President William Ruto among other leaders following the Supreme Court ruling in September on TV. Data shows that TV viewership in Kenya has been on the decline.
President William Ruto among other leaders follow the Supreme Court ruling in September 2022 on TV. Data shows that TV viewership in Kenya declined in 2021.

TV stations were the biggest casualties as internet advertising revenues in 2021 surged past TV advertising revenues in Kenya for the first time, according to a new report by PwC.

TV advertising in Kenya stood at $98 million in 2021, up from $93 million in 2020. Internet advertising revenue, on the other hand, grew by a whopping $55 million to $144 million in 2021 up from $89 million a year earlier.

Although internet advertising revenues in Kenya have consistently been on the increase since 2017 when they stood at $34 million, the rise in 2021 represents the largest annual growth in the past five years.

Digital giants including Google and Facebook have increasingly been dominating the advertising market with their targeted advertising offerings for businesses. And, given the comparatively much higher TV advertising rates, more businesses in Kenya, and around the world, are trying to get more bang for their buck by advertising online.

Interestingly, a separate data set indicates that TV viewership in Kenya was on the decline in 2021 – offering the likeliest explanation on the slowed growth of TV ad revenues and accelerated growth of internet ad revenues. As Business Today reported in January, a media survey of 3,589 respondents by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) found that 58% of Kenyans consumed TV content on a typical day in 2021, down from 74% in 2020.

The drop was primarily attributed to the rise of social media, digital streaming apps and other web-based content platforms. Rising internet and smartphone penetration is accelerating use of various digital platforms and driving competition for attention.

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Unlike TV, radio listenership as per the MCK survey remained constant at 74% in 2021 as in 2020. The average time per day spent listening to radio was calculated to be 2 hours, higher than the global average of 1 hour. This was reflected in the new PwC report, as music and radio advertising revenues grew to $112 million in 2021 from $102 million in 2020.

PwC projects that internet advertising revenues will rise to $315 million by 2024 and $429 million dollars by 2026, up from the current $144 million.

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