David Abraham
General Entertainment Yolisa Phahle
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Digital platforms disrupt TV space

Shifting consumer audience demands and lifestyles have disrupted the television industry, eroding a good chunk of the power that pay TV and prime time free television schedules used to enjoy.

TV programmes, once assumed to be quake-proof, have been deeply shaken by the changing viewership landscape and competition for audiences’ attention has hit fever pitch. These are some of the insights that came out when players drawn from across Africa’s broadcasting industry convened for a Digital Dialogue Conference organised by MultiChoice in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE) last week.

The thought-leadership platform sought to look at some of the emerging trends and how audiences across Africa are changing.

5th edition of Digital Dialogue, attended by journalists from a number of African states, started off with a global perspective given by David Abraham, Founder of Wonderhood Studios on the value chain of pay-TV.

Abraham shared his varied experience running TV channels in the UK and the US between 2001 and 2017 – explaining how the environment for content and channel providers evolved from the early days of digital TV to the much more complex Internet-based distribution environment we see today.

Tumbling walls According to Abraham, the past used to be all about a battle between free TV and service providers’ intent on building pay-walls and maintaining exclusivity over key content in order to promote ‘big basic’ monthly subscriptions and minimise monthly churn of customers.

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Then came broadband as an additional service to lock in customer loyalty, followed by MultiChoice Chief Executive Officer of General Entertainment Yolisa Phahle. mobile. “The old walls of traditional pay TV are now tumbling down and what’s coming next is infinitely more fragmented and messy,” he said.

Telecoms providers compete with content platforms to build customer loyalty with original content and rights in a world where global digital future models of content creation and distribution,” he said. Earlier, MultiChoice Chief Executive Officer of General Entertainment Yolisa Phahle told conference the survival and growth of the media industry depend largely on content, technology and customer. “Nowadays, no one can say with absolute 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,” she said.

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