Guide to Online Advertising Market in Africa – Nigeria

Data-driven advertising

Guide to Online Advertising Market in Africa – Nigeria

June 11, 2013 Research 3

Although Africa is much less developed than Europe, North America and most Asia Pacific countries in terms of economy development, its telecommunication and internet market is one of the fastest growing in the world with huge potential since it is still in its early stage. Since the development of internet and online advertising market in Nigeria leads the whole Africa, we would like to share more details about the online advertising market in Nigeria and best tips for marketers like you to launch multicultural marketing campaigns for Nigeria market efficiently.

Online Market in Africa

With around one sixth of the world population, Africa has around 167 million internet users, which consists only 7% of the worldwide online users. Although the internet penetration rate in Africa is lower than the rest of the world, the African internet market has developed rapidly: from 2000 to 2008, the internet subscription has grown by 1030.2%, almost four times faster than the world’s average. Along with the rapid development of the internet market in Africa, online advertising market in Africa is booming as well. One important feature about the online market in Africa you should know: Africa has surpassed Europe in the numbers of mobile phones and US in the number of cell phone users. Moreover, mobile phones are the most widely used devices for surfing internet in Africa.


Online Market in Nigeria

Among all the African countries, Nigeria develops its internet market the fastest and has the largest internet market in Africa. In 2012, the number of internet users in Nigeria has already reached around 48.4 million, which penetrates 28.4% of the total population in Nigeria and consists 28.9% of the overall internet users in Africa. Compared with only around 200 thousand internet users in Nigeria, the number has grown by almost 240 times. The soaring development of internet and mobile phone market should thank to a large base of tech savvy young generation and the emerging economy in Nigeria. As a result, the online advertising market in Nigeria, especially the mobile advertising attracts many markers? attentions due to its high ROI and relatively vast reach.

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Nigerian Online Market in the Western Countries

According to the statistics, Nigeria has the population of around 162.5 million. The largest communities of Nigerian residents living outside the country are these Nigerian British and Nigerian Americans. In the United States, it is estimated that there are nearly 881,300 African immigrants, while 253,000 (2010, the U.S. Census) of them are originally from Nigeria, which is the largest African immigrant group in the United States. Many Nigerians migrate to the U.S. for advanced training and jobs due to the oversupply of specialized workers in certain African countries, unfair promotion system and other reasons.

In the United Kingdom, the Office for National Statistics stated the population of British Nigerians had reached at 174,000 in 2011 and this number is likely to be underestimated due to the absence of second generation and irregular Nigerian immigrants. It is estimated that the Nigerian communities in the United Kingdom have the population of more than 500,000. The largest Nigerian community is in its capital, London, Peckham district.

For those Nigerians living in the western countries, most of them read both local mainstream media and Nigerian media, such as web portals, BBS/Forums, social media, etc. In order to niche the marketing campaign to target the largest and raising African ethnic group, it is important to have a better understanding about the features and latest trends of the Nigerian online advertising market.

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Major Features of Nigerian Online Advertising Market

First of all, the Nigerian online advertising market is booming rapidly. In 2011, a total of 646 million USD was spent on ad on different media channels by advertisers in Nigeria. TV counts around 44.5% of the total Ad spends, while 12.5% for radio, 27% for outdoor advertising, and 15% on the press. According to a report in 2011, a total of 127,787,529 media penetration in Nigeria was recorded. Radio recording the highest penetration with 82.9%, TV has a penetration of 80.6% among the adult, Newspaper 26.1% and internet 16.1%. Although the digital media counted as only 1% of the total Ad spend in Nigeria, more than 48.3 million internet user base and 110 millions telecom subscribers in Nigeria set up a solid basis for the upcoming development of Nigerian online advertising market, along with the further internet penetration and usage.


Second, mobile plays a vital role in the Nigerian Online Advertising market. As you may know, more and more people use mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc) to surf on the internet while PCs are not as trendy as it used to be. However, in Africa, especially in Nigeria, mobile devices are even more important since they skip the PC era and most people already use mobile devices to surf internet since the penetration rate of mobile phones is much higher than PCs. In fact, statistics shows around 81% of internet traffic originates from mobile devices in Nigeria and there were more than 75 million active mobile users (2010, NCC) and over 5 million smartphone users as a result of growing middle class and Facebook/Twitter generation in Nigeria. Therefore, for advertisers, it is important to optimize their Ad creative to suit the habit of Nigerian mobile users when launching online advertising campaign. For Nigerian publishers, designing suitable Ad solution to the mobile dominating internet market is an important key to generate constant Ad income.

Third, the telecommunication industry in Nigeria was the country’s Top 1 spender on advertising market, with a total spend of over N 15 billion (2009), followed by banking & finance sector and Personal paid. For specific companies, MTN (Mobile operator) ranked as the No.1 advertising spender in Nigeria, with a total of N6.6 billion, followed by its fellow telecom companies like Globacom, Etisalat, Zain, etc.


Last, the usage of social media in Nigeria is increasing astonishingly along with the growth of Nigerian smartphone users. Not only young generation in Nigeria use social media daily to network, but also to share information and shopping experiences, etc. Therefore, advertisers should utilize the social media platforms to target their potential customers. The most popular social media platforms in Nigeria are Facebook and Twitter at present.

Although the E-commerce market in Nigeria is still in its early stage, with more than 40 million tech savvy young customer base and emerging middle class with increasing disposal income in Nigeria, the future of E-commerce in Nigeria would be very bright once the online payment is solved properly.

As the world leading Independent Multicultural and Global Advertising Trading Desk, Joinville cooperated with many well-known Afriican publishers and Ad networks to offer advertisers to best selection of premium inventories on the African ethnic market. If you are interested in launching online advertising campaigns in Africa or with the target of Africans in certain country, contact us today and find out more!


3 Responses

  1. Target Africa Ads says:

    Nice Post! Internet users and online advertisement is increasing every year in Africa and that;s a great news! It’s good time for marketer to invest in digital/online advertising as the competition is low and people are getting more and more aware. I can just say, Great Going Africa!!

  2. Minerva says:

    Not sure I agree with all of the comments on this site, but itrneesting blog post none the less. It’s been a while since I’ve visited, but great stuff as always. Do you freelance and/or write guest posts for other blogs?

    • Xi Li says:

      Hi Minerva, thanks for your interests on our multicultural blog. We write blogs mostly for our company but also some guest posts for other blogs.

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