There is at present a lot of talk and hype about the growth potential of the African continent and more so of the potential of extracting value from the African mobile consumer. You don’t have to look far to find the mass of articles, blog posts and research forecasts and insights on how best to tap into this potentially lucrative market. Wired.co.uk has gone as far as writing an article with the headline: Want to become an internet billionaire? Move to Africa. This is an extract from their article:
If you want to become extremely wealthy over the next five years, and you have a basic grasp of technology, here’s a no-brainer: move to Africa.
Seriously. The internet is only now arriving, and — with a billion people on the continent still mostly offline — there exists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the next Zyngas, eBays and Groupons for a huge untapped local market. You need only look at the map of huge broadband fibre optic cables currently being laid on both east and west coasts. No wonder Helios Investment Partners could recently raise a $900 million fund specifically targeting the continent.
For starters these users would need to get online, either through desktop or mobile devices, this is a non issue as the increase in smartphone penetration is set to boom. Lets deal with this point and take a look at some of the research forecasts for the increase in Internet access and smartphone increases:
IDC forecasts the African smartphone market to double in volume over the next four years and account for close to a third of all handset shipments to the continent by 2017. Feature phones remain the heart of the African mobile phone market, and IDC believes that as the number of mobile users increases across the continent, feature-phone volumes will remain strong despite the growth in smartphone shipments.
TechCrunch.com believes that within 3.5 Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones
eMarketer estimates that 336.5 million people in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will access the internet at least once per month in 2014—nearly one-quarter more than in 2013. Annual growth rates will remain in the double digits through 2015. Within four years, the region will register almost 458 million web users, with more than 30% of all residents regularly online. – See more
There’s no doubt in my mind that Africa will have access to the Internet and will have smart devices to access apps and web services, the next step is to ensure that entrepreneurs are able to recover their investments and would thus need to ensure that African users have access to payment mechanisms. Again there is a lot of research supporting the move towards mass adoption of mobile payments, across the African market.
Lets start by taking a looking at this infographic, that highlights the African payment landscape:
As with any region or continent there will be a select number of regions that will be the star performers, Africa is no different. These regions have been identified as the top performers:
You’re probably asking where GameZBoost fits into this opportunity, besides us being an African business, based in South Africa. Quiet simply we have one of the best white label games platforms available and by adding smartphones, payment solutions and the African user, we undoubtedly have a match made in heaven. Most mobile users spend the bulk of the time on the smartphones playing games. The GameZBoost platform has partnerships with some of the top game studios, thus we’re able to provide the users with premium and highly engaging content, we offer all the ancillary services, such as Friends, Tournaments, Challenges, Messaging, Virtual Gifts, Avatars, High Scores, Leaderboards, etc, etc. The platform has the flexibility to be re-skinned, to meet the objectives of our partners, the platform can be fully translated and we’re able to create custom versions of our game titles and translate these to the language of the publishers audience. The GameZBoost framework can easily integrate into any payment solution, Online Billing System (OBS), user registration platform (SSO), with the biggest opportunity being to integrate with the mobile operators platforms to allow for quick and easy airtime, data and sms top-ups, with cross promotional opportunities to offer these services as rewards and recognition for predefined user achievements – thus driving awareness and increased uptake of these products and services. The added benefit of partnering with GameZBoost is that a single solution can be developed and deployed for smartphone, desktop and tablet users, as the platform is based on HTML5 and is fully responsive across devices and screen sizes.
Lets take a closer look at the world of gaming and the supporting research and forecasts.
Looking at the global games market forecasts for 2012 through 2016, it’s clear that the opportunity lies with focusing on Tablet and Smartphone devices.
Taking a look at the 2013 global population in relation to gamers, again the evidence is clear that already Africa is engaging games, one just needs to add the increase in smartphones and tablets to the equation, to fully realise the magnitude of the opportunity.
Generating revenues fromr virtual currencies and in-game purchases is just one of the opportunities, we must not forget that the bulk of websites and more importantly desktop and native app games generate their revenues from traditional banner advertising. Africa will be no different, with banners being displayed across mobi web pages, as game pre-rolls, in-game and extended to give advertisers the opportunity to opt for sponsorships for site-takeovers, tournaments, prizes, etc.
A quick look at the global mobile ad spend forecasts:
What’s needed to unlock the mobile gaming opportunity:
– a reputable gaming solutions provider, such as GameZBoost.com
– a publisher with access to an established mobile user base or access to marketing spend and user reach
– mobile payment provider, that has reach across the bulk of Africa’s top payment solutions, such as M-Pesa, MTN Money, etc
Contact us now to get started and get the 1st mover advantage and reap the rewards.