Africa: Key African Broadcasters Increase Their YouTube Footprint but Android App Numbers Drop Away – Individual Talent Develops Own Channels

London — In July 2020, we published an analysis of African broadcasters and their subscriber or follower numbers for YouTube, Android apps and Facebook. This year we provide comparisons for YouTube subscribers and Android App downloads. Russell Southwood looks at what has changed.

Across five key African TV markets – Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Senegal – the number of YouTube subscribers to broadcasters continues to grow. The comparisons below show the kind of increases that have taken place:

2020 / 2021

Channels TV (Nigeria) 1.12 m / 1.63 m

SABC (South Africa) 963,000 / 1.33 m

Citizen TV (Kenya) 2.02 m / 2.77 m

KTN News (Kenya) 1.41 m / 1.97 m

2stv (Senegal) 930,000 / 1.46 m

Obviously, these increases are as likely to be driven by diaspora audiences but nevertheless, these international audiences are probably more valuable in terms of online advertising revenues. Also Covid-19 has also had an impact on the growth of online channels as Africans have been confined to their homes during lockdowns.

With some exceptions, individual TV companies have now established a presence on YouTube, with it often acting as the station’s ‘catch-up’ Channel in 2021. As always, Kenya punches above its weight:

Citizen TV (Kenya) 2.77 m

KTN News (Kenya) 1.97 m

Channels TV (Nigeria) 1.63 m

TFM (Senegal) 1.62 m

KTN (Kenya) 1.56 m

2stv (Senegal) 1.46 m

SABC (South Africa) 1.33 m

UTV (Ghana) 617,000

MyJoyOnline 433,000

Only two African broadcasters – Channels TV and Citizen TV – have had one million plus downloads of their Android app. Where we have comparable figures, the number of downloads appears to have gone down:

Channels TV (Nigeria) 1 million +

Citizen TV (Kenya) 1 million +

SABC News (South Africa) 100,000+

KTN TV (Kenya) 10,000+

NTV Kenya/Nation FM

(Kenya) 10,000+

UTV (Ghana) 10,000+

TFM en direct 10,000+


2stv en direct 10,000+

African entertainment brands – whether comedy, football or music – have established themselves strong direct channels to their audiences. The selection of examples below (by subscriber numbers) give some idea of that strength:

Mark Angel Comedy (Nigeria) 7.75 m

Die Antwoord (South Africa) 3.15 m

The Churchill Show (Kenya) 1.74 m

The SupaStrikas (South Africa) 1.57 m

Official Sarkodie 767,000

Stonebwoy 533,000

However, entertainment brands have even less success than most African broadcasters with Android app downloads. The biggest exception is SupaStrikas Dash-Dribbler Runner game with 1 million+ downloads. Even something as popular as The Churhill Show has only 100,000+ downloads and Stonebwoy’s Songs and Music Videos App has only 10,000+ downloads.

In Brief

Africa’s digital TV operator StarTimes will exclusively air the African Championship of Nations, FIBA AfroBasket Rwanda 2021. The 30th edition of the AfroBasket, men’s basketball continental championship of Africa will take place from August 24 to September 5 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. 16 national teams divided into four groups will be competing for the crown. The group phase of AfroBasket 2021 will take place from August 24 to 29 with the top teams from each group automatically advancing to the quarter-finals.

The Togolese channel New World TV has been granted TV rights by FIFA to broadcast the FIFA 2022 World Cup and the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup in 19 French-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo.

Mediamark and Deezer enter new partnership: “Partnering with Deezer, one of the world’s best music streaming services, expands the scope of our digital audio offering beyond internet radio, podcasts and live streaming of some of South Africa’s prime radio stations,” says Mark Botha, Head of Digital at Mediamark.

PAMRO has announced its 22nd annual conference that will run over three days in October. The virtual conference will explore the theme of ‘Finding certainty in uncertain times through measurement’ and is free to all delegates. The conference will host research experts from across Africa and the rest of the world, who will come together with the aim to exchange knowledge and to learn from one another’s successes and failures.

South Africa: A 17-year-old Cape Town student is launching a podcast specifically for teenagers. Lindokuhle Modi’s Up Close and Alone podcast has found a home on Spotify’s and aims to “educate people about teenage concerns”, and is described as a first of it’s kind for a 17 year old”. Modi was inspired by his own experiences and wants to give teenagers a voice… Meanwhile Simmi Aref’s POC (People of Colour, People of Content, People of Culture) is the latest addition to Apple Podcasts Subscriptions.

Three years after the release of King of Boys the highly-awaited sequel to one of the highest-grossing Nollywood movies of all time is coming to Netflix, but this time as a seven episode series on August 27, 2021. King Of Boys : The Return of The King will see Sola Sobowale and Toni Tones return as Eniola Salami and picks up with Eniola’s triumphant return after a five-year exile. However, her shocking, unannounced return rattles the cages of her enemies – both old and new. And once trusted allies desert her at her most vulnerable moment – all while she faces an even greater battle within herself for the redemption of her tortured soul. Makanaki ( Reminisce) Odogwu Malay (Ill Bliss ),Aare Akinwande ( Akin Lewis), Sade Bello ( Osas Ighodaro), Ade Tiger ( Titi Kuti) and President Mumusa (Keppy Ekpeyoung) reprise their roles from the first movie. New additions to the cast include First Lady Jumoke Randle (Nse Ikpe Etim) , Reverend Ifeanyi (RMD) ( Reverend Ifeanyi) , (Dapo Banjo( Efa Iwara) , Adetola Fashina (Deyemi Okanlawon, Odudubariba (Charly Boy ) and Governor Tunde Randle (Lord Frank).

Telkom has introduced its new music streaming platform “Telkom Music” in South Africa. Introduced in collaboration with Tencent-owned JOOX, the platform is available on the Huawei AppGallery and Google Play Store. Telkom stated that the landscape of music streaming is evolving and highlights that the main feature of its music app is the fact that it focuses on data-saving and shared music experiences between users.

Facebook has revealed the names of top-earning brands in Instant Articles in sub-Saharan Africa. South African Briefly News made the list, with a significant 25.7 million instant article page views in 2020. Facebook lists as one of the top-earning brands on the platform Briefly News is one of the biggest news and entertainment platforms in South Africa. The website aims to keep its readers up-to-date on the latest in current affairs, celebrity news, gossip and trending stories about events and people.