Digital Entertainment Industry gets Top Billing at AfricaCom 2015
The demand for digital entertainment – online videos, music and now gaming – is growing exponentially in Africa, with the business environment continuously developing and improving.
AfricaCom 2015, the continent’s largest Telecoms, ICT and Tech event, has evolved its Digital Music stream to now encompass the entire digital entertainment spectrum and have dedicated an information stream to this pioneering industry. Leading experts, and representatives from the largest digital entertainment companies from around Africa will gather to discuss the key issues in this dynamic industry. Key discussions on the development of ecosystems within this industry and questions around how all stakeholders, including operators, content providers, aggregators, VAS platform providers etc. can make money out of the services, will be the focus of discussions at AfricaCom.
One of the expert panellists, Nkiru Balonwu, is the CEO of the Spinlet Group, a significant digital media distribution company focused on Africa-centric content. Balonwu believes the best strategies to monetise the content service in Africa is by providing the easiest access and payment methods for the target demographics. She said: “There is a slight balancing act to be done because of the number of potential customer’s increases as you go towards the lower end of Africa’s social demographics. The content most likely to do well is content that can be consumed easily on lower end mobile devices and paid for without necessarily having a bank account.”
“Apart from infrastructure,” Balonwu said, “I think the payments will be the linchpin. Once we resolve that issue across the continent, monetisation will become more of a marketing function than a product innovation one.”
Balonwu will be joining the digital music panel at AfricaCom on 17th November, alongside representatives of Orange, Millicom, Deezer, Africori, Unitel and Baziks Entertainment.
On the gaming front, Pippa Tshabalala, a South African gamer and writer, believes that Africa provides a unique and vibrant indie game industry, with a big focus on mobile gaming. She said: “Due to the proliferation of mobile devices in Africa, there is a real need for good quality mobile games that speak to an African audience. There are a number of local developers who are producing award winning games that are being picked up for distribution on platforms like PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC and mobile.”
Asked how Africa fared compared to other regions, Tshabalala said: “We have no large AAA studios producing games, but I don’t see this as a bad thing – it gives us a real opportunity to innovate and develop unique content.”
At the AfricaCom event, Tshabalala will quiz a group of experts from gaming specialists as diverse as QCF Design, Make Games South Africa, Fuzzy Logic, Afroes and Google Play.
The Digital Entertainment stream at AfricaCom will be hosted by Russell Southwood, CEO of Balancing Act, a consultancy and research company specialising in telecoms, Internet in Africa and broadcast in Africa. Discussion topics are as follows:
- Examining the digital entertainment market: customer needs, services & revenue opportunity
- A panel discussion titled: ‘What are the business models for operators in digital entertainment: subscription, advertising, marketing/loyalty cost?’
- Embracing digital: an operator’s strategy to deliver attractive digital services and monetise them
- Developing local content: How can local content producers be supported and promoted to meet the demand?
- Diverse & personalised services for African consumers: Yahoo’s strategy in Africa
- Panel discussion: ‘Is mobile gaming the next big thing in digital services in Africa?’