Combating challenges in digital television

Mo Abudu, CEO Ebonylife

What is your general impression of Social Media Week in Lagos? Is it a judicious use of time and resources?
I believe that Social Media Week Lagos is very useful for a number of reason. It brings professionals and business owners together to learn more about social media, through interactive sessions and master classes. It enables us to understand how we can utilise various opportunities and tools to solve problems in a variety of industries and make an impact.

Is traditional media utilising social media well enough yet? Is your job easier today because of social media?
Not entirely; but we are getting there. Yes, my job is becoming easier with social media. With the introduction of new media such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, our story is reaching millions of people beyond Africa, across the world. People are more aware of a platform that has taken up the mantle to change the African story and present a new perspective.

What additional challenges do you now have to factor in, because of social media, when planning or producing content?
The challenges include contractual restrictions, the additional creativity required, and the need to understand the target audience. We have to develop content to appeal to a new, digital-savvy generation, as our main target demographic is Africans aged between age 18-34 years.

How do you adapt local content for digital distribution?
We have developed online platforms such as – the mobile app is available on Google Playstore, App Store for IOS and other VOD platforms. We’re also in business with Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Roku and Hulu, to distribute our content globally.

How has this impacted on the business of content marketing in general?
It has made an amazing difference to promoting content because you can target your audience more precisely, more efficiently and for less cost.

Which of the social media channels have brought you most returns since diversifying?
Since diversifying, most returns were generated from our Youtube and VOD platforms.

In your opinion, what is the main importance of social media for building a brand or business?
Social media helps businesses reach, connect and interact with a part of their target audience which may not have been possible with traditional media. In addition, social media helps a brand or business evaluate constructive criticism, often in real time, from its target audience which is necessary for the growth of a business. It helps a brand with data collection which enables you to understand your target audience and aid decision making.

Do you foresee a time that it becomes impossible to operate a traditional media business independent of social media engagement?
Yes, I do; with the advent of technological innovations and the move from traditional media to new media. In fact, I think that time is already here if you want to maximize the potential of your business.

What is the future of television in Nigeria?
DStv continues to play a dominant role in the market place with DTH and with GO TV. This is likely to continue for some time to come. However, the future for television in Nigeria will include digital and mobile if the necessary investment is made in infrastructure to support the growth. DSTV has invested in new technology to support DSTV NOW, allowing viewers to watch DSTV online and NBC’s switch to digital broadcasting will also hasten this move for a national shift. We will start to see some shifts where online TV will take some viewers away from traditional linear TV. Overall, content will remain king, despite the platform.

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