year for us all, and the media landscape is not immune to its effects. 

From the rise of audio to the resurgence of print media, consumers are changing the way they consume media; and this will bring ripple effects throughout the industry. 

media update’s Taylor Goodman speaks to Jacques du Bruyn, MD of Flume Digital Marketing and PR about the current happenings in the South African media industry.

Ready to get into it? Let’s go:

What do you think makes the South African media landscape unique?

The one factor that makes the South African media landscape so unique is diversity. When planning, a media strategist must consider many things. Such as demographics which includes age, location, income, as well as psychographic elements such as race, culture, beliefs, and languages, must be considered.

It’s tricky to navigate; but when it’s done right, the rewards are great.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing the South African media landscape currently?

The biggest challenge is the transition from an older way of thinking about media to a newer, digital way of thinking. 

COVID has also fast-tracked this shift, which I believe has taken most businesses by surprise. In many ways, South Africa is behind the curve but we’ve had to speed things up and move faster into digital transformation.

What do you think is the most prominent media trend in 2021? 

Right now, it would be learning how to navigate two areas. This includes POPIA and what this means for the media industry.

Additionally,  [brands should look at] changing how users are tracked online now that cookies are being made redundant.

What is unique about how South Africans consume media? 

South Africans consume media across a plethora of devices— everything from laptops, to smartphones, to old feature phones, to tablets. 

This means that one must literally cater for every scenario, but most importantly, the scenario where computing power is at its minimum. 

Developing media to engage with might work for some, but not all. In first world countries, one can expect that most users engage via a smart device, but this is not the case in South Africa. (Many South Africans consume their news via the radio.)

What is your view on the traditional media versus social media debate? Do you think traditional media will continue to grow in the future? 

Certain traditional media will grow but I can’t see traditional media becoming less. However, we need to reframe how we see the media. We are living and operating in a digital world. 
Certain mediums do better to achieve certain goals; mass awareness will always be achieved through traditional media, such as outdoor and radio. However, engagement will always be better achieved through digital experiences.

What other trends have you noticed in the media industry this year? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Keen to learn more about the current media landscape? Then check out How the media industry has changed in 2021.