Nigerians now watch more video on mobile devices than TV

Africans are watching more on their phones
Africans are watching more on their phones
Image: Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye
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Nigerians are consuming more of their TV and video content on mobile devices than ever before but poor connectivity and pricey data packages are limiting even faster change.

Data from Ericsson ConsumerLab’s TV and Media report for Nigeria (pdf) shows that even though traditional television remains the most popular choice for video consumption, Nigerians are consuming more video content on smartphones and tablets than they do on television.

The growth of internet users in the country and the high number of smartphone ownership as well as the rise of smartphone subscriptions—projected to reach 43.7 million next year—are contributing factors to the changes in video content consumption in Africa’s largest mobile market. Another factor is a distinct lack of fixed broadband—leaving mobile broadband as the primary way to access the internet as Nigeria’s growing middle class consume content on the move.

The report also shows an attitudinal shift reflected by the on-the-go lives of Nigeria’s fast growing middle class as 57% of respondents want to watch TV and video content on demand, but such services are still rare here.

The global average of consumer usage of on-demand streaming services stands at 38% but in Nigeria, the average is only 16%.Similarly, while 76% of global consumers stream videos on a weekly basis, only 27% in Nigeria stream videos weekly.

The struggles with streaming paint a wider picture of the limitations of internet use in Nigeria. Despite the levels of penetration, quality connectivity remains a major problem. The lack of consistently good connection and slow download speeds make streaming an unattractive proposition. Mobile data plan price as high as $18 for 1.5 gigabytes monthly in a country where the minimum wage stands $90 per month are also an obvious limitation.