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YouTube on a rampage over licencing

Posted by radio On June - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

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It’s being reported that the media sharing giant will be removing indie artists of all genres from its site According to, some of your favorite videos may disappear forever from YouTube.


The news comes as some music trade groups have criticized YouTube’s plans to potentially block the content of certain labels from appearing on YouTube’s free, ad-supported Website unless they sign deals to participate in the new, subscription streaming music service. The deals that YouTube is offering are on “highly unfavorable, and non-negotiable terms,” according to a news release issued by the Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network last month.


YouTube declined to comment on the terms of the deals, but said in a statement that the new service would provide new revenue for the music industry.


The site, which is owned by Google, has already signed licensing deals with most of the music industry’s major distributors, however, the independent labels are refusing the allegedly unfair deals that Google has set up for them.


With YouTube building up a paid subscription service, the indies are being faced with two options; sign the licensing deals or face being left off the service AND have your content removed from the site.


While we wish that we had a 100% success rate, we understand that is is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry to launch the enhanced music experience”, says Robert Kyncl, VP and Global Head of Business at YouTube.

The new service is alleged to be called MusicPass and is intended to change the way people use YouTube. Users will be able to download music just like Spotify, iTunes Radio, and Amazon’s recently added Prime Music.


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MTN to partner with simfy africa

Posted by radio On June - 5 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

MTN South Africa has become the first mobile operator in the country to launch a streaming music service following an exclusive partnership with South African based simfy Africa.


For R49 per month, MTN customers will be able to listen to all of their favourite music via streaming or in an offline mode. Customers can access an endless supply of music across multiple devices including their computer, tablet and smartphone. All customers will have the opportunity to try the full service, and enjoy all of its features during a two week free trial period.

“MTN is proud to be the first to bring an innovative streaming music service direct to our customer’s smart devices,’ says Mike Fairon: General Manager Products and solutions. simfy Africa offers superior technology and a strong focus on the best music content, making them a fantastic partner for MTN. “Customers no longer need to use a separate ipod, MP3 or CD player. Living in the connected world means that there is no need to carry a dedicated music player if a smartphone or tablet can just as effectively fulfil that function,” adds Fairon

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The service will be available to the public from 4 June 2014. The user simply needs to register at and confirm their username and password. All that remains is to download the simfy Africa mobile application from either the Android, iOS or Blackberry stores, or access simfy Africa via their website. This will provide customers with full access to 23 million songs that include a full selection of top international,South African and African content across all musical genres, including RnB, pop, alternative, jazz, soundtracks, opera and SA favourites hip hop, kwaito, Afrikaans and SA rock.

‘We have a strongly African focus’, says Gillian Ezra, Chief Operating Officer of simfy Africa. ‘As a company which is locally based, we ensure that our product is targeted to the needs of the South African consumer, both in technology and music choices. This partnership with MTN will further extend this ethos, allowing us to offer added and exclusive benefits.’

Simfy Africa is an ‘on demand’ service, thus customers can choose the music they would like to hear and access it instantly. Users can choose to listen to tracks or albums, or even set up their own unique playlists, and share any of these with friends via social media. Users also have the choice of accessing the hundreds of pre-made playlists which are easily accessible via the service. Also on offer are the built in personalised radio channels, proving the ultimate ‘sit back’ experience. All music offered on the service is fully licensed.

Simfy Africa launched in South Africa in late 2012, and has been steadily building and improving its service since that time.

“This follows the recent announcement that MTN is providing its customers with free WeChat streaming to the CliffCentral unradio radio station. It is further testament to how MTN is identifying strategic partnerships with content providers that are able to enrich the lives of its customers,” says Mike Fairon: General Manager Products and solutions

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Media Modelling of the future

Posted by radio On June - 2 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

In a time of browsing and scheming, future media models are all about reading – grasping the attention of the bored consumer – and being innovative with digital. But, it is predicted that 80 to 90% of publishers will still fail to innovate. They will fail because they have not integrated digital strategy with print strategy. They will fail because they have not understood digital margins vs. print margins. They will fail because they cling to the banner ad and have failed to develop viable alternatives and are facing competition now, not just from other media houses, but from the brands themselves and their advertising agencies.


And they will fail because they have failed to understand their changing consumer – the millennial generation who read when they are bored, when there is nothing else to do or view or play with. These were some of the very interesting insights coming out of the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin recently. The objective of the seven-year-old event is to help content business leaders develop better strategies and media models in the digital era, but the opening advice to delegates this year was to ditch the ‘D’ word, reports in a very insightful article on the media summit.


If you are still talking about your digital model and your print model, you might as well put your pen down and retire. It is integration or bust.

Reading is key. Ten years ago I attended a global print conference in Cape Town which already warned of an increasing ‘alliterate’ generation that can read, but chooses not to. This was of course before the advent of social media.


Future media models were envisaged by the Digital Innovators Summit, as follows:


  • Native content is something we hear a lot of in South Africa, but mainly from the digital and advertising agencies, not publishers, which are losing a slice of major advertising revenue as a result.


  • Include the “social dynamic”. Stories need to be told differently for the different social networks, from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram and Vine, for example.


  • Reimagine news from a mobile perspective and learn to tell it differently. My Twitter feed scrolled so fast these past few weeks with the same tweets from the #Oscartrail from different media and journalists, that I could hardly keep up. It was disruptive and extremely repetitive. There has to be a different way. The worst is when people try to “serialise” their tweets with ‘Parts 1 – 10 when they are trying to make a point. Just like we don’t translate radio content for TV, too many are still trying to write for social media and mobile applications like they do for print. Déjà vuanyone? We made the same mistakes in the early days of online media!


  • The banner ad is dead (long live the banner ad!), and magazine publishers were told to look to new sources of revenue from “native and programmatic advertising”. Reporter Peter Houston from explained in his article that “prescriptions for successful native included quality content, clear labelling and strong social integration”; and programmatic advertising was described as “an opportunity to exploit booking efficiencies to free up time for cross-selling and creative consultation with commercial partners”.


  • And this is where we get to the part where publishers were told to act more like marketing agencies. That makes sense, because many agencies have been acting as publishers recently with the increasing use of branded and native content. For more on native content and recent international trends, here’s an indepth article from Forbes last month


  • Then there were partnerships for content distribution and ecommerce deals for readers, such as in the travel and leisure markets makes sense and many of our local publishers are being very successful with commercial brand extensions, travel tours and fashion websites, etc.


  • And here’s a very interesting one: publishers have been urged to invest in technology startups to bring talent and opportunities into legacy publishing businesses – something we have seen a couple of our big local media houses do with some success.

The advertising industry has learnt the hard way and in many ways is ahead of publishers in reimagining new ways to reach consumers with innovative content marketing across the different media spectrums that vie for the consumers’ attention. Publishers would do well to keep an eye on the agencies and brands which have long been predicted to become their own branded media platforms


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Icasa sets sights on new spectrum bands

Posted by radio On May - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


Although Icasa regulates all spectrum between 9kHz and 1THz, Stucke explained that the authority has not really attempted to tackle anything above 30GHz until now.


Icasa only has a spectrum licensing framework that goes up to 30GHz. We don’t know how to regulate spectrum above 30GHz,” he said.


Stucke said the first challenge is that the current spectrum fee regime doesn’t make sense above 30GHz as it will prove prohibitively expensive. He explained that the issue is resolvable and Icasa intends addressing it so that the industry can take advantage of EHF spectrum.


Icasa, he said, must still determine which licensing models are most appropriate – whether the frequency should be licence-exempt or licensed in some way. He said the conventional licensing model for spectrum is well understood, but is slow, cumbersome and expensive. The licence-exempt model tends to work quite well for Wi-Fi, but only for personal hotspots, he said. “It’s not always as good for commercial uses as there is no provision for protection [from interference].”


Because of its properties, EHF spectrum is most likely to be used for short-distance, high-capacity, point-to-point links – providing “very fast throughput using relatively small antennas with very high gain”, according to Wapa executive committee associate and spectrum expert Jens Langenhorst. One application, Langenhorst said, would be for providing high-speed backhaul between small cellular sites (so-called picocells).


However, EHF spectrum has a number of problems, including the fact that it is only really suitable for short-distance communications (typically 2km or less) and the fact that it is highly susceptible to so-called “rain fade”. Also, specifically around 60GHz, oxygen in the atmosphere “absorbs” radio signals and causes significant attenuation.


In past it was considered unusable spectrum, but you can do a hotspot and get a gigabit per second of capacity over it over a relatively short distance,” he said. “60GHz is not usable much beyond 2km and is the one place in EHF spectrum where attenuation is at its worst.”


Heavy rain also causes problems, Langenhorst said. However, Simon Yomtov, country MD of networking specialist Ceragon, said South Africa is “an almost perfect place to deploy e-band”. This is because rainfall is fairly low in general.


Wietz Joubert, co-founder of Redline Technologies, proposed a different solution. He said so-called “optical wireless broadband” (OWB) technology, which uses optical laser beams to transmit data at high speeds in the 300THz and 400THz bands, could be used in conjunction with EHF equipment to provide high-speed short-haul links.

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Ad Dynamo and Twitter partner for SA growing market

Posted by radio On May - 6 - 2014 Comments Off on Ad Dynamo and Twitter partner for SA growing market


Contextual advertising network Ad Dynamo that it has partnered with Twitter to become the platform’s exclusive advertising partner in South Africa. The country has one of Twitter’s fastest growing markets when the company went public at 5.5-million Twitter users (a 129% increase in just a year) — and Ad Dynamo is hoping to help brands take advantage of that growth.

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Twitter has thus appointed a local ad sales partner, Ad Dynamo in South Africa. According to vice president of direct sales, Ali Jafari : “South Africa is an important market for us which is why we are investing in it with a direct sales force. This allows us to make brands successful on Twitter. Greater results for brands mean greater results for Twitter which translates into the greater adoption of Twitter.”


Ad Dynamo CEO Sean Riley explains that while Twitter’s ad products can be targeted anywhere in the world, his company hopes to assist local brands with planning and managing their campaigns. “Brands need a sales team to work with them, show them best practices and understand marketing objectives,” he says. “Which is where Ad Dynamo comes in.”


The cost of Twitter’s advertising is provided transparently to the brand with no markup. The key rationale though, for a brand to work with Ad Dynamo, is that they benefit from local, hands on support from a team that understands performance metrics in the local context. Ad Dynamo’s team has received the same training and access to tools as Twitter’s own internal staff,” he says.


Ad Dynamo is tipped to also represent Twitter in other African countries, from Nigeria and Kenya to Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.


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Online election results on the fly

Posted by radio On May - 6 - 2014 Comments Off on Online election results on the fly


Any election process is reasonably difficult for newspapers purely because of timeliness, that is why most papers supplement stories with queuing voters all the time. However in this year’s elections, there will be a formidable online contingent, where election results and interactive maps will be updated with a snap of a finger.

Izak Minnaar, Digital News' boss chats  about the online offering of election results

Izak Minnaar, Digital News’ boss chats about the online offering of election results


The majors at the helm are News 24 and SABC online :


The Mail & Guardian has also released a smartphone app for the elections and has set up this special elections zoneon its website while eNCA also has a good dedicated elections web pagewith live results from the IEC feeding to an interactive map. Another interesting online offering to check out is the independently funded SA Votes 2014being run by the clever Khadija Patel.


With online in tact, the public broadcaster on TV and radio always rises to the occasion with its army of journalists reporting from across the country. All eyes will be on that as well.


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Wronski on election conversations

Posted by radio On May - 4 - 2014 Comments Off on Wronski on election conversations


It has been an interesting feat to see political parties using social media platforms to campaign. This has by far been the first election season to have convincingly used the clout of the  internet. MD of Fuseware, Mike Wronski, tracks the milestones of this internet driven process. With the verdict still out on how South Africans will vote on the 7th of May, the data serves as a barometer by revealing the conversations that have been doing the rounds in recent days.

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Mike Wronski reveals :


Over 250,000 monthly conversations are happening about political parties and their leaders in South Africa. Although the ANC leads the pack in terms of share of voice, conversations around the party are to a large extent negative. In the last 30 days, conversations around ANC have centered around Nkandla, showing that it is a topic of high priority for South Africa’s digital citizens. DA conversation has revolved around the now-viral Ayisafani ad which was banned by the SABC, and now has almost 1 million views on Youtube. EFF conversation has also revolved around the SABC’s ban of their own ad, and many people have voiced their concern over fairness of the public broadcaster. Agang unfortunately has not generated significant talkability, with a mere 5106 mentions in the last 30 days across online SA media.


About Fuseware

Fuseware provides a complete online media monitoring solution for brands. Their real-time monitoring platform provides comprehensive insights into consumer perception of companies, topics and industries – allowing our clients to effectively manage their reputation, understand their social media audience and become better companies through these insights.





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MTN’s 79 cents worth of spin

Posted by radio On April - 16 - 2014 Comments Off on MTN’s 79 cents worth of spin


There is plenty of verbatim about Africa’s rise, this comes at the back of mobile phones having exploded in numbers. In the case of South Africa, we haven not yet enjoyed the fruits of connectivity. It just costs too much. Much of the accusations have been pointed at two of our biggest network giants. High mobile costs have even led NGOs such as Right 2 Know to take up the cause.



In recent issued statement by MTN’s spin is that will soon provide South Africans with access to reliable and affordable communication services, MTN South Africa has introduced a flat rate of 79c per minute across all networks for its prepaid customers, effective immediately.


The affirmation expands :”At MTN we pride ourselves in listening to the voices of our customers and understanding their needs, especially in tough times. As a truly South African company, it is our obligation to ensure quality communication at affordable prices. Our new 79 cents flat promotional rate is designed to stimulate the industry to provide even more affordable services to consumers, understanding their need for connectivity” says Brian Gouldie, Chief Marketing Officer of MTN South Africa.


According to the mobile network, the 79c flat rate is accessible to MTN customers from 11 April 2014 for the next three months, with the intention to make this a permanent rate. The rate is applicable at per second rates, giving customers peace of mind that they will only be charged for the actual time they spend on calls. Through its extensive network investment, MTN will ensure that there is ample capacity available for customers.


All existing customers on MTN Pay Per Second will automatically benefit from this rate. New customers will default to the new flat rate, while MTN customers not on MTN Pay Per Second can simply dial *141*4*4# to migrate. MTN Zone customers can access the rate through the recently introduced MTN Pay As You Go value bundles by dialling *141* to purchase the bundle of their choice, between R7, R12 and R30 value denominations – each offering their own value-adds.


“We appreciate the support that our customers have shown us. Our job is to make sure that we continue to address the unique requirements of a cross-section of the South African market. By giving our prepaid users access to a flat rate of 79c per minute, MTN is showing that it is constantly listening to its customers and redefining what mobile communication should be about,” concludes Gouldie.



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End Is Nigh For Traffic – Jacaranda FM and drones

Posted by radio On April - 2 - 2014 Comments Off on End Is Nigh For Traffic – Jacaranda FM and drones


Next to water investment at the wake of its scarcity, salvaging the reputation of drones must be another lucrative thing in line. These unmanned aerial vehicles have been linked to civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the drive to convince the global public that they can alternatively be of good to humankind is going to take some doing. Well newsflash, through its radio station Jacaranda FM, the media company Kagiso is investigating the viability of as drones as a means of providing real-time, reliable traffic updates to Gauteng’s residents.



Kagiso aims to run a proof of concept project which will observe traffic congestion on the N1 highway, to provide up-to-the-minute online video feeds of traffic conditions during peak hours.


Jacaranda FM’s presenters will use the feed to enrich their on-air traffic reports. In addition, anyone can view the feed live on Jacaranda FM’s website.


The proof of concept will last 15 days, with the UAV in action every weekday from 7am to 8am and 4pm to 5pm, and follow the safety guideline set by the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa (CUAASA).


Kagiso said it plans to use UAVs more extensively to provide audiences with traffic information, live footage from events, and aerial, on-the-scene coverage of major news events as they unfold.


The UAV provides Jacaranda with a low cost way to get objective, up-to-date traffic information that it can pass on to listeners via the airwaves.


The UAV industry is in its infancy in South Africa, but many industries worldwide have adopted UAVs to simplify their tasks and improve the quality of work – among them film, agriculture, photographers, and real estate development,” said Craig Corte, chief digital officer at Kagiso Media.


Live content delivery provider, Antfarm, will be responsible for the video streaming bandwidth for the proof of concept.



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Naspers today reported a 27% increase in consolidated revenue to R50, 2bn for the year ended March 2013. Core headline earnings, considered by   the    board to be an indication of sustainable performance, were up 23% on the previous year to R8, 5bn or R22, 16 per share. Approximately half of this growth was due to a weaker rand. The growth in earnings was achieved despite investing R4, 3bn to grow new businesses for the longer-term. Positive free cash flows amounted to R3, 5bn. A dividend increase of 15% to R3, 85 is proposed.


“The group posted a solid performance over the past year,” Naspers’ chair Ton Vosloo said. “We reached a milestone as revenues from our internet units exceeded that of pay television for the first time.”


Internet revenues grew 80% to R34, 6bn. Due to costs of developing ecommerce products and services, trading profits increased at a slower rate of 44% to R6, 2bn.


The pay-television business reported revenue growth of 20% to R30, 3bn. Some 1,1m new subscribers were added during the year and the group now reaches 6,7m homes in 48 markets across Africa. The 18% growth in trading profit to R7, 6bn was somewhat weighed down by the increased investment in digital terrestrial television (DTT) and by creating more local content for viewers.


It was a tough year for the print operations. Media24 reported only marginal top line and profit growth, but launched several new initiatives. Naspers’ share of core earnings from associates, including Tencent in China and Group in Russia, increased by 45% to R7, 2bn.


“We hope to expand our ecommerce businesses across more emerging markets. Also to build our pay-television subscriber base on the African continent,” Naspers CEO Koos Bekker said.


Naspers financial director Steve Pacak added: “We want to build our existing businesses, whilst investing in future growth. We know this strategy will mute both short-term earnings and cash flows.”



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