Access to the internet is empowering more and more people around the world to learn, enjoy entertainment, and establish new businesses to suit their markets. Over the last decade or so, a rapid increase in online activity across the likes of South America, Africa, and Indo-Pacific Asia has helped a Tech and Media Revolution boom and even new global leaders in key metrics.
While India may quickly be shifting towards having the largest online and mobile population, South Africa is already the world leader when it comes to internet usage. Primarily, entertainment media has been the focus of this ascendancy, but it’s impossible to deny the influence that such deep adoption of internet usage has had on the wider world of tech and business in the Rainbow Nation- Tech and Media Revolution.
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Leading the world in internet time
In 2022, South Africa both reaffirmed its place as the world leader in time spent on the internet via computers and moved into the top spot for daily time spent using the internet overall. As detailed by Datareportal.com, daily time spent using the internet via computers went from 5:12 at the start of 2021 to 5:37 in January 2022, sitting well ahead of the 4:54 put up in Brazil and Colombia.
However, the greatest gains were made in mobile internet use. Last year, South Africa was eighth in the world rankings, but this year, the country has moved up to fifth, with its average daily time spent on the internet via mobile devices now at 5:09. These gains shifted the Rainbow nations from fourth overall in 2021 to the top spot, with an average daily time spent on the internet sitting at 10:46. In second sits the Philippines, at 10:27.
Entertainment seeing the greatest growth- Tech and Media Revolution
South Africa’s rapid increases in internet access and adoption of devices that grant connectivity have certainly bolstered the nation’s entertainment and media industry. From 2014 to 2019, the internet access market more than doubled, making it the biggest category for consumer spending and, as a result, the largest contributor of revenues to the industry. Newfound access and new forms of entertainment have been the big drivers in this regard.
A prime example of this is the entertainment space of online casino gaming. As explained by Casinos.co.za, it’s integral for users to find safe casinos with reliable and secure payments, but with it being such a new space, the platform found it necessary also to show how to play casino games for real money. With an educational and authoritative source like this, the sector has been able to boom. Now, South Africans can be confident in gambling online with licensed sites that have been verified.
Of course, with internet connectivity, forms of gaming were always going to become popular. It’s very similarly seen in mobile gaming. Where smartphones increase in prevalence, so too do app games. In South Africa, the highest-grossing titles are international favourites like Candy Crush Saga, PUBG Mobile, and Gardenscapes. Then, there’s content streaming, with OTT platforms continuing to grow. In fact, on 18 May, one of the biggest contenders in the market, Disney+, will come to South Africa via MultiChoice’s Explora Ultra.
It’s not just about an entertainment fix in ZA
It’s been established that much of South Africa’s internet usage comes via computers—for whom we here at Thetechyinfo.com PC tips may come in handy—with entertainment being a big part of that time. Still, many are using computers and internet connections to build new companies and cash in on digital opportunities that present themselves. Perhaps the greatest story in this regard comes from tech entrepreneur, investor, and Burgersfort-native, Xolane Ndhlovu.
He says that he turned his life around after reading Richard Branson’s autobiography, Losing My Virginity, utilising the lessons of the British business mogul to make his first $1 million. One of the big turning points was Ndhlovu’s move to invest his savings in the cryptocurrency platform Binance, as well as founding UMEH Group, which invests in small tech startup companies to help them grow. He became a billionaire with the launch of the digital bank DariBank Ltd in 2021.
With South Africa moving to the top spot in daily internet use, it’s clear that the digital revolution has been rapid and effective. With so much access, perhaps more will be able to follow the likes of Ndhlovu, or just find even more fun in the online space.