Tiso Blackstar Group is looking to evolve its paywalls across most of its digital platforms, using reader data insights to make the shift. It will affect prices that subscribers pay, with more regular visitors to the sites paying less.
The group has also been on a recruitment drive, employing a couple of data analysts and is currently looking for a person to become a full time audience manager.
While not willing to give specific subscriber figures at this stage, Tiso Blackstar Group’s managing editor of digital Riaan Wolmarans reveals that total BusinessLIVE subscriptions have added 30% to the titles subscriber base.
These are some of the insights into what South African and African media companies are doing, revealed at the WAN_IFRA Digital Media Africa Conference held in Johannesburg last week.
Emphasising free-to-air opportunities
Broadcaster Kwesé is taking a different approach, focusing on free-to-air opportunities across Africa, which is where they say “the main revenue is today”.
“Where we’ve moved from is being a multiple platform business that’s been focused on free-to-air digital and DTT and a paid platform as well. What we found over the last 18 months of trading is that there’s a cap in terms of the revenue opportunities in and around pay, and the way the continent, particularly sub-Saharan Africa is structured, there’s a clear opportunity around free-to-air,” explains Carl Jordan, head of media: digital for sub-Saharan Africa at Kwesé.
Content across multiple platforms
Viacom International’s current strategy hinges on a maximum exposure approach.
Alex Okosi, executive VP and managing director at Viacom International Media Networks Africa and BET International explains, “Putting content across every single platform is important. Using YouTube and selling the content to other OTT platforms is becoming an important play for us, which has become critical to our growth.”
Ensuring your content is the most relevant out there, being aware of the changing landscape and pursuing platforms that reach consumers, are Okosi’s biggest tips to other media.
Okosi identifies shrinking advertising budgets as the biggest challenge in the market explaining, “The money in the market is not growing as fast as you would want it to grow, so the pie is not getting much bigger, so that’s a challenge. But us having a digital play and a traditional play enables us to shore up our strategy and our revenues.”
Mobile-first news video
Reuters, which has been reporting news on the continent for the past 150 years, has recently set about changing its approach to reporting.
“The demand for compelling, multi-platform content is only going to grow. Growth in online video is seeing significant growth on the African continent, given projections of the way digital and mobile media is going to rise,” explains Serena Chaudhry, Reuters editor of Africa Journal.
Short-form, diverse content with creative shooting, which also includes user-generated and live video content, has become the primary focus.