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The dynamic trends shaping Africa in 2024 and its impact on brands for the future

Africa finds itself at the nexus of transformational shifts, propelled by technological advancements, socio-political dynamics, and a rise in Afro Optimism. The continent is witnessing a wave of innovation and change that promises to redefine its trajectory in the global arena for years to come.
Roxanne Graber
Roxanne Graber

As marketing service leaders, we at OMG Africa focus on, research and stay abreast of the key trends shaping Africa in 2024. This is how your brand can capitalise on these consumer trends while influencing purchasing decisions and grow the media and entertainment landscape across the continent.

Technological advancements

With the maturation of digital infrastructure and widespread connectivity in Africa, daily interactions span the digital and physical worlds seamlessly. Technological advancements such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and immersive experiences are transforming storytelling and entertainment, offering audiences new ways to engage with the content. African tech startups are at the forefront of innovation, developing platforms and solutions that harness emerging technologies to enhance the media and entertainment experience, from interactive storytelling to gamification and e-sports. In Kenya, organised competitive gaming – known as esports is moving to a higher level of recognition. Pro Series Gaming ran an esports tournament that targeted youth looking to make gaming a career choice.

From a young age Africans have been exposed to the internet, to social networks, and to mobile systems. That context has produced a hypercognitive generation who is very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many sources of information and integrating virtual and offline experiences as one. Consumers balance their time between an array of devices from mobile phones, tablets, PCs and televisions. They are learning to use these devices together to consume various media

Your brand can capitalise on this multi-screen behaviour with a truly omnichannel media strategy solution that is integrated, and consumer centric. Where all journeys are a mix of on and offline media, content viewed on one device can trigger specific behaviour on the other driving e-commerce. These instances present the opportune time to convey your message and inspire action.

The rise of afrocentric content

African storytelling is taking centre stage, fuelled by a growing demand for authentic and culturally relevant content. From Nollywood's prolific film industry to the vibrant music scenes of South Africa and Nigeria, African creatives are producing content that resonates with local audiences while also gaining international acclaim.

The great streaming boom has reached Africa, with global giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ vying for market share alongside local players. As access to high-speed internet improves and data costs decline, streaming services are experiencing exponential growth, offering African audiences a diverse range of content, including movies, series, documentaries, and original productions. The competition among streaming platforms is driving investments in local content creation, fostering the development of a vibrant African entertainment industry.

Your brand can tap into localised but world-class content that is reflective of the uniqueness of the cultural nuances. The popularity of Afrocentric content is not limited to traditional media formats but also extends to digital platforms, where African influencers and content creators are leveraging social media and streaming platforms to amplify their voices and reach global audiences.

Sustainability is coming home

As the world grapples with the urgent need to address climate change, countries across the continent are investing in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power projects to meet the growing demand for electricity while reducing carbon emissions.

Audiences’ experience of sustainability is influenced by physical and cultural contexts. Enabling behaviour change and growing the sustainability market means being mindful of various market realities and messaging by showing personal benefits to the consumers, rather than relying solely on science. Consumers are increasingly scrutinizing the supply chains of companies and rewarding those that prioritise transparency, ethical production, and community engagement.

By focusing on acts, not ads your brand can move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach and look at smaller, local and community-based initiatives to power your green agenda. That means less communication about sustainability credentials, and more behind-the-scenes work, including a focus on community-oriented initiatives that are meaningful and scalable.

The power of sport

We need to invest in sports. It should be the greatest ecosystem on the planet. The talent in Africa is incredible, it’s like gold and diamonds. With all the talent in sports, there is no way it should be ignored... sports and the business of sports is the biggest opportunity for the next generation of Africa. (Masai Ujiri, President, Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Founder, Giants of Africa)

The African continent has realised that sports activities offer an opportunity to diversify its economy. As a result, African governments are looking for innovative ways of tapping into this potential. Many experts believe that if the African continent can properly commercialise its sporting action, it has the potential of lifting many out of poverty. (Global Network Africa)

The reach of the sports viewership ecosystem in Africa remains key for audiences, with linear channels reaching 156,5 million viewers across Africa .Football remains the real deal and is a developing sport for women in Africa with the FIFA Women’s world cup tournament in 2023 growing in popularity across the continent. Basketball is developing: The 12-team BAL became the first professional league the NBA owned and operated outside the USA. This is a clear sign that Africa’s sports market and the local talent can spur the association’s growth.

Your brand can take advantage of on the unique power of sport to attract large, real-time audiences, grow fresh and captivating content as well as making use of brand associated sponsorship opportunities. The power and value of sports is big business generating advertising revenue, tourism inflows, infrastructure development contributing to social growth.

The future of music is African

Africa has an incredibly diverse and rich musical heritage, with a wide array of traditional beats, instruments, and dance styles. This heritage provides a fertile ground for innovation and creativity.

In recent years, there has been a surge of talented African musicians gaining international recognition. Artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Black Coffee and more recently Tyla have achieved significant success, collaborating with top artists from around the world and topping global charts.

The rise of audio streaming platforms and digital distribution has made it easier for artists from the continent to share their music with global audiences and has provided African artists with greater opportunities for exposure and success on the global stage.

Your brand can access Africa’s young populations through music streaming platforms. Spotify, expanded to more than 40 African countries offering innovative streaming options. However, African-based streaming startups Boomplay and Mdundo are beginning to challenge Spotify's market dominance.

With 60 million active users, Boomplay is the most popular music streaming service in Africa. Leading the pack, it is one of a bevy of homegrown music streaming and content platforms that are offering brands alternatives to the on-demand global streaming model. There are opportunities for display, video and audio advertising formats driving traffic to landing pages for call-to-action options.

Conclusion

As Africa navigates the rapidly evolving landscape, the continent is undergoing a profound transformation. From harnessing the power of technology and sustainable growth to fostering Pan-African integration, Africa is charting a new course towards prosperity and resilience. We at OMG Africa focus on the limitless potential the continent offers.

Reach out to enquire about the how we can assist your brand to continue supporting these positive trends while addressing the remaining challenges to ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

About Roxanne Graber

Roxanne Graber is the regional strategic lead at Omnicom Media Group Africa with a passion for harnessing the power of content and communication to drive progress in Africa. With over 12 years of experience in the media and marketing industry, Graber has held key roles in various media organisations where she developed and executed impactful campaigns that amplify voices, inspire action, and shape narratives. Whether working with international brands, local organisations, or government agencies, she has delivered results by leveraging her deep understanding of media trends, audience behaviour, and cultural nuances.
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