Zoopy has announced a change in the way it’s doing business. It is moving from being an online platform first and a mobile service second, and becoming primarily a mobile video platform, with a mobi site, apps for the major platforms, and a website.
The company says, “The new Zoopy will be a first of its kind – a mobile video tabloid that will feature the best of international and local infotainment. Or as our slogan promises: the world in 90 seconds (or less). We’re creating a fresh look at the news and events of the day, in an entertaining format that makes it fun to catch up with what’s going on in the world around you.”
TheMediaOnline caught up with CEO Jason Elk, and asked him 10 questions.
1. What has been the response to your announcement from Zoopy users who generate their own content?
The overall response has been incredibly supportive, with so many users really excited about the new site and the quality of our videos. We’ve had a handful of users who’ve been disappointed, and this backs up our thinking behind the move. Users want somewhere to enjoy quality news and entertainment videos. That’s the new Zoopy.
2. You say over 20-million South Africans own web-capable phones. But are they using the functionality of the phones? It’s been quite expensive if you’re not on BlackBerry!
With the exception of a handful of old or extremely low-capacity feature phones, any web-enabled phone should allow you to watch our videos. We detect the handset being used and then deliver a range of video formats that suit your phone, from 3gp and streaming options on the low-end to mp4 on the high-end. Mobile costs depend on the package you’re on, but costs range from 18c to 80c per megabyte, with the average settling around 30c. So if an average video of ours is 2-3mb, they’ll be spending less than R1 on average to view a video. As data costs continue to become more competitive, this will obviously become even more affordable for even more users.
3. When you refer to ‘mobile video’ are you talking about YouTube downloads, or are we moving onto films, television shows? What is the most-used mobile video content right now?
Mobile video entertainment, when we refer to it, means better-quality video that we’ve produced. It’s not user-generated and it’s nicely finished off – it’s watchable and especially made for mobile both in content and format.
As you make the transition from online platform to mobile video platform, where are you sourcing your content? Any major partners on board, local and international?
We produce our content internally with a team of content producers in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Some of the content is sourced internationally, which we then edit/package/integrate into our stories as we feel is appropriate as part of our content strategy.
5. What sort of apps are you looking into?
We’ve already got iPhone and Blackberry apps available, and an Android app will launch within the next month.
6. Will you stagger your subscription offers, like DSTV does, with premium and light packages?
We don’t charge for our service. We do however have plans to introduce certain events or formats that will be available as an optional cost to users who are interested.
7. If people ‘gravitate’ to Zoopy TV items, does this mean you’re looking for more staff? Are there opportunities for young South Africans to get in on the future with you? If so, what skills are you looking for?
Part of our relaunch included restructuring of our teams, so we don’t have any available positions right now.
8. What sort of local content are you looking for?
We’re delivering content across news, sports and entertainment but in our unique flavour. It has to be quick, punchy and interesting from the first second.
9. Explain your concept of a mobile video tabloid?
Light, quick videos of a range of stories that focus on things people are talking about, made for various sizes and formats at small file sizes.
10. Where is this industry going to be in 10 years time?
An impossible question for anyone to answer. 10 months in 2011 equals 10 years in 1960.