NMG bets on digital plan for growth


Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nation Media Group #ticker:NMG is banking on its large online presence and a revamped digital plan to grow sales and recover from effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

East Africa’s largest media company is rolling out a two-pronged approach that includes enhanced presence in the digital space and a revamp of its print business with the recent facelift of the Daily Nation.

With seven out of every 10 Kenyans having access to the Internet, online marketing and Web listing sites are fast-gaining currency in the country with big media houses like NMG leading the charge.

NMG now plans to leverage this Internet traffic and its websites to monetise the online audiences into sustainable revenue streams.

“The Group has accelerated its transformation into digital media anchored in its new digital brand, Nation.Africa, launched in July 2020,” NMG said in a statement.

“This, together with the strengthening of the Group’s print and broadcast media products, is expected to offset the adverse performance and drive the long-term profitability of the business.”

The media house redesigned the Daily Nation edition and revamped content including introduction of new magazines focusing on human interest stories to retain and attract more readers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed challenges to the news industry across the globe as businesses across many industries cut back on marketing, leading to declines in advertising spending.

NMG’s turnover in the six months to June dropped 28.8 percent to Sh3.26 billion, reflecting significant disruptions in the wake of the pandemic.

It reported a half-year loss of Sh352.7 million in the period when a string of firms listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) have issued profit warnings.

The company will place greater focus on growing reader revenue from content delivered digitally, including exploring new revenue streams in the events and technology space.

"On a positive note, subscriptions to our digital products are growing substantially while improvements achieved in operational efficiency and productivity continue to contribute to enhancing the operating margins,” NMG said.