The last three years have seen momentous growth for Africa’s biggest online Publisher Goal.com.
Digital expansion in Africa’s key markets continues to be driven by the explosive consumer growth in volume and duration of time spent online. There are currently 5 local Goal editions in Africa - namely Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
According to Effective Measure, in February 2016, Goal.com broke the half a billion page views per month mark in Africa. Their platforms include Goal.com, the Goal News App and the Goal Live App, all tracked using Effective Measure site and app measurement methodology. The Goal Live app, which delivers live scores and information on football matches from across the globe, is growing at a rate of 20% a month while the video platform, ePlayer, is returning 4 million views a month in Africa!
These staggering figures continue to climb and Publishers like Goal.com are well aware of the thirst for relevant, locally appropriate content. With close to a 90% male skew, tracking, measuring and understanding Goal.com’s audience has helped ensure content is tailored to meet their needs.
The team invest heavily in African content production, which delivers localised versions of European football content and of course, domestic African football news and views. There is no compromise when it comes to quality and local content matches global standards. Holding their own against international content is key. When it comes to Football news, fans are spoiled for choice - particularly on major league focussed content. The environment is an extremely competitive one and content creators need to be a step ahead of the competition to maintain a foothold in the market.
The advantage afforded to local publisher Goal.com is the lack of local sports content availability. African football fans who want to follow their local teams have fewer choices which means greater exposure for Goal.com in these markets. Retaining local traffic meant developing home-grown resources to complement the global football coverage. As such, Goal.com have created a one-stop shop for African football fans.
Preserving a global standard for domestic football coverage has not been without its challenges. Unlike international photography, there is no comprehensive image provider that covers all the African leagues. The teams’ focus and drive to compete against international standards meant constructing their own network of freelance photographers across the continent to secure up-to-date images of the matches, teams and players being reporting on. The hard work has clearly paid off. A whopping 48% of Goal.com’s Top 100 content items a month are now produced by local Africa teams.
Once eyeballs have been exposed, the challenge of retaining them remains. Top quality content goes without saying but over and above that, Goal.com regularly produce “tent-pole “content series such as the recent Legends World Cup. In this series, users seek out the ‘Goal Opinion’ on all things football. This affords the team the opportunity to engage with football fans on a deeper level, forming relationships with their audience that go beyond reporting.
Encouraged by their resounding success in Africa, Goal.com are constantly looking to expand the local African coverage and launch new editions. Look out for new market launches toward the end of 2016.