Standard Group headquarters on Mombasa road. PHOTO/COURTESY
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
Competition over the multi-billion advertising revenue is set to take an ugly shape after the Standard Group released figures showing that they had overtaken Nation Media Group (NMG) in reach.
Through a series of cleverly placed advertisements in The Standard, the country’s oldest newspaper and at one time the market leader until the early 1970s, the Standard Group now says it has more reach than their next door competitors at Kimathi Street.
It looks like Standard Group is hitting back at their main rival, NMG which has portrayed itself as the run-away market leader in the multi-media space.
In a series of adverts NMG has been seeking to assert itself as the superior and most popular media house both in print and in digital media boasting that its rivals are only playing catch up to its lead.
Related story: Major re-organisation looming at Nation Media as Aga Khan deploy team from France https://www.reporter.co.ke/2018/04/04/major-re-organisation-looming-at-nation-media-as-aga-khan-deploy-team-from-france/
However, in an advert titled “The actual truth is….Numbers don’t lie” the Standard Group claims to have a readership of 3,701,625 across its platforms that include newspaper, digital, television and radio compared to Nation Media Group’s 2,445,704.
Without naming Nation Media Group, the retired President Daniel arap Moi’s owned media company shows that a company it refers as “#thetruth” which is the Nation Media Group’s slogan symbolised by a single person compared to SG or Standard Group symbolized by a crowd is now the market leader.
The Standard Group goes ahead to mock the Nation Media Group in another advertisement by claiming that “No matter how hard you try, you cannot teach an old dog (old dog in NMG colours) new tricks (red is the colour of SG)” with a pictures of two dogs; with one dog captioned in red “New Media& Innovation” (in red colour) while the other dog that looks radarless is in light blue.
Although the Standard Group has not explained its “The actual truth is….Numbers don’t lie” rallying call, it is suspected the figures they are using showing they have a reach 3,701,625 readers across its platforms compared to Nation Media Group’s 2,445,704 could be statistics provided by one of the media monitoring agencies.
The latest developments are likely to set off a vicious battle over the control of the multi-billion advertising revenue from both the public and private sector.
Related story: Nation Media signals shift to digital media as it hires new director https://www.reporter.co.ke/2018/04/27/nation-media-signals-shift-to-digital-media-as-it-hires-new-director/
The revenue of Kenya’s entertainment and media sector is estimated to grow by 8.5 per cent over the next five years to hit Sh329 billion ($3.2 billion).
A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on the sector and media outlook 2017 – 2021 shows that in 2016 the industry was worth Sh216 billion ($2.1 billion), up 13.6 per cent in 2015.
If the numbers provided by the Standard Group are factual, then this confirms the publicly held view that Nation Media Group has lost most of its audience due to a perception that it had turned pro-government and a purveyor of planted stories in its flagship publication and cash-cow the Daily Nation.
The Daily Nation came under fire from its readers over its headline on the arrest of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
The headline “How Mwilu finally fell” left readers questioning Nation Media Group’s supposed independence, the caliber and integrity of its editors.
Related story: Daily Nation on the spot over headline on Justice Mwilu arrest as top Sunday Nation editor resigns
Nation Media Group has in the recent past suffered a massive exodus of some of its best, most experienced reporters and editors to its competitors due to what is viewed as poor working conditions.
More reporters and editors have left the company through a retrenchment and redundancy policy.
While traditional news reporting is losing its relevance, serious investigation now requires more than basic journalistic skills. To do this we require a lot of resources.
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