Issue No.122 / October 2018

Odanga Madung, Odipo Dev on its charting of celebrity engagement in Kenya and what it costs to buy celebrity influencers

There are now many African online celebrities and offline celebrities who’ve built a following. Digital savvy ad agencies are now buying access to their followers to get people to watch their brand’s videos. Russell Southwood spoke to Odanga Madung,  Odipo Dev about measuring their audience reach and engagement and what it costs to hire celebrity influencers in Kenya.

The latest video clip interviews from Smart Monkey TV can be found at the bottom of this e-letter

Odipo Dev was started by a couple of friends when they were at university at JKWAT:”A friend of ours died and we thought we’d do something in his honor. Odipo became that company after a long and winding discussion. We started operating out of our own rooms but registered the business in 2012 and we now have a team of 8 employees”.

Odipo Dev does two things: 1. research, data analytics and media intelligence; and 2. data visualization and storytelling. Its clients include: NGOs and corporates. For NGOs it does programme evaluation, market research and data visualization:”The real potential is a chance to provide content that connects research to the public rather than issuing reports that nobody reads. It’s about making people care about research”.

For its corporate clients it runs analytics to check the effectiveness of their digital spend. For example for East African Breweries, it ran analytics to find out the viewability of digital advertising. It was to try and find out whether their digital ads were being viewed by consumers or not:”We take the analytics and provide the drive to action. We have around seven different tools and each digital channel is different. We help the client identify what’s working and what’s not working”.

So what does work?:”From what we’re seeing video consumption is growing to be quite  sensitive for advertisers. They are often buying digital ads that are not being viewed. Advertisers are still having huge problems getting consumers to view their videos. Of course, there are factors  like the increase in excise duty on Internet access that will only worsen this problem. Also consumers don’t see mobile ads as something worth watching. Therefore advertisers need to use influencers to get people to watch ads”.

“Influencers of the future are people who have effectively become their own media. So we’re trying to create our own ways of measuring the reach and engagement of influencers. This market is currently quite small but we’re an Internet savvy generation. It’s about the rise of the digital celebrity or offline celebrities who have gone digital”.

There are now countless influencers online in Kenya and more generally in Africa but who is number one? It has created a tool called Kingmaker that’s designed to bring some sense of analytics into the space:”There is no concrete data. So we described it as a data visualization problem and put it into a plot chart. The Y axis shows engagement and the X access audience”.

Usually online audience and engagement reflects how popular people are offline. Influencers include radio DJs, musicians, gospel singers, comedians and food and fitness bloggers at a niche level. The most popular categories are comedians with someone like TV comedian Churchill at the top but also someone like Njugush whose reputation and fame have largely been built digitally:”We see comedians as the most resilient influencers.”

You also have political bloggers like Cyprian Nyakundi (301,333 followers on Facebook and who was banned from Twitter) and Robert Alai (363,935 followers on Facebook and 1.1 million on Twitter, formerly and these have higher levels of popularity over election periods. It has also been doing benchmarking against Nigerian musicians and is trying to figure out how to unlock other markets.

“We’re thinking of creating a timeline of popularity for influencers over 12 months. We’re also looking at trying to come up with a music chart. We haven’t had enough time to do that yet. We’re also looking at how we can bring in non-digital audiences”.

How does it work buying an influencer in Kenya?:”A lot of them charge a flat fee or per  post or per month. The brands ask their agency who to pick. The costs can go from KS8,000 to KS1 million per month. The average is around KS100,000 per month.  There’s a need for price transparency and to have prices related to actual audiences and engagement. It would be helpful if everyone knew what the prices are. We also want to make Kingmaker simpler for people to use”.

Film and TV+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Zimbabwe: TelOne launches entertainment streaming service in partnership with DEOD

TelOne managing director Chipo Mtasa said the service innovation marked an important milestone in the company’s efforts to adapt to the changing telecoms landscape.

“TelOne is excited to be launching this ground-breaking service, which will enhance our service offering to our broadband customers,” said Mtasa.

“With the coming of our fixed mobile converged network, the partnership with DEOD will ensure that TelOne asserts itself in the market as a giant in the digital communication and entertainment space.”

Africa’s first DEOD, a streaming television service, was first launched in South Africa. It gives broadband users access to a range of exciting viewing options.

The new on-demand service will be bundled together with TelOne broadband.

TelOne’s divisional retail director Joseph Machiva, said the DEOD would promote local content and the business of local content generation.

“Another unique thing about this service is that it has flexible and affordable packages. These will cater for daily, weekly, weekend and monthly packages with the highest tariffs going for only $11,99,” said Machiva.

Machiva said as TelOne they were excited about local content on the new platform.
“On the issue of the local content we are excited about it. We are ready to get them on board, this will be a spring board for the local content generators,” said Machiva.

DEOD has integrated payment channels that will allow customers to subscribe and buy or rent movies using mobile money and other digital payment platforms as well as purchase vouchers in-store at any TelOne outlets.
Source: NewsDay

Vodafone, Kwesé launch video-on-demand service in Ghana

Telecommunications giant, Vodafone Ghana has partnered with multiplatform broadcaster Kwesé, to bring the video-on-demand and live TV content to Ghana through the broadcaster’s video streaming service Kwesé Play.

This partnership will see Ghanaians connect a Kwese Play digital TV device to Vodafone’s high-speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or ADSL broadband service to access unlimited live TV entertainment available on KweséTV in their homes.

The leading-edge digital TV device is powered by RokuTM and allows viewers to stream the world’s best video content using the Internet. Thanks to strategic partnerships with the world’s leading content providers - including; Kwesé iflix, Netflix, YouTube, TED and RedBull TV - Kwesé Play introduces the most diverse video on demand content offering into the market.

Kwesé Play will launch with over 200 streaming channels delivered on a single platform, with many more lined up to launch over the coming months. The partnership between the two entities will see Kwesé Play bundled with unlimited access on Vodafone’s fixed broadband home internet packages, to create a single all in one package for consumers. Why spend hours downloading your favourite shows or movies when you can simply stream them using Vodafone’s high-speed internet connection.

Kwesé Play enables any TV to function as a smart TV by simply connecting the device to the TV using its HDMI connector. For as little as GHS450 and for an affordable subscription of GHS165 monthly. Vodafone fixed broadband subscribers can purchase the Kwesé Play device and receive one month’s unlimited data to stream Kwesé TV’s full live TV content bouquet, along with a complementary 12-month subscription to Kwesé iflix as part of the package. Premium content, unlimited data, and complementary access to two of the world’s leading Internet entertainment streaming services is a compelling offer one just cannot deny.
Source: My Joy Online

DISCOP Club: Innovative online shopping service for African content buyers

DISCOP Markets announces a brand new service and innovation in response to the needs of both buyers and sellers of content from Africa and the Middle East.

As a way to boost interaction between buyers and sellers before, during, and in-between the four annual DISCOP Markets, DISCOP Club is a digital interface and customised service tailor-made for buyers who now can enjoy the ease of having a digital catalogue featuring relevant information and videos for each property offered by DISCOP registered vendors.
Tweet Screen Africa on Twitter

Registered buyers can also screen full-length versions or full-length episodes whenever available, and by using the instant and real time Chat Box service they can request the assistance of ‘personal shoppers’ to set-up meetings with DISCOP vendors or to help them in their selection of programmes.

DISCOP Markets are uniquely positioned to offer this service with a 92 per cent industry recognition factor and the ability to rapidly engage with over 1,500+ key buyers representing broadcasters, premium cable channels, mobile operators, and streaming platforms that have a marked preference for homegrown content.

Similarly, with its strong and continued focus on independent producers, DISCOP Markets are able to engage directly and speedily with over 500+ key independent producers active in the 70 countries of Africa and the Middle East.

In fact, the DISCOP Club is specifically designed to support independent producers with small catalogues of content, with projects in development, and with works in progress. Based on outreach via a survey to over 300 of these producers from the Middle East and from Africa, 100 per cent responded that they would like to see an online marketplace to compliment the four DISCOP Markets.

Via the personal shopper service, buyers are able to have 24/7 access to content with experts on hand via the website to compliment and and support interactions between buyers and sellers outside of the physical market space. This service will assist buyers in navigating the various content streams available, and ultimately also benefit vendors and producers by providing sales opportunities outside the parameters of the DISCOP events.

Specifically designed for Africa and the Middle East, DISCOP Club will service content buyers and sellers for a region with a combined population of 1.5 billion. Africa and the Middle East still account for a very marginal share in B2B content trading, both in volume and in value. However, these regions anticipate dynamic growth in the near future.

DISCOP Club membership includes a host of innovative features including:

- Quality screening.  Whether it’s a desktop computer or a mobile phone, DISCOP Club provides a fast, high quality video playback experience for viewers across multiple devices.  DISCOP Club web player supports Adaptive Bitrate streaming support (ABR) which helps optimise the streaming experience for viewers, based on their current bandwidth.
-  Full-length version or full-length episode of the programme, in addition of the trailer.  The full-length versions are available only to DISCOP registered buyers.
- A team of personal shoppers.  They are dedicated to reviewing, indexing and storing the content, thereby giving vendors and producers more personalised attention.
- Chat Window will allow buyers to ask questions about the content, and schedule meetings with vendors ahead of a market.
- More visibility for the content among buyers all year round.  A strong communication strategy (online and on the phone) will promote DISCOP Club with persistent frequency.
- Analytics.The team can provide analytical data to best inform you about the buyers’ reach (number of impressions, number of plays, stream hours by consumer, most requested videos).

For more information, click here or contact Andrew Boozer, the Content Promotion manager at

iflix partners with Vewd to offer entertainment service across MENA
Vewd and iflix, the entertainment service for emerging markets, have collaborated to make iflix accessible on millions of Vewd enabled devices.

With more than 15 million subscribers across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, smart TV manufacturers and pay TV operators consider iflix a necessity in their app catalogue.

iflix partnered with the Vewd team to certify the iflix app for the Vewd ecosystem. Certification means the iflix app can be deployed across millions of connected TVs and set-top boxes without challenging technical integration.

The CEO of iflix, Mark Britt, declared, “We aim to give users the freedom to enjoy iflix on any screen of their choice – from their 6” mobile screen to 65” big screen television. Our partnership with Vewd is an important step to fulfilling that promise. Vewd’s leading edge technology and connected SMART TV ecosystem allows us to integrate with platforms efficiently, whilst offering users an uncompromising user experience.”
Source: NextvAfrica

In Brief

Kwesé collaborates with Kalakoda Boxing Promotions to bring the Friday Fight Nights series dubbed, Chaos in Lagos, to Nigeria on October 26. The much-anticipated rematch between Chomunorwa ‘Sting’ Gondarenda and Tony ‘Sugar’ Salam for Gondarenda’s WBF Africa Cruiserweight title will take place at the Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island, Chaos in Lagos. The event can also be streamed on YouTube Live.

A+E Networks UK has introduced the History channel’s video-on-demand (VOD) service, History Vault, in South Africa. History Vault provides a variety of curated collections comprising of Cities from the Underworld, Mummies Day, World War II: The World in Crisis, and the Secrets of the Dark Ages, as well as an array of topics like space exploration, the Bible, legendary leaders and more. For its first three months, the service will include HD content from over 30 collections and new collections will be added on a weekly basis.


Deezer now accessible across MENA

Music streaming service Deezer is now accessible in the Middle East and North Africa, allowing users to access an array of Arabic hits from media and entertainment-producer Rotana. Deezer will open a regional office in Dubai next month.

In addition to 53 million tracks from global artists, music fans will be able to access local content from music production group Mazzika and Saudi-based telecom provider Qanawat.

The MENA regional Deezer app will also consist of playlists and content chosen by local music editors. Subscribers can instantly access all content in Arabic if their preferred language is set to Arabic.

Rotana and Deezer have recently inked an exclusive digital distribution agreement. The service is now accessible – with local offers – for users in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain and Mauritania.

A free trial period of Deezer’s premium service which comprises of ad-free listening, downloads and offline listening by subscribing on their mobile devices with no payment details required is also available for new MENA users.
Source: NextTVAfrica

Mavin Records’ Dj BigN Arrested After Police Seized Gun From Him

Mavin records’ official DJ BigN was arrested by the Police on October 7, 2018, at Lounge38, Surulere, Lagos, after they wrestled with him to seize a gun he allegedly shot during a fight at the club.

According to eyewitnesses, trouble started when a fight broke out between BigN’s friend and another guy. It was gathered that singer Dr Sid came around to settle the fight, but was unable to.

And as the fight continued, DJ BigN was alleged to have gone into the white vehicle in the video and brought out a pump action rifle. It was further alleged that he fired some shots into the air.

A witness at the scene said: “We all had to run for safety after we heard the gunshot as it was so loud due to our proximity with the fighting men. It was the sound of the gun that also got the attention of the Police officer in the area before they waded into the situation”

The chaos drew the attention of some policemen who stormed the scene and engaged the DJ in a struggle until the gun was retrieved from him. It was gathered that they later whisked him away after the confrontation.
Source:  Naija Loaded

In Conversation with Tencent Africa’s CCO Thabiet Allie on JOOX's latest deal with DStv and how they're investing in local musicians
Last week, Tencent-owned streaming service JOOX launched a new offer exclusive to DStv subscribers which means that they can now sign up for JOOX VIP Family for free.

It’s a smart move on DStv’s part, attempting to counteract the criticism they’ve been receiving in regard their price point versus Netflix’s by partnering up with a streaming service that really reinforces the point of localisation when it comes to their music catalogue.

Tencent Africa’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thabiet Allie, sat down with me a for quick chat about the specs of the deal as well as their plan for investing in South African music talent.

Tecla Ciolfi: Firstly, congratulations on JOOX’s partnership with DStv! I’m sure its been a whirlwind of a week so I appreciate you chatting to me. Two days after the launch, what’s the initial response been like – from DStv subscribers, members of the press and the public?

Thabiet Allie: Wow, it’s been CRAZY so far. We’ve been dying to tell everyone whilst we’ve been working on this so Monday was exciting. And the response has been amazing.

TC: What does the JOOX VIP Family Plan get me, as a subscriber, as opposed to other plans?

TA: So, at no extra cost, you and four other family members get the full JOOX VIP. All the benefits of streaming music including downloading your music to listen to offline, all your favourite music and new things to discover, and content linked to the shows you watch too. Music makes a movie. Soundtracks from series have become popular too. And DStv has some great music programming that we can support to extend your listening pleasure. Heard it on TV, add it to your playlist in app. Chat about it online etc.

I think we have some extra stuff that makes the partnership quite fun too. We have a karaoke function already used for auditioning new talent and running fun competitions.

TC: One of the things I really like about JOOX is the localisation of content – from playlisting to store front to social media. Why do you think it’s integral to championing South Africa and African content as opposed to mainly featuring Top 40 hits?

TA: We appreciate the diversity of our market and are focused on offering a good mix of what people want to listen to. The best of everything. We want to provide a platform to artists and give fans access to their favourite music. And my favourite music will be different to yours. We celebrate that!

TC: JOOX’s Afrikaans catalogue is the most extensive out of any streaming service because of your exclusive deal with Coleske Artists. I’ve found over the years that the Afrikaans market tends to favour buying a physical product as oppose to using a streaming service. What’s the uptake been like around your Afrikaans catalogue, has it attracted a new audience for JOOX?

TA: The Afrikaans market is quite a diverse mixture of music genres, ages, cultures: not one sound, not one behaviour. What we can say is that we have been impressed at how Afrikaans and local artists in general have encouraged their fans to try out streaming and support them in app.

TC: What’s JOOX’s five-year-plan with regards to catalogue acquisition and content development? Would JOOX ever look at investing in up-and-coming South Africa talent, not precisely like a record label, but more toward playing a role in their career in terms of release strategies and PR?

TA: We support up and coming artists through sponsored events and talks to grow the industry, specifically to develop young talent in SA. We want more talent to reach our platforms and invest in education here.

We sponsored the CTEMF Connect programme with Red Bull this year. The talent that came out of the programme was excellent. We couldn’t help but extend the sponsorship into helping them produce an EP with the artists selected. The artists got signed to Universal and the EP has just dropped. You can go check out the EP Connect 001 on all major streaming services – we’d prefer you go to JOOX though [Laughs].

We firmly believe that the power of our platform is not just in the streaming but in the marketing of the artists. We create campaigns around artists so that we can help tell their story, develop their careers, extend their fan base.

Check out Pierre Johnson, Ubiza Wethu, Siphe Tebeko. Their EP is perfect for summer. Also look out for the new drop from Tshego this weekend. It’s going to be dope.

TC: That’s so awesome I’ll definitely do that! So to sum up what we’ve been chatting about, what sets JOOX apart from other streaming services on the market?

TA: So, we have what the other services have: playlists you can browse, create and share, recommendations, hot new albums, charts by genre, local and international music etc.

What sets us apart? I would say it’s our people. We haven’t just deployed JOOX in South Africa, we cared from the get-go about making the right music choices for our local market. We prioritized putting music industry people in place to curate the best music we could provide. It’s not automating a catalogue update. It’s about creating a community of music lovers and giving our fans access to their artists.

We have regular fan competitions to win access to artist events, data giveaways to help you download more music, richer content including music videos, interviews and Behind-the-Scenes.

Oh, and we also have karaoke. The feature we under-estimated in a big way. We’ve run auditions for recording contracts and music videos with this feature already.

TC: I’m all for a good karaoke session, although mine normally take place in the early hours of the morning. But I digress – our cost of data aside, I fee l like the South African market is ready to fully embrace streaming. I think it hasn’t already because there’s a lot of education that needs to be done around the mechanisms of streaming. How can we go about bridging that gap and educating South Africans about the concept and workings of streaming?

TA: We remain involved in ongoing education about streaming and listening to legal music. It’s interviews like this that allow us to tell the story and profile how critical streaming music is for artists.

That fundamentally whilst you’re listening choices improve, listening to legal music means that artists get paid for what they make.

And on the data point, music streaming doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you are smart with your data. We encourage people to download their music and listen offline so when you are out and about off Wi-Fi for example, they already have their songs offline and are ready to go at no cost.
Source: Texx and the City

Stonebwoy To Host ‘Ashaiman To Da World’ Concert

Stonebwoy will host this year’s edition of his annual musical concert dubbed ‘Ashaiman To Da World Concert’ in Ashaiman on October 27. The event will bring together individuals and lovers of dancehall, hip-hop and hiplife music who will witness performances from Ghana’s finest artistes.

Bound to be a show with magical and fiery performances from an incredible line-up of Ghanaian celebrated music icons, organisers are looking forward to an extraordinary concert yet to happen in Ghana.

Some of the artistes billed to rock the stage are Samini, Stonebwoy, Yaa Pono, MzVee, Sarkodie, Kwaw Kese, among others, who are expected to heat up the crowd with their hit songs.

All the performing artistes billed to rock the event are also expected to set the venue on fire with their back-to-back hits and stagecraft. Shatta Wale is also expected to make a surprise appearance at the concert.

According to the organisers, Stonebwoy is ready to unleash an extraordinary performance on the night; one that Ghanaian music fans have never witnessed before.

Last year’s event attracted the biggest crowd to ever grace any event staged in Ghana, and all artistes billed for the show proved their worth on the night. The crowd in excess of 20,000 covered the entire Saka Saka Park as they cried for more after seven hours of non-stop music. Music fans have judged the concert as one of the biggest event of the year. This year’s edition promises to stage the biggest and most electrifying street concert ever in Ghana.
Source: Daily Guide

BMG acquires world music record label

Global music industry player BMG Rights Management has bought World Circuit Records. The deal, which reportedly involves millions of dollars, sees the label own Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder’s 1994 album Talking Timbuktu and the international debut album by Malian recording artist Oumou Sangare.

This comes as part of a cache of recordings from Cuba and West Africa, the strongholds of World Circuit Records, which also worked with Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara and Congolese band Mbongwana Star.

By acquiring the world music label, BMG has also come into ownership of the Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) album, which is popularly referred to as the most successful world music album ever made.

Following the acquisition BMG will take over World Circuit‘s catalog of recordings and publishing copyrights. Nick Gold, World Circuit's creative head, is to help BMG with new projects.

“BMG’s respect for artists and writers, their vision of the future and the opportunities that lay ahead make it a natural and exciting home for World Circuit," said Gold. "Having been lucky enough to have worked with such amazing musicians and being a part of such timeless recordings, I’m now looking forward to the next chapter in the World Circuit story”.

Speaking about the acquisition, Peter Stack, BMG’s Executive Vice President Global Catalogue Recordings, said: “World Circuit has been a pioneer in recording and marketing outstanding artists and collaborations from around the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome World Circuit to BMG and excited to be working with Nick Gold, one of the most inspirational figures in world music. We look forward to continuing and developing the work of this amazing label.”

Several performers from countries including Cuba, Colombia, Spain, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal who found fame in the west were signed by World Circuit. Some of the African artists were also instrumental to the label's success, the late Ali Farka Toure's 1993 collaboration with Ry Cooder having given the label its biggest visibility up until that point: Talking Timbuktu won a Grammy and sold a million records. In 2006, World Circuit celebrated its 20th anniversary with a compilation album consisting of songs released over two decades.

A dozen years after that celebration, the new owners of the record label are looking to the future.

“Plans are already well underway for a number of new releases and reissues, and the booming music streaming market is expected to extend the reach of World Circuit’s music even further,” BMG said.
Source Music in Africa

In Brief

Rasethaba directed We`re Not Fresh, a new music video for Honda. The music video forms part of a campaign that aims to show how Honda has 'freshened' its brand.

Nigerian Gospel Artiste St. Chika is set to release his 5-track EP titled Worship on the Go on Wednesday, October 17 2017.  There has been a lot of buzz about St. Chika in the past months, for his record breaking 4hrs long song featuring 64 verses and for his hit single higher which hit 100,000 streams on spotify. WORSHIP ON THE GO LP is the third compilation of songs released by the Gospel Singer since 2017.  Before releasing the worship single Odi Onye and it's musical video, St. Chika released worship songs like Bigger Than What People Say, Given Us Victory and Jesus Only You which are also featured in this EP. He also included an entirely new worship song titled Eze to the EP.

NJIN Digital Marketing Agency has signed South African rock band, The Parlotones, as a new client. The ad agency will offer a range of services, including a mix of traditional, new media and creative services.

Social Media++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Why are African governments criminalising online speech? Because they fear its power

Africa’s landscape of online free speech and dissent is gradually, but consistently, being tightened. In legal and economic terms, the cost of speaking out is rapidly rising across the continent.

While most governments are considered democratic in that they hold elections with multi-party candidates and profess participatory ideals, in practice, many operate much closer dictatorships — and they appear to be asserting more control over digital space with each passing day.

Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Benin have in the recent past witnessed internet shutdowns, the imposition of taxes on blogging and social media use, and the arrest of journalists. Media workers and citizens have been jailed on charges ranging from publishing “false information” to exposing state secrets to terrorism.

At the recent Forum of Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFA) held in Accra, Ghana, a group of panelists from various African countries all said they feared African governments were interested in controlling digital space to keep citizens in check.

Many countries have statutes and laws which guarantee the right to free expression. In Nigeria, for example, the Freedom of Information Act grants citizens the right to demand information from any government agency. Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution provides for freedom of the press and Section 39 maintains that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference…” Read the full article on Global Voices here:

Nigeria: Why we conceived the idea of Bloggers Summit – NIRA

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), manager of Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) on the Internet, has adduced reasons it conceived the idea of gathering bloggers together, to what it has tagged Bloggers Summit.

NIRA, according to its President, Mr. Sunday Folayan said the Bloggers summit was conceived as a vehicle for increasing the avenue for Networking amongst bloggers, creating an environment to promote responsible blogging in this era of Fake News and Hate Speech.

Other reasons he gave at the summit, which attracted bloggers, journalists and media enterprenuers are encouraging and rewarding stellar performances within the blogging community, stimulating the industry by ensuring that Bloggers develop and publish content relevant to the society, creating job opportunities for Nigerians because of the associated businesses like Content hosting and Website design.

“We decided to organize the Bloggers Summit, which is in it second year because we want to maintain and develop  capacities and skill sets required to keep blogs on-line, other opportunities and of course, the need to ensure that blogging commands respect from the larger society, because of its disruptive nature  in communication and information dissemination,” Folayan added.

The Bloggers Summit, which happened yesterday at the NIRA’s headquarter was categorised into educational sessions, influencer interactions, sessions on monetizing blogs, working with brands as a senior influencer and discussions on other topical issues such as the legal impact of blogging, monetization and on-line payment, the art of blogging about individuals and the society, Responsible citizenship, emerging trends as well as the inherent benefits in flocking together, etc.

“It is my belief that the participants would benefit from the information, interactions and other opportunities this summit offers. We believe that this summit would lead to increased human networking, increase in the uptake of .ng based on a better understanding of what NIRA is, what NIRA does, and how NIRA can better serve the needs of bloggers and the larger society, and ultimately, increased trust in the .ng brand,” he assured.
Source: IT Pulse Nigeria

Third-party fact checking for Facebook South Africa

Facebook has announced the implementation of third-party fact checking for news and information in South Africa.

This new security feature is meant to “help assess the accuracy of news in South Africa, and reduce the spread of misinformation, whilst improving the quality of news people find” on the social media platform, the company explains in an announcement.

The company is working alongside certified fact-checking organisations AfricaCheck and AFP: “Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution,” the announcement explains.

The reduction of this distribution averages at 80% according to a statement from SADC Facebook Public Policy Manager Emilar Gandhi: “Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share,” she explains. Facebook reminds that such a programme relies on feedback from users to work effectively.

Source: Memburn

In Brief

Select Car Leasing, using Google's data, takes a look into the most searched for car brands around the world (including Africa) for the past 12 months.  The data reveals a fascinating insight into global car interest and desires in 2018. These vehicle's aren't necessarily the most sold vehicles in their respective countries; in South Africa Toyota and Volkswagen take the lion's share in terms of most popular vehicles. According to Select Car Leasing: "As bakkies remain incredibly popular in Africa, particularly in tourist heavy countries, it perhaps isn’t surprising to see Toyota a clear leader in the region and searched for in a massive 26 countries. Again, BMW and Mercedes-Benz make an appearance, being searched for in 10 and 7 countries respectively”.

LinkedIn will be hosting the South Africa Talent Awards, an exclusive event to celebrate the success of local companies in the talent acquisition and employer branding space...The awards highlight the success of employers, individuals and teams headquartered in South Africa using LinkedIn to make a significant impact within their organisations. LinkedIn’s insights team analyse the performance, results and impact organisations have when finding, hiring and retaining top talent.
LinkedIn, a business-focused social networking site is the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members. In South Africa, some six million professionals have profiles on LinkedIn, with more than 270,000 local companies represented, and 170,000 jobs on offer.The theme for the awards, to be held in Sandton on 18 October, is “Talent Intelligence”, using data and insights to make people a business’s competitive advantage.

South Africa: Twitter has brought out a new setting that will enable users on iOS and Android to save data while they browse, reports MyBroadband. With data saver, images will load in a smaller size, allowing them to load more quickly, and autoplay videos are disabled, said Jesar Shah, product manager at Twitter. Customers can turn data saver mode on or off in their data usage settings on iOS and Android. The feature is also available on Twitter Lite, said Shah.


ZNBC Board Chairperson refutes reports of take over of ZNBC by China’s Star Times

Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Management has issued a statement saying that it is not true that the National Broadcaster has merged with Star Times.

ZNBC Board Chairperson Mulenga Kampwepwe said that ZNBC is 100% owned by the Citizens and cannot be sold or taken over without the approval of Parliament, adding that the relationship between ZNBC and Star Times was in relations to the formation of the Joint venture company called Top Star.

Ms. Kapwepwe said that the two companies have retained their full operational and ownership autonomy and that the statement from CCPC must therefore be taken in the context of ZNBC and Star Times coming together to create Top star Communication Company Limited.

Ms. Kapwepwe further said that this relationship will not in any way affect the shareholding of ZNBC and Star Times as both parties remain Independent.

Ms. Kapwepwe added it must be noted that the law allows ZNBC to enter into agreement and partnerships as regard to its operations.

Earlier reports had emerged that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has granted a conditional authorisation for a merger between ZNBC and Hantex Corporation which is controlled by China’s Startimes.

An application was made on June 20 for the merger of the two institutions.   Star Times’s shareholding in ZNBC would only be relinquished upon full payment of an over $270 million loan obtained by the government for the digital migration exercise.

ZNBC and Hantex formed a joint venture called Top Star, which is currently controls television signals on the local market.
Source:  Lusaka  Times

In Brief

Following the successful inaugural JamLab Accelerator Programme, it is happy to announce that it will be mentoring a second batch of media start-ups in South Africa for 2019. This six-month hothouse accelerator programme for journalism and media innovators will provide teams with the tools, facilities, contacts, and support necessary to realise their ideas and ambitions. Applications for the incubator are now open. Read more:

OpenView; new local TV news channel infused with social media content will make use of new Cape Town interactive studio. eMedia Investments will launch its new free-to-air TV news channel OpenNews on 1 November on its Openview satellite service, with the social media infused news channel that will chase news that's trending and going viral.  OpenNews will be done from a new interactive studio in Cape Town just like when first launched its eNews TV news bulletins in 1999 from its former Longkloof Studios to bring South African viewers an alternative to the television news from the South African public broadcaster. Read the full article on Teeveetee blogspot here:

State owned broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is set to expand its television empire to six stations within the next three months. This was revealed by Information and Publicity Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana during a live radio interview with a local station this past week. Mangwana said the new development was in line with government's roll out of its long-delayed digitisation programme set to make room for a total of 24 television channels for the country. Of these, ZBC shall control six with the rest up for grabs among private players.
"ZBC has capacity and has got enough content to run a total of six channels," Mangwana said. "Now we have just finished studio six, ZBC is almost ready. "Because we got capacity for 24 channels in Zimbabwe and we are going to have 24 channels in Zimbabwe, going forward and of the 24, ZBC will have six."

Digital Advertising+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dotts Media House emerges winner of Africa’s most outstanding quality digital marketing Company of The Year 2018

DottsMediaHouse (est, 2014), a leading digital marketing agency based in Lagos Nigeria, has been announced as the 2018 winner of Africa’s Most Outstanding Quality Digital Marketing Company of The Year 2018.. This announcement was made at the 6th edition event ceremony of the African Quality Achievement Award that took place in Sheraton Lagos on Friday September 28th 2018. The award presented by the World Alliance Group & Africa Quality Congress to Dotts Media House was in recognition of its excellent service delivery and immense participation in over 80% of the most successful digital campaigns & activations executed by global brands in Nigeria.

African Quality Achievement Awards 2018 fondly known as [AQAA] was initiated to celebrate leadership innovation and creativity in quality management in Africa.
Aimed at identifying, recognizing  and rewarding companies, personalities and products that apply Quality Culture and Quality Management with best practices.

Other award recipients of the evening include – PZ Cuzzons / Pure Bliss Biscuits / CWAY Nigeria / Eliezer LTD etc. The Award General Secretary, Ifeoma Emeka, in a statement, said, “The award was initiated to celebrate leadership innovation and creativity in quality management in Africa.It is also aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies, personalities and products that apply quality culture and quality management best practice to the analysis, planning and implementation and control of policies, designed to achieve corporate objectives in both profit and non- profit making organisation in Africa.”

According to Ifeoma, subsequent awards would be held in other African countries such as South Africa, Ghana, and Egypt.
Source: YNaija

Alarms sounding for local media agencies because of Google/Facebook duopoly and consultants

A recent survey of multinational marketers revealed startlingly high levels of dissatisfaction with their current agency roster arrangements, and brands around the world have initiated media agency reviews. The heads of South African agencies give their views on what’s going on.

Headlines in the international marketing press are sounding alarm bells about the future of media agencies. They speak of media shops facing identity crises. They warn that agencies might follow the dinosaurs if they do not tackle transparency. They announce that clients are creating their own hybrid media models, taking elements of their business in-house. They caution that consulting firms are now a serious alternative in the eyes of advertisers.

The survey results are not surprising, with multinational marketers scoring their current agency roster arrangements at 5.7 out of 10. (Source: The Future of Agency Rosters by the World Federation of Advertisers and strategic partner The Observatory International). Agencies were even more downbeat in their view of the arrangements, scoring them at 5.2. Media agencies are but one of the disciplines in the spectrum of marketing services, which face the underlying paradox highlighted by the survey: six out of 10 clients indicated they were looking to reduce the number of agencies they worked with, but five out of 10 claimed to be intending to increase the number of specialists they use.

Specialisation has been the focus of the network agencies. Besides identifying new markets as strategic priorities for growth, the WPP 2017 Annual Report highlighted the importance of new media and technology, data and content. It is not alone in developing these areas of specialisation; Omnicom, IPG, Publicis Groupe, and the Dentsu Aegis Network have similar focuses.

Moving from the global level to a local one, media agency heads also share a similar view of the threats they face. Chris Botha, group managing director of The MediaShop, part of IPG Mediabrands, believes “there are two big threats on everyone’s lips: one being the dangerous duopoly of Facebook and Google, and the other being the consultants (PWC, Accenture, Deloitte and the like).”

Josh Dovey, CEO of Africa for Omnicom Media Group, South Africa, concurs on the tech company threat, and also mentions programmatic advertising, an area where the consultants are investing.

Also wary of the latter is Anne Dearnaley, CEO of PHD South Africa, who points to “transparency as an ongoing threat to the entire industry”. She acknowledges that the advertising and media industry has and is undergoing profound change – “the whole ecosystem is in a pretty tricky place right now”.

Ana Carrapichano, founder and CEO of homegrown Mediology, agrees on the issue of transparency. This has “led marketers to cut out the agencies and deal directly with the media owners”.

In addition, she sees automation as another big threat, “With AI and machine learning becoming more and more prevalent, the ability to produce results without human capital is increasing. This then leads to a secondary threat (or reality) of clients taking media in-house”.

Federico De Nardis, CEO of GroupM, who recently arrived from Europe, stresses that local media agencies cannot afford any complacency in thinking that “it is business as usual”.

In a similar vein, Botha believes “the reality, is that media agencies only have one real threat – ourselves. If we cease to grow, develop, and offer value to clients, then we will cease to exist. We need to continually show the value that we bring (that others can’t) – then we’ll be ok”.
Evolve agencies to embrace change

Dearnaley argues that it is the responsibility of leaders to evolve their businesses to embrace change and mitigate the threats. She cites the rise of digital as once having been a threat to the traditional media agency, but points out that PHD now has a 20-strong in-house digital team. The profitable and successful embrace of digital is a recurrent theme among local agency leaders, providing a reassuring example of the industry’s ability to evolve.

Echoing this, Carrapichano suggests that independent agencies and smaller shops have the benefit of being nimble and agile, allowing them to adapt to this fast-changing ecosystem. For her, the key has been to keep in touch with her client’s requirements, “adapting and evolving as the market needs, reviewing our services and diversifying”.

From the global network perspective, Dovey argues that media agencies have to provide the “intellectual input” to lead clients in navigating the disrupted environment. There is an advantage to having access to experiences from a range of developed and developing markets. But Dovey also points to the advantage of scale. This is not simply about delivering trading clout, but also the ability to invest in better research and being able to amortise the costs.

Concurring with this, Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network SSA, characterises buying braggadocio as “boring” and refers to Carat’s Consumer Connections Study (CCS), a single source media, marketing and consumer-targeting data survey, as a source of insight.

Even more future facing has been the Dentsu Aegis acquisition of Merkle, a data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency with a formidable US database of 300 million unique IDs. The mar-tech arena is seen as crucial by the networks.

Omnicom Precision Marketing Group has just acquired a majority stake in mar-tech and ecommerce management and technology consultancy Credera, while IPG has stumped up $2 billion to acquire Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS), a database marketing company collecting information from an estimated 2.2 billion consumers worldwide.

But this is not where the local battles are being fought, just yet. Severe in her assessment of the local market, Rowlands talks of “massive legacy drag” and “the limited views and overinflated opinions of industry” that some players still have. De Nardis delicately points out that the local market remains “conservative” with its dominant investment on TV. Digital has not evolved to levels of most Western, and some Asian economies. Building meaningful data layers requires investment and given the relatively small size of the local market, the major groups have been lethargic in this area.

An international observer concurs that the South African market has been slow to invest in diversified services, in part because there are still a lot of traditional advertisers. Taking the Nordics as a cautionary example, he says the groups, which had fundamentally restructured and invested ahead of the curve gained large traction; those following an old model or tinkering at the edges quickly lost share. The tipping point was quicker and more profound than had been anticipated.

Botha provides a buoyant perspective, characterising The MediaShop’s service offering and revenue streams as “chalk and cheese” compared with 10 years ago. Two factors drove this: a more demanding client environment and the need for diversified income streams. Clients have been receptive to new offerings such as attribution modelling, econometric modelling, OOH production, SEO, activations, and research and promotions, which now make up nearly 15% of agency revenue.

Dearnaley cites the recent launch of an econometric division, led by Deborah Schepers, as PHD’s current focus. This allows them to finally answer the question of “which half of my advertising is working?” and guide clients to make informed decisions, ranging from “how much do we need to spend for uplift and where should we spend?” to “what durations and formats are effective?”. This is a decisive move into the consulting space. Interestingly, Schepers points out that it requires professionalism and maturity to be able to hear the bad news, which may be delivered from a clinically objective statistical approach.
New perspectives from staff

Of course, people are important too! Carrapichano points out that “training and appointing staff from different backgrounds, representing South Africa’s demographics is paramount to staying a dynamic agency.” Adopting new disciplines can be a catalyst for bringing in new perspectives. De Nardis points out that digital skills are fiercely sought internationally and a real scarcity in Africa makes investment in upskilling of the youth critical.

Local agency leaders are aware of being part of a “mobile first” continent from which unique lessons can be learnt. Rowlands, for example, cites Kenya as a country where the widespread use of relatively low-tech cellphones has led to the development of inexpensive, but ingenious and effective communication solutions.

The survival, or, possible renaissance, of media agencies is dependent on their ability to lead client conversation. Rowlands suggests that more datacentric agencies will be well poised to take this guiding role and argues that recruiting will tilt strongly towards field of science.

Dearnaley endorses that there is major benefit to clients having one trusted expert, with a holistic understanding of their brands and their market, data and channel planning. Having multiple agency partners to cater for various marketing needs is costly both financially and in terms of time. The advantage that the consultants have is that they talk business rather than communications, explains De Nardis.

A cursory look at any of the network offerings shows the rate at which the global players have developed specialisms, and these extend beyond their media companies. To take the example of WPP, the 2017 annual report shows that the group’s interests span advertising, media investment management, data investment management, public relations and public affairs, brand consulting, health and wellness, and specialist communication including digital, direct and interactive.

It is little wonder that clients are somewhat bewildered by this array of expertise and are calling for simplification and new models. Before his departure from the group, Sir Martin Sorrell had coined the term “horizontality” to describe an approach to overcoming the vertical silos preventing group collaboration and as a way to harness the collective capabilities of the group to deliver optimum performance.

Building bespoke solutions for clients, from such a broad range of disciplines, is no easy task. It either requires a truly intimate knowledge of what each client’s specific needs are, or clients who understand and can articulate their needs well. It is not a simple matter of reverting to a full-service model, but to determining what constitutes full service for each client.

The starkest obstacle to collaboration is the all-important P and L. De Nardis argues that shared Ps and Ls are key to facilitating such solutions, and Rowlands seconds this, pointing out that Dentsu has led the pack, having adopted a one P&L per country structure.

Clearly there are no fast or imminent answers to how media agencies will evolve in the broader marketing context. South Africa has the advantage of being able to draw from more advanced and differently evolving markets. Its media agency leaders are, on the whole, buoyant and bullish, keen to embrace the challenge of ongoing change and development. That suggests that they should be OK, or more than OK.
Source: The Media Online

In Brief

Ogilvy Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of WPP Scangroup, has opened a new office in Lagos, Nigeria. Ogilvy Nigeria becomes the integrated communications’ firm 24th office in sub-Saharan Africa and will be headed by Fiona Uwagwu. Until her appointment as managing director of Ogilvy Nigeria, Uwagwu was managing partner for customer engagement in the Ogilvy office in Nairobi and had also worked at Ogilvy UK. According to Bharat Thakrar, WPP Scangroup CEO, this is confirmation of the group’s commitment to enhance its communication services offering for clients across the region. The Ogilvy brand was previously represented in Nigeria under Prima Garnet Communications. An amicable out-of-court settlement between Ogilvy & Mather Africa and Prima Garnet Communications, reached in December 2017, paved the way for the opening of Ogilvy Nigeria.

Ghana: The Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged players in the advertising industry to embrace technology or risk falling behind the competition. Addressing the 12th edition of the Gong Gong Awards, the flagship event of the Advertising Association of Ghana in Accra on the theme: ‘Technology, Brand Purpose and the Empowered Consumer’, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah underscored the need for advertisers to be innovative in serving their clients. “Technology has always been a catalyst for industry growth, reinvention and sometimes total change. While it starts off by seeking to make life easier, its true effect is eaten by a total turnaround on how things are done. This can wipe out old players, especially those who don’t adapt while it opens up new spaces to the early adopters”, he said.

Other Digital Content and Services++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Goethe-Institut works with with augmented reality specialists Something Else Design Agency to create  new fooitball card game 

The Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, in cooperation with augmented reality specialists Something Else Design Agency, has created a brand new card game which not only celebrates South African freestyle football culture, but also brings it alive through the latest Augmented Reality technology. "Diski Skills" is an exciting, quick card game, set in a South African street football scenario showing popular tricks such as the Shibobo, Tsamaya or Scara Turn to only name a few. Each trick is rated in categories of Attack, Defense and Swag - you win the game bychallenging your opponent strategicallywith the trick at hand. Through Augmented Reality technology, the cards come alive: Move your cellphone over a card and watch as the trick magically appears on your screen in a slow motion video. Therefore, an educational value is added as players can study the tricks and learn more about the idea behind it. The game will be launched in a fun filled event on 27 October 2018 (starting from 1pm) at the Goethe-Institut, with opportunities to play the game and a freestyle competition aiming to find new talent. The competition will be judged by a jury consisting of professional freestylers and PSL players, with amazing prizes to be won. Participants can enter by uploading a short video of their skills on social media, tagging the Goethe-Institut and using the hashtag #DiskiSkills.

In Brief

Google wants to help Africa’s motorcycles taxis navigate roads better. The company launched the motorcycle mode feature on Google Maps today (Oct. 15) in Kenya, a first in Africa. The new routing mode offers turn-by-turn navigation, avoids restricted roads, suggests routes and shortcuts that are more efficient, and shows accurate arrival times. The feature was first introduced in India last year and is currently available in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, where motorcycle use is very widespread. Google also announced it would launch the Street View service in Kenya, allowing locals and tourists to explore up to 9,500 kilometers (5,900 miles) of roads including in coastal cities like Mombasa.

Naspers Ltd is planning to increase its stake in Indian online food delivery business Swiggy as the startup plots its third funding round of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. Africa’s largest company by market value has indicated that it intends to support a financing that could raise more than $600 million, Swiggy’s biggest to date, according to the people. There’s also an opportunity to buy stakes from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Tencent Holdings Ltd, the Chinese internet giant in which Naspers owns a 31% stake, is also planning to invest in the fundraising, according to one of the people.

If you’d like to subscribe to Digital Content Africa send an email to with Digital Content Africa in the header. If you think that there are African creators and innovators we should be interviewing, send me a message on twitter @smartmonkeytv

Yours sincerely

Russell Southwood
Smart Monkey TV

PS Watch Dawit Abraham, Qene Technologies on its 3D mobile game Kukula, an African game to conquer the world:

PPS To subscribe to our web TV channel Smart Monkey TV, click on the link below and press the red Subscribe button below the monkey with the camera on the logo:

Dawit Abraham, Qene Technologies on its 3D mobile game Kukula, an African game to conquer the world

Dawit Abraham, CEO and Co-Founder, Qene Technologies talks about: Eithiopia’s first mobile 3D game; the number of downloads and where they’ve come from; how many downloaders paid for the premium version of the game; and its ambitions to do more games.

Ebenezer Owoeye, Genesis Studios on its series Tales of Eve about challenges faced by African women

Ebenezer Owoeye, Genesis Studios talks about: what its Tales of Eve TV drama series is about; the new series Legacy that it is trying to get off the ground; and its license to make make the TV format The Price is Right in Nigeria.

Izu Osuigwe, CEO, Forest TV on its African channels VoD platform and its new satellite offering

Izu Osuigwe, CEO, Forest TV talks about: the countries where its VoD service is available; the kinds of African TV channels it offers;  and its new satellite offering.

Adekunle “Nodash” Adejuyigbe on his film The Delivery Boy about a child suicide bomber

Nigerian film-maker Adekunle “Nodash” Adejuyigbe talks about: the story in his film The Delivery Boy; how he uses the film to help him understand the protagonist’s motivations; and his next project looking at depression in Nigeria.

Aibee Abidoye, 5ive Music on the challenges facing mobile music services in Nigeria

Aibee Abidoye,  General Manager, 5ive Music talks about: 5ive Music’s role as a distribution platform; the artists it has on the platform; the mobile operators it is working with; the regulatory issues it faces on pricing; and continuing issues around the revenue share with operators.

Serge Kalu, TV Zimbo on how the new President is opening up the TV and media space in Angola

Serge Kalu, Contet Manager, TV Zimbo talks about: how private TV station TV Zimbo is programmed; how things are changing in media and news terms in Angola; and the expansion of the TV broadcasting space.

Dayo Akinrinade & Ray AjikeAjoke on start-up Africlick, a dating app for global Africans

Dayo Akinrinade, Founder and Ray AjikeAjoke, Head of Growth, Africlick talk about: why Dayo Akinrinade launched Africlick; how the app works, the business model for the app and its functionalities; the potential size of the market; the balance of users between Lagos and London; and raising investment.

Abdulai Awudu, Multi TV on its TV comedy show Kejetia vs Makola

Abdulai Awudu, General Manager, Multi TV talks about: how the idea transferred from one of its radio stations; how it has built local comedy talent; what the show’s set-up is; its audience ratings; and its impact on social media.

Ema Edosio on her new film Kasala! about 4 slum brothers who wreck their Uncle’s car

Director Ema Edosio talks about: her new film Kasala!; the story of brotherhood in the film; the actors in the film; the lack of a distribution deal; her next film project; and the barriers faced by Nollywood film-makers.

Jade Osiberu on her film about a women who has to choose between marriage for her or her family

Film-maker Jade Osiberu talks about: her latest film Isoken; the story about the pressure on women to marry in Nigeria; whether this pressure to marry is changing; what identity means; and her next film project.