MultiChoice Chief Asks Media To Use Digital Technology To Tell African Stories
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Entertainment, MultiChoice Africa, Yolisa Phahle, has enjoined the media to take African stories to the world through the use of digital technology.
Phahle said using digital technology to tell African stories, would make them better understood.
For her, rapid advances in digital technology in Africa have created new opportunities and the media should take advantage of them. She spoke in Dubai at the 5th edition of Digital Dialogue conference, organised by MultiChoice Africa. She said: “digital technology has brought innovation in content delivery. And this will change how people consume our products. So, we have a collective responsibility to play an active role in making sure our continent benefits from this opportunity.” She added that in the midst of the ongoing digital revolution, Africa has the opportunity to not only tell stories that educate and inform African audiences, but is in a position to take African stories to the world, and create a global market for African products.
Her argument was that by using the internet and leveraging technology, the ability to reach audiences at a global level is guaranteed. She cited examples of the success of companies like Iroko TV, artistes like Davido, actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and the movie Black Panther which are confirmation that the world is ready to consume African stories, celebrate African culture and embrace Africa. For her, the conversation in the new media world is focused on three words: content, technology and customer, which she said are essential for any news or media organisation that wants to survive and grow in the future.
She challenged the media to “find new ways of engaging viewers more effectively, when there are more choices than ever, more free content than ever and our customers are becoming more and more accustomed to receiving personalised content.” Highlighting Multichoice’s contribution to the emergence of digital technology as a major tool for storytelling, Phahle went down memory lane: “If you speak to any of the people involved in the early days of MultiChoice, one of the things they remind me of is the absolute necessity to not just understand what the future holds but to shape the future, to be a disrupter and if necessary even to cannibalise yourself. ‘Why launch GOtv when you already have DStv for example?.
But, MultiChoice Africa was launched by people who were creating a media company not for the present, but one for the future.” “We produce over 16 local content channels across the continent showcasing local storytellers and created the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards that celebrate African film making., We work with local broadcasters so that East Africans can see what is happening in West and Southern Africa. As a company, we are looking forward to investing even more in telling local stories, documenting our history and providing a platform for Africans to share African stories. “But today in the midst of the ongoing digital revolution we collectively have the opportunity to not only tell stories that educate and inform African audiences, the digital age means we are in a position to take African stories to the world, and create a global market for what we do.
By using the internet and leveraging technology, we have the ability to reach audiences at a global level and the success of companies like Iroko TV, artists like Davido, actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and the movie Black Panther are confirmation that the world is ready to consume African stories, celebrate African culture and embrace African languages. “This will take incredible focus and increasingly, as we look to the future of news and media organizations, the conversation is focused on three words: content, technology and customer which we believe will continue to be essential for any news or media organization that wants to survive and grow in the future. “To survive and grow, we have to find new ways of engaging more effectively with viewers when there are more choices than ever, more free content than ever and our customers are becoming more and more accustomed to receiving personalized content that talks to their specific requirements often seemingly for free.” She added that: “Nowadays, no one can say with absolutely certainty what the future holds for any business in the news or media industry.
What we do know, however, is that people today consume more news and entertainment than ever and I believe this trend will continue. The delivery mechanisms will change, and in many ways digital is just another route to market, but the producers of the most relevant and resonant content will survive.” She claimed that at MultiChoice, “our vision is to be the best African story teller in the world, at the same time, we also promise to bring our customers the best international stories. Being able to tell the right story, at the right time to the right person is our absolute focus and if we are able to leverage the technology, and become obsessed with pleasing our customers we will nullify the headwinds and use the tail winds to drive exponential growth for our collective future”.
Phahle revealed that this year, MultiChoice is planning to start production on a number of epic African stories and use new digital platforms to create a stage for Africa to shine while continuing to work with the best African talent to tell Africa’s stories to deliver incredible economic benefits to Africa’s creative industries. “Let’s undertake to bring this kind of prosperity to our continent and aim to use digital technology to entertain and inform the world,” she charged African media.