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MEDIA LANDSCAPE

Safaricom regains top spot as biggest advertiser in Kenya

In Summary

•Five betting firms are ranked in the top 10 list of biggest advertisers in Q1 2019. They include Shabiki, Super5, SportPesa, Lotto, and Tatua

•Safaricom Plc has spent Sh 9.71 billion to  regain its spot as the biggest advertiser in the country

A file photo of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru. /ENOS TECHE
A file photo of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru. /ENOS TECHE

Safaricom Plc has regained its spot as the biggest advertiser in the country after losing to government and betting firm Tatua in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

A 2019 Media Landscape report released yesterday by TIFA Research and Reelforge shows the telco  spent Sh9.71 billion in Q1 2019 followed at a distance second by betting firm Shabiki which spent Sh5.45 billion.

Even so, the Betting and Gambling sector was ranked  Kenya's highest advertiser, accounting for 22 per cent of the country’s advertising spend in 2018 estimated at Sh91.5 billion.

 

According to the report,  the sector which contributed only Sh253 million or 0.3 per cent of advertising spend in 2014 rose to contributed Sh20.1 billion last year.

Five betting firms are ranked in top 10 list of biggest advertisers in Q1 2019. They include Shabiki, Super5, SportPesa, Lotto and Tatua.

 

‘’A review of advertising spends for 2018 and 2019 shows that the Betting & Gambling sector controls Kenya's advertising sector. This is driven by increased competition which is manifested by a proliferation of new players into the local industry which is deemed to be very lucrative,’’ the report said.

The report is coming at the time the sector is under intense scrutiny from the government which ordered all betting firms to renew licenses starting July 1.

Yesterday, a local daily reported that 27 betting and gaming companies risk losing their licenses for not complying with the order or not meeting threshold set by the state.

Other sectors that had high advertising spend last year includes finance 14 per cent, food nine per cent while communication and beverage tied at eight per cent.

Reelforge director, Andrew Akeye said the free to air era has inspired competition and spreed of advertising spend in the market, with number of television channels growing six folds to hit 81 in 2019.

 
 

‘’This has obviously had an impact on audience numbers for these platforms also points out that advertising expenditure remains the primary source of revenue for the media,’’ Akeye said.

The East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) topped Out of Home (OOH) advertiser as at last month, with 65 billboards in Nairobi. It is followed by Safaricom 39, 1xBET 35, Hass Consult 34 and Coca cola at 23.

Ministry of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who inaugurated the report said the government is committed to a free and fair media and as such it will continue to support passive audience research.

We want the industry to thrive and we will continue to support and invest in new technologies to ensure that media services reach everyone,’’ Mucheru said.

He promised that media agencies just like other government suppliers will be paid their pending dues in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order to state departments to clear pending bills.

Radio remains the most sought after medium for advertisers despite the audience having declined gradually from 92 per cent in 2017 to 66 per cent in 2019.