News24 sets a new South African record

2007-11-26 11:33

Has the local Internet market finally grown-up?

Cape Town - News24.com, the breaking news and information service in the 24.com network of sites, is South Africa's first website to record more than one million unique South African visitors in a month. A single website supported by such a vast audience is indicative of a more techno-savvy market. This begs the question: Is the News24 achievement an indicator that South Africa is more digitally developed than believed?

With the current online universe in South Africa estimated at around four million unique users, News24 reaches one in four online South Africans. This is according to international statistics group, Nielsen/ NetRatings' list of the most visited local Internet sites for October 2007. The group also recently reported that News24 accounts for 16.6% of South Africans' total time spent online.

Elan Lohmann, News24 Publisher comments, "Online media is often regarded by marketers and traditional media executives as not yet on the map but our reach is continuing to grow in the local market. News24's achievement is a significant event for the entire industry. It shows that there are a mass of South Africans who require their news content online. More importantly perhaps, it shows that the local Internet market is coming of age as a viable mass communication medium."

And, even more so when one considers the level of involvement that highly-regarded local journalists have in the web today. A string of authoritative journalistic voices have all contributed to News24 with columns over the past year. Articles by names such as Jon Qwelane, Kass Naidoo, Max du Preez, Arthur Goldstuck, Chris Moerdyk and Kgomotso Matsunyane are all to be found on the News24 site.

"We believe that connectivity will continue to improve at an increasing rate in South Africa and that news websites will have the most to gain. Global giants like Facebook, Myspace, Google and Youtube may steal away local users to their services but nobody can do local news better than we can on home soil. News24 is well-placed to continue to lead the wave of the expected surge in the growth of the South African Internet market in coming years."

Fast-paced news cycles of the 21st century

Lohmann moves on to explain that News24 has held a dominant position in the local web for some time and that this gap has widened over the past year. "We have stuck to doing what we do best and it's gratifying to see that our readers approve. Our growth rate from 681 000 local users in November 2006 has exceeded the market aggregate."

"It is a privilege and a highlight of my careers to be associated with such an Industry milestone and all credit goes to the dedicated News24 team," adds Lohmann.

Jannie Momberg, News24 Editor attributes the site's success to a strategy focused on breaking news and compelling content. "It has been our focus to ensure our readers are kept up-to-date with the fast-paced news cycles of the 21st century. News24's content is also available via mobile phone and on DSTV channel 299 providing more South Africans with the opportunity to access news when they need it."

"Furthermore, we have made the News24 experience more relevant to our users. MyNews24.com, where we publish stories written by our readers, has attracted over 80 000 users per month. This is a remarkable achievement when we consider that it was only launched in May this year and a clear indicator that South Africans are embracing the digital revolution of Web 2.0. The comments facilities that we have added has also stimulated fantastic activity and given a real voice to our users," concludes Momberg.

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