Satellite Monitors in Africa
Q: What is the history of Satellite Monitor Survey?
Satellite Monitor surveys started in 1994 to measure the development of TV reception markets in Europe. The first surveys in Africa were conducted in 2011 in Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria. They were run on a smaller scale, i.e. pilot surveys with 2,000 – 2,500 interviews, as a test to find out if we would be able to implement the same methodology in such different markets to the ones we have in Europe.
With lessons learnt in 2011, there was a second round in 2013 and 2014 in Ghana and Nigeria. Finally, in 2015, we upped the ante in Ghana with 3,000 face-to-face interviews and in Nigeria with 12,000. Following our success in 2015, we decided in 2017 to expand the footprint and conduct surveys in Ethiopia; where we took on 7,500 face-to-face interviews, in Tanzania 6,000, and in Uganda 4,000, in addition to Ghana and Nigeria. The surveys have been conducted in the following African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda
Q. What are the objectives of SES Satellite Monitors?
The goals and objectives of the project are threefold:
- Measure the development of TV reception modes across regions;
- Measure SES reach in Europe, both pay TV and free-to-air;
- Establish a benchmark for the satellite industry.
The key element for SES is that, with Satellite Monitors, we’re able to size satellite free-to-air markets and provide trustworthy figures. Outside Satellite Monitors, this data, if available, is unreliable to say the least. Satellite Monitors overcomes this critical issue in core markets such as Germany, Austria, etc. and provides a negotiation or sales tool to price our transponders objectively: we know the potential audience that a certain channel or TV platform will have if they decide to broadcast from, let's say, 19.2° East.
Q. What are the benefits of Satellite Monitor survey?
Through the project, we are making a considerable investment that directly benefits the local communities; the interviews are conducted by local participants across each country. We are talking about 40-50 interviewers in smaller markets and close to 100 in the larger ones. One of the organisers of the regional events mentioned that, thanks to the money local interviewers are paid during fieldwork, working for two months makes a major difference to the income of their families. In other cases, their earnings allow them to fund their university studies.
In a similar way, the SES Elevate Programme in Africa brings a myriad of benefits to local communities by training and certifying individuals on best practices for DTH installations. Although not that obvious at first glance, this indirect impact helps to change the lives of many individuals, and as a company, we are glad to contribute to improving the lives of people and to do what SES does best - take their stories anywhere.
Q. Why was the decision taken to extend the Satellite Monitors to Africa?
This idea originated several years ago, and the decision to roll out Satellite Monitors to Africa, or any other region boils down to two main reasons:
- An interest from our customers. Broadcasters and those operating TV platforms have their eyes in many markets and need robust and reliable data for their decision-making processes to enter new markets, and, over time, Satellite Monitors has become a trusted source to provide this much-needed information.
- The requirements of our SES sales teams, together with business development opportunities, which is inevitably tied to the first point. Once there is a tangible and sustained business need from both customers and our internal stakeholders, we are in the position to roll out Satellite Monitors to new markets.
Q. How many surveys have you conducted in Africa so far?
As of YE2019, we’ve conducted surveys in Ghana and Nigeria three times, and once in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Q. How do you decide on repeating a survey in a market?
A combination of interest from our sales teams and stakeholders, coupled with developments in the markets; surveying a stable market won’t provide information as interesting as a survey in a dynamic and changing market.
Q. Are you considering surveying additional countries in Africa?
Yes, we’re currently in conversations with our vendors to add Benin, Ivory Coast, and Mali, to future surveys in the region.
Q. What challenges have you found that are specific to Africa?
The dynamics of the markets and having to understand their peculiarities so we can adjust the methodologies to achieve the goals of Satellite Monitor. In addition, the ongoing digital switch-overs in Africa keep us on our toes: millions of TV homes that are currently using analogue terrestrial TV are migrating to another TV reception mode, something we need to reflect accurately because we get many questions around this from our internal and external stakeholders.
Q. What's next for Satellite Monitors?
SES continues to monitor the growth of TV market in Africa and is ready to expand its research to other countries as business needs arise.
Why we have Satellite Monitors
Impressions from our customers
"As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES understands the importance of data and consumption habits shift, and that’s exactly why the company conducts its Satellite Monitor research. In this annual market research study, SES looks at how many homes in specific countries receive their television service from satellite, cable, terrestrial and IPTV infrastructure.
Check out our newly released results."
Andy Anderson - Marketing Director, Africa, Middle East & Central Asia
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