The South African Print and Digital Media Publishing Sector
The media publishing industry includes the publication of a wide spectrum of newspapers, magazines and journals in print and digital format. The domestic media publishing sector remains under pressure, with total revenue generated by the publication of newspapers, magazines and journals in both print and digital format shrinking to approximately R17.5bn in 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC) membership comprised 333 newspaper titles, 446 magazine titles and 151 digital titles, a total of 930, down from 952 in the previous quarter.
While isiZulu is the most widely-spoken mother tongue language, followed by isiXhosa, the most commonly used languages in the industry are English and Afrikaans. Vernacular languages are poorly represented and are generally limited to community publications which focus on local issues. Exceptions are the IsiZulu publications Isolezwe, which is one of the country’s top three daily newspapers, iLanga, and the isiZulu edition of the Sunday Times. In 2010 News24, a division of digital platform 24.com, went live with an isiZulu online news edition and other media publishers have since established online news platforms in different vernacular languages.
The comprehensive report on the South African Print and Digital Media Publishing sector describes current conditions and local trends, looks at the performance of major players and includes the factors that influence the success of role players. Profiles for 39 companies are provided, ranging from the “Big Four” which publish almost all of the mainstream newspapers and magazines, to smaller players such as Creamer Media (Pty) Ltd, which publishes two weekly newspapers and online editions, and IT Web (Pty) Ltd, which has approximately 32,000 daily subscribers. Also profiled is Afro Times Media (Pty) Ltd t/a Afro Voice and formerly known as The New Age, which was discontinued on 30 June 2018.