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Jon Savage: The EYE of the DIGITAL AGE

Posted by radio On June - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

In this digital age where everyone claims to be the latest “disrupter,” true innovation is hard to find.However, in South Africa, one name is repeatedly the force behind some of themost effective, awarded, creative, and unique campaigns; Jon Savage.

 

Jon’s latest project, theinternet radio station The Eye(www.theeeye.tv) is breaking all of the rules of both the internet andbroadcasting. Putting content and creativity at the centre of the project, Jonis manifesting his mantra: content before commerce.

 

By not compromising on theimportance of quality content, Jon is proving that in the digital age thecurrent agency model that develops content around brands is flawed. In other words,as Jon explains, “Make amazing content. Then everyone will come.”

 

The Eye’s inventive, irreverentand often iconoclastic content has proven this model by attracting a steadyflow of new listeners who have become repeat listeners. The actual statisticsfor the station bear this out, with their Friday lunch show alone attractingmore than 10 000 organic live viewers on Facebook each week as well as over4000 on the audio stream.

 

Show presenters that include,Jack Parow, Cath Grenfell, Slikour, Reason, and Gigi Lamayne – and also international guest presenters such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Stelth Ulvang(Lumineers) and others – are given autonomy to create programming that they love, based on the station’s vision, as explained by Jon, “The Eye is radio youcan see. It’s made by people who actually really really really want good things for you and the people around you. We are naive and passionate makers of stuff.”

 

This passionate commitment to content is paying off with a host of top brands now flocking to the platform as they begin to understand that people will engage with brands who associate themselves with relevant and interesting content.

 

For the past 15 years Jon has shaken up the advertising and digital spaces as a self-described “trouble-maker – and maker of things,” Jon’screativity runs the gamut. Starting his career as the front-man of thehighly-rated and globe-trotting rock band Cassette, Jon then launched another career as a filmmaker, 5FM DJ and innovative content creator.

 

Jon’s first feature film, the rockumentary (in Spinal Tap style), Stone Cold Jane Austen, was entirely crowdfunded and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, again illustrating his power in creating loyal communities around powerful content. The film rights were international,  LA-based distributors, Arsenal Films.

 

As a DJ at 5FM, Jon developed the Mashlab concept that won 4 Loeries in 2016, and has also won numerous South African Music Awards for Video Direction and Jon is currently working with multiple top agencies and brands to create content-focussed projects that can give brands longevity in the digital space.

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Apple  announced that Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two of television’s most creative and successful executives, are joining Apple in newly created positions overseeing all aspects of video programming. Erlicht and Van Amburg will lead video programming worldwide, reporting to Eddy Cue. They join Apple from Sony Pictures Television where they have served as presidents since 2005, and have been responsible for some of the most popular and widely acclaimed programming of the past decade, including favorites such as Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul, The Crown, Rescue Me and many more.

“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”

 

“It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team,” said Jamie Erlicht. “We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products — unparalleled quality.”

 

“Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products,” said Zack Van Amburg. “We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.”

 

Erlicht and Van Amburg have served as presidents of Sony Pictures Television since 2005. Under their leadership, the studio’s slate of original primetime series more than tripled, growing to include many of TV’s most acclaimed shows. They have extensive expertise producing television for global audiences and creating programming for a wide range of services including shows for Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. Their incredible roster of programs — which have won 36 Emmys and dozens of Golden Globes, AFI and WGA awards — have included fan favorites such as Better Call Saul, The Blacklist, Bloodline, Breaking Bad, The Crown, Damages, The Goldbergs, Justified, Preacher, Rescue Me, The Shield, Sneaky Pete and many more.

 

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

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Showmax Originals to debut with new series

Posted by radio On June - 14 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Filming of the first Showmax Original series, a mockumentary featuring Julia Anastasopoulos, commenced last week in Cape Town. Well-known for her SuzelleDIY alter ego, Anastasopoulos stars as Tali, a self-obsessed Sandton princess who’s moved to Cape Town and has hired a documentary crew to film the build-up to her wedding to her property-agent fiancé Darren.

 

Showmax has kicked off the first in a series of original productions with the filming of Tali’s Wedding Diary, a mockumentary featuring Julia Anastasopoulos.

Building on the phenomenal success of her SuzelleDIY character, Anastasopoulos stars as Tali, a self-obsessed Sandton princess who’s moved to Cape Town and has hired a documentary crew to film the build-up to her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren.

 

Since introducing SuzelleDIY to YouTube, more than 70 Suzelle videos have been created, gaining almost 22 million views. One video alone, How To Make A Cinderblock Bench, has clocked up more than 2.5 million views.

Ari Kruger, co-creator and director of Tali’s Wedding Diary, has worked extensively as a director for commercials, music videos and online content. His short films have gained significant attention online and played in film festivals around the world.

 

In 2014, the creative duo combined their skills and passion for comedy and developed a project outside of their commercial work. The result of this, SuzelleDIY, has now grown into a full-scale brand and business. Julia and Ari have since started a production company called Sketchbook Studios, which produces SuzelleDIY alongside an array of new characters and online content.

Speaking about the decision to work with Showmax, Anastasopoulos said:

 

“When Ari and I first approached Showmax we knew we had a great concept but weren’t sure if they’d bite – getting backing for a production in South Africa can be tough. To their credit Showmax instantly bought into what we’re trying to do. This is exactly the kind of support the film industry in this country needs. We’ve got world-class acting and production talent so it’s a huge boost to see a local company fund local productions.”

 

In addition to Tali’s Wedding Diary, work is also underway on iNumber Number, an original co-production with Mzansi Magic. iNumber Number is a crime and corruption drama series based on the award-winning 2013 movie of the same name.

Speaking about plans for original productions, Showmax Africa Head Chris Savides said:

“Supporting African productions is absolutely part of our strategy. There’s incredible talent and expertise on this continent, so why look anywhere else, especially when you’re trying to tell authentic, locally relevant stories?”

Filming for Tali’s Wedding Diary is currently underway in Cape Town. The eight-part series will premiere on Showmax in December. Each episode will be approximately 20 minutes long.

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Johannesburg will once again host the world’s largest and most important Sub-Saharan African entertainment content market, DISCOP Johannesburg and welcome some of the most ambitions and talented people on the Continent, South Africa’s next generation of film and tv creators, producers and dealmakers.

 

The 6th edition of DISCOP Johannesburg will take place from October 25th to 27th at the Sandton Convention Centre, specifically scheduled so that it does not conflict with the American Film Market, enabling many more international delegates to attend.

 

Over 1,500 delegates representing multiplatform entertainment content businesses from across Africa and the globe will converge in Johannesburg for three days of deal-making and networking. Participants come from over 70 countries and include distributors, acquisition and development executives, producers, and financiers.

 

Confirmed exhibitors for this year’s event include the likes of Fox, NBC Universal, BBC, ZEE Entertainment, CBS, Viacom, Lionsgate, Dreamworks, Televisa, Indiacast, Kanal D, Turner, TV5 MONDE, Deutsche Welle, NHK, CCTV, SkyVision, Telemundo, TV Azteca, ZDF, Paramount, Mondo TV, Global Agency and others leading film and television companies.

 

Over the years, DISCOP Johannesburg has also established itself as a pivotal destination for independent creators and producers seeking knowledge-transfer, funding, partnerships, and distribution opportunities.

 

To further service this interest and to provide further opportunities for independent distributors, DISCOP Johannesburg will present a new sidebar initiative dubbed, THE NEXT GEN PROGRAM, and aimed specifically at assisting South Africa’s next generation of film and tv creators, producers, and dealmakers to learn from to pros, perfect their pitch projects, and network with key industry players.

 

“The program aims to guide and nurture the next wave of South Africa’s talented producers and provide them with expert guidance and top-level industry networking opportunities to develop content and monetize entertainment content,” explains Patrick Zuchowicki, founding manager of the DISCOP markets.

 

Developed with key industry associations, this thorough, intensive, and real-world program will specifically focus on animated content, multiplatform short formats, virtual reality production, and partnership opportunities with Germany, South Africa’s #1 coproduction partner.

 

Asa result of a new partnership with DISCOP Johannesburg, announced by The African Animation Network (AAN), up and coming animators will be able to take part in the continent’s only pan-African animation pitching competition planned with the support of Africa’s leading animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics associations (AVGC).

 

Nick Wilson, Project Manager of AAN explains further, “True to the AAN mandate, we provide AVGC associations across Africa with an open network and platform to market themselves at the DISCOP Abidjan and Johannesburg markets, the world’s premiere destinations for content made in Africa.  We’re excited to explore the diversity of the African animation industry with the possibility of creating co-production and collaboration opportunities across borders and regions whilst simultaneously building capacity within the sector.”

 

The development, production, and monetization of short formats tailored to reach audiences via varied digital distribution streams will take center stage. A pitching competition sponsored by mahala.tv, Africa’s newest innovative distribution and funding platform and filmmaker community, will see a concerted outreach to independents, especially those creating short formats.

 

Mahala.tv CEO and well known South African director Gerhard Mostert has this to say of the partnership, “To celebrate the launch of mahala.tv, and to promote the importance of short formats within the digital space, mahala.tv has partnered with DISCOP Johannesburg to put out a call for short format content that will be showcased at the 3-day industry gathering. Mahala.tv is especially excited to be hosting the pitching competition and will be offering funding support to winners, as well as welcoming all independents to become part of a new global community of producers that will enable them to create, share, and monetize content.”

 

DISCOP Johannesburg’s NEXT GEN PROGRAM will also focus on the increasing potential of virtual reality, a new hot trend in the industry, with the global augmented reality and virtual reality markets expected to generate US$ 80 billion in revenues by 2020.

 

Major broadcasters such as Arte, France Television, National Geographic, Discovery, ZDF, Sky, BBC, ABC and NBC, to name a few, are already searching for virtual reality content.

 

As part of the program, producers can attend a series of master classes, talks, and round-table discussions with leading VR producers who will share their forecast for this exciting landscape and their vision on what role Africa can play in the VR industry.  A VR Cinema hosted by INVR.SPACE. will allow participants to immerse themselves in the best virtual reality content, a stimulating experience that will inspire a new generation of projects for the years ahead.

 

Sönke KIRCHHOF, CEO of the German VR Studio INVR.SPACE, is pleased to host and curate the VR Cinema at DISCOP Johannesburg, “We are more than happy that our partner DISCOP Johannesburg is featuring Virtual Reality as a serious and promising topic and invited us to present a selection of the latest and most impressive Cinematic VR content. We believe that VR can expand the limits of storytelling and can offer a new approach to cinematic experiences. As content from African continent and Filmmakers is still rare, we are especially excited to host this VR Cinema in South Africa and participate in a dialogue between German and African producers.”

 

Cooperation between independents from South Africa and Germany will also receive a major boost. The NEXT GEN PROGRAM will show how producers can use the South Africa- Germany film and television coproduction treaties to their advantage and how their cross-border cooperation incentives can deliver feature films, TV series, and documentaries that work around the world and would otherwise be impossible to finance.

 

“When it comes to setting up international partnership, South Africa has an obvious advantage and offers one of the most effective co-production treaties.  The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is pleased to once again partner with DISCOP Johannesburg, in our efforts to increase relations between South Africa and Germany and enable the development and promotion of a transformed and thriving audiovisual industry in both countries.” explains Peter KWELE, NFVF Head of Marketing and Communications.

 

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Apple’s HomePod reinvents music in the home

Posted by radio On June - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Apple announced HomePod, a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers amazing audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. Designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music. HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings. HomePod will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, the UK and the US.

 

At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed almost anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray.

“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.”

 

 

HomePod delivers a perfect listening experience whether placed on a shelf, in a corner or in the center of a room.

 

HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing. By saying, “Hey Siri, I like this song,” HomePod and Apple Music become the perfect musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices. Siri can also handle advanced searches within the music library, so users can ask questions like “Hey Siri, who’s the drummer in this?” or create a shared Up Next queue with everyone in the home. HomePod, Apple Music and Siri deliver the best music experience in the home that streams ad-free directly to HomePod.

 

 

Use HomePod with Siri from across the room to listen to Apple Music, control HomeKit accessories and more.

As a home assistant, HomePod is a great way to send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. When away from home, HomePod is the perfect home hub, providing remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone or iPad.

Audio Innovation and Advanced Technologies

At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod represents years of hardware and software innovation:

Apple-designed upward-facing woofer, paired with the custom A8 chip, enables bass management through real-time software modeling that ensures the speaker delivers the deepest and cleanest bass possible, with low distortion;

Custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters, each with its own amplifier, provides well-balanced smooth timbre as well as precise directional control of a multitude of beam shapes and sizes;

Apple-designed A8 chip provides the brains behind the advanced audio innovations;

Automatic room-sensing technology allows HomePod to quickly learn its position in a room, whether it’s in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf, and within seconds, is perfectly optimized to deliver an immersive music listening experience wherever it is placed;

Six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation enables Siri to understand people whether they are near the device or standing across the room, even while loud music is playing;

Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation;

Automatic detection and balance of two speakers using both direct and reflected audio to deliver amazing audio wirelessly for an even more immersive experience; and

Easy setup that is as intuitive as setting up AirPods — simply hold an iPhone next to HomePod and it’s ready to start playing music in seconds.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. With HomePod, only after “Hey Siri” is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.

 

Pricing and Availability

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the UK and the US.1 HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

 

 

 

[Source:Apple.com]

Images Supplied by Apple

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With products aligned with the preferences and habits of end-users, Konnect Africa is making a strong push with a double objective: to be a partner of choice on the continent and to demonstrate how satellite technology is today the most relevant solution for unlocking access to the Internet in Africa

 

With new-generation services starting today in Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda, Konnect Africa (www.Konnect-Africa.com) is confirming its bold ambitions for Sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s innovative service offerings and products, included packaged offers inspired by ‘pay as you go’ models and Wi-Fi hotspots schemes, have already convinced a number of local operators, telecom companies and resellers. With products aligned with the preferences and habits of end-users, Konnect Africa is making a strong push with a double objective: to be a partner of choice on the continent and to demonstrate how satellite technology is today the most relevant solution for unlocking access to the Internet in Africa.

 

Konnect Africa’s first partners include a wide range of operators, each with its specific DNA:

 

AfrikaNet GoSat, already active in the broadband-based internet telephone, VOIP options and provision of customer support and services in the satellite telecommunications industry in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire;

Bentley Walker, known notably for designing efficient solutions for government and military customers with a Pan-African footprint;

Bloosat, a leader in satellite services in Cameroon and Central Africa;

China Telecom (Africa and Middle East), that is establishing communications link between the African continent and the Asia-Pacific region;

Coollink, a leading player in Nigeria with a broad portfolio of services addressing enterprise and consumer needs;

Global Broadband Solution, a leader in internet and data solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.;

Ubora Systems, that focuses on IT solutions for government and administrations and business automation in Kenya;

Terrace Projects, a managed satellite service solution provider in South Africa.

 

Leveraging expertise and knowledge, these partnerships reflect Konnect Africa’s approach to adapt to the specifics of each market to reach out to a vast audience. Wi-Fi hotspot access can be available for a few cents, family offers are being optimised for a few dozens of dollars, while high grade corporate services are also proposed to enable videoconferencing, storage, audio-visual content development and safe and reliable communication. Konnect Africa aims to give its partners the means to succeed with each relevant segment, through dedicated commercial, marketing and technical support. The company will also train and reward local installers to enhance service quality and drive more talent into the industry.

 

“This initiative echoes a broad ambition. Connecting Africa means changing the way people live, study, perform business, and transforming daily life. We aim to take broadband further and closer to multiple development sectors such as the healthcare system, education, agriculture or SMEs”, explained Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Konnect Africa. “We are proud to partner with prominent players and excited to embark on this truly unique venture”, he added.

 

Unlike mobile wireless or fibre technologies, satellite broadband does not depend on terrestrial infrastructure and literally comes ‘from above’. It is seen as the best approach to provide populations in remote locations with access to efficient, cost-effective and easy-to-install internet solutions. Konnect Africa’s is an affiliate of Eutelsat, the leading satellite operator with 40 years of experience. Its advanced satellite technology is a powerful tool for social and economic development.

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DEOD Announces Exclusive Deal With Channel 2

Posted by radio On June - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Phenomenal deal brings daily ICC cricket near-live action to fans on the go

 

New internet TV service DEOD (Digital Entertainment on Demand) by on-demand solutions provider, Discover Digital, has secured the near-live short-form digital rights for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2017 and the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 tournaments and has been appointed the exclusive aggregator in Sub-Saharan African by the Channel 2 Group for all ICC tournaments up to and including and the 2019 ICC World Cup.

 

Discover Digital announced today that it had been awarded the short-form digital rights to the two prestigious cricket tournaments and appointed aggregator by Dubai-based Channel 2 Group, which is the official licensor of ICC’s digital content in various territories around the world. In addition to being the exclusive digital rights licensor in Sub Saharan Africa, Channel 2 Group also holds the exclusive global audio rights of the ICC until the 2023 World Cup.

 

Tim Cook, Senior Manager: Sports at Discover Digital, describes the deal as ‘huge’ for South Africa. It will allow DEOD to take near-live highlights of the events to South African cricket fans within minutes of them happening throughout the day. “It’s phenomenal. For the first time, South Africans will have access to near-live short-form content to stay on top of what’s happening, on the go, in the most important cricket tournament after the World Cup. They will be able to see the most spectacular moments and track the progress of the world’s leading cricketing teams – including South Africa – throughout the tournaments during every hour of play. We have created a Cricket package to cover both of these tournaments costing just R10, so fans don’t have to subscribe to our Premium Package if they just want cricket. The content will of course be available to our Sports OnDemand and DEOD Premium Customers too at no additional cost.”

 

Stephen Watson, Managing Director of Discover Digital, says: “This is a significant deal in the sports space, taking a major mainstream event out of the pay-TV arena to a much broader audience. We have seen a massive trend towards near-live short-form action content, as many people simply don’t have the time to sit and watch a whole day of sports, but they still want to keep up to date with the action. This is a fantastic way for fans to keep up with a tournament like this wherever they are, and they don’t have to wait for a sports roundup at the end of the day.” Watson says the deal takes the mainstream sport of International Cricket to all viewers, and allows sponsor brands to extend their reach while new brands can now associate themselves with the sport. “It’s perfect for busy sports fans on the go, and it’s ideal for mobile viewers, so we are keen to partner with brands and telcos to take it to their customer bases too,” says Watson. “Discover Digital will also be extending this partnership and exciting content licensing opportunity to ASEAN & Australia, engaging partners in these territories that wish to work with us and C2G.”

 

DEOD has created a dedicated OnDemand Category for the ICC tournaments, starting with the ICC Champions Trophy which runs from 1 – 18 June in England and Wales. All the key action plays will be shared, giving fans ongoing updates of the most exciting moments of the event within minutes of key match action. Access to DEOD enables a lot more near-live content to be viewed than is generally available through other public platforms. The ICC Women’s World Cup from June 24 – July 23 will also have a pop-up channel. Highlights from the tournaments will also be featured as part of DSN – DEOD Sports Network. The DSN content will also include build-up content, analysis and interviews before and after the matches.

 

Mr Sethi, chairman of Channel 2 Group says: “The digital property created by the ICC has massive appeal to cricket fans who might not normally have access to live paid-TV. The adoption of short-form near-live content by millennials and smart device consumers opens up a whole new digital market for sports rights holders and key partnerships with telecommunications businesses. We are delighted to partner with Discover Digital, who has a firm understanding of the potential of this content and innovative strategies and technology to maximise its reach.

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iflix continues its rapid global expansion into its third region, less than two months after launching in MENA. iflix Africa will make iflix’s world-class service available to over 500 million consumers across the African continent

 

iflix (www.iflix.com), the world’s leading Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets, today announced the establishment of iflix Africa to bring its world class service to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). iflix Africa will be headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa and trade commercially as ‘iflix’. With launches planned in Nigeria, Ghana Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, iflix Africa will increase iflix’s global footprint to 23 territories worldwide, with additional regional markets to be added over the coming months.

 

The commercial launch of iflix’s SVoD service across SSA is planned over the second and third quarter of 2017, and will make iflix’s vast range of thousands of TV shows, movies and more, including many first run exclusives and award winning programs available to hundreds of millions of consumers across the region. In addition to having the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and other regional and local programming, the service will additionally offer an extensive collection of highly acclaimed African shows and movies with iflix Africa planning to introduce exclusive African content series.

 

Having first launched its service in May 2015, iflix quickly established its dominance in the Asian region, rolling out its world class service to 18 markets across Asia and MENA in less than two years, acquiring over 5 million members over the period. iflix Africa will capitalize on SSA’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration, and huge appetite for digital content and entertainment.

 

In March 2017, iflix announced the completion of a US$90+ million round of funding to support its international expansion. The round added new investors Liberty Global Group and Zain Group to the company’s formidable shareholder registry which also includes global heavyweights Sky plc, Catcha Group and Evolution Media.

 

Mark Britt, iflix Co-founder and CEO said: “The establishment of iflix Africa represents an incredibly exciting step in iflix’s growth story. As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content. By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those growingly connected viewers.”

 

“As the fastest-growing mobile market on earth, Africa is without question one of the world’s most dynamic regions. We are thrilled to introduce our first-of-its-kind SVoD service here. We are passionately focused on providing the broadest selection of premium content at a price everyone can afford. We can’t wait to tackle both the enormous opportunities and challenges ahead, in serving this incredibly diverse and exciting region,” added Andre de Wet, iflix Head of Africa.

 

Currently available to over one billion consumers in 18 markets across Asia and MENA, iflix will soon roll-out its world class service across sub-Saharan Africa with initial launches in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Each subscription will allow users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever.

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When viewers have the power to watch what they want, TV schedules don’t look like they used to

Netflix may have broken the mold by releasing all episodes of House of Cards at once in 2013, but it’s viewers who are changing the nature of TV. And it’s more than just binging. From the characters we choose to wake up with to what we watch in bed, when viewers have the power to program their own day, TV watching no longer looks the same.

“For years our lives had to fit around television, now it’s the other way around,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content. “We’ve given consumers control and it’s interesting to see the behaviors that emerge when viewers aren’t tied to a schedule. And even more so to see that these routines are replicated by millions the world over.”

 

Comedy for breakfast – viewers feel at home starting their day with Fuller House. The Tanners may have originally premiered at 8PM, but today, the Fullers are devoured before 8AM. While you might not expect popular parodies to stir laughs bright and early, around 6AM members are 34% more likely to watch comedy compared to the rest of the day, with the new comedy wake-up block including the likes of Michael Scott (The Office), Kimmy Schmidt (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Chandler Bing (Friends), to name a few.

 

High noon, high drama – members pay a visit to the ladies of Litchfield at lunch. When viewing schedules are set by people and not programmers, lunchtime becomes no binging exception. Across the world, drama accounts for nearly half (47%) of viewing between noon and 2PM (an increase of 5% compared to the rest of the day). Midday streaming is especially prevalent in Brazil where members are 25% more likely to watch at this time compared to the rest of the world – who says shows like Shameless, Grey’s Anatomy and Orange is the New Black are strictly evening fare?

 

Opposite genres attract when we binge in bed – members trade the Demogorgon for Dave Chappelle. It’s no surprise thrillers like The Walking Dead, Stranger Things and Breaking Bad are being enjoyed in the evening – globally the genre sees a 27% increase come 9PM. But viewers are kicking Rick Grimes, the Upside Down and Walter White out of bed by 11PM and restoring balance with partners like Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation), Dev Shah (Master of None) and Bojack Horseman before they hit the hay – apparently members around the world choose to start and end their day with a laugh.

 

Late nights are for learning – watchers prefer Chef’s Table as a midnight snack: Globally, 15% of streaming happens between midnight and 6AM and even rises as high as 21% in Japan and South Korea. And what these night owl members are watching is not what you think – documentaries see a 24% increase in viewing during this time, including titles like Abstract, Making a Murderer and Planet Earth. The pursuit for quality entertainment (and knowledge) doesn’t dim when the lights go out.

 

Ultimately, Netflix-time is anytime. When viewers fit TV watching around their daily lives, rather than the other way around, we see peak streaming as early as 5PM in India to as late as 10PM in Argentina and Singapore.

 

When it comes to defining the new ‘rules’ of TV watching, Frank Underwood said it best: “If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.”

 

*METHODOLOGY

 

Six months of Netflix streaming data – accounting to roughly 77 million accounts per month – was used for this analysis to draw time of day insights on the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, and United States. Peak viewing hours were identified based on weekday viewing as well as the hours certain genres peaked in relation to the genre’s overall share of daily viewing. Where relevant, data was adjusted to account for timezones. Titles included in the release are listed as examples and do not relate to viewership or popularity.

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Showmax, which launched its internet TV service in Poland in February 2017, has agreed a deal with the Polish mobile network operator Play to supply the Showmax service to Play’s entire contract customer base, totalling more than 8 million subscribers. The transaction will see Showmax accelerating the rollout of the service in Poland.

 

Play, one of Poland’s leading mobile networks and the country’s fastest-growing operator, has a customer base of 14 million subscribers and a market share of 26%. As part of the transaction, Showmax will be included for 12 months at no extra charge to the majority of Play’s postpaid customer base, with the remainder getting one month’s access to Showmax.

 

Showmax CEO John Kotsaftis said:

“The level of interest in Showmax since our launch in Poland earlier this year has exceeded even our most optimistic estimates. The Play transaction is a big deal for us because it gives us instant access to millions of customers and I’m hoping will help us build on the great start we’ve already had in the country.”

 

Showmax launched in Poland with a specialised local offering that included short films directed by leading Polish directors Patryk Vega and Wojciech Smarzowski. Showmax had also secured the rights to the popular political satire series Ucho Prezesa (The Chairman’s Ear).

 

Showmax’s operations in Poland are based in Warsaw and headed up by former Google executive Maciej Sojka. Prior to joining Showmax, Sojka ran YouTube partnerships for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He also set up the well-known 24-hour news channel TVN24 before moving on to the role of CEO of satellite pay-TV platform owned by ITI Neovision.

 

Showmax Poland’s executive team also includes Grzegorz Esz as Head of Marketing (ex-UPC Polska and T-Mobile) and Jerzy Dzięgielewski as Head of Content (ex-HBO Central Europe).

 

Speaking about how the Play deal fits in with Showmax’s hyperlocalisation strategy, Kotsaftis said:

“Our strategy runs deeper than light-touch localisation. We’ve built our business in Poland around the premise that success requires having boots on the ground, having a deep understanding of customer needs, and having a willingness to make more than cosmetic changes to meet those needs. We’ve made good progress by partnering with incredibly talented local producers and directors, and it’s great to now expand that partnership approach and work with one of the leading mobile networks. ”

 

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