Youtube,Facebook Content Creators , Where is Africa’s Piece in this Pie?

There is a global push for monetization of content and content creators. Youtube is the biggest powerhouse in this space enabling creators to upload content and make money from advertisements on their videos

In the last 12-18 months the race has intensified with Facebook trying to lure creators away from Youtube with its partnership with a number of select creators for its facebook watch [Facebook Watch is a video-on-demand service operated by Facebook. It was announced on August 9, 2017, with initial availability the day after, and with rollout to all U.S. users by the end of the month. ] and Instagram( which Facebook owns) has created a new long form video platform called IGTV to again claw back at the gains made by Youtube .

 

Africa has mostly been left out by the large players like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram in the fight for a larger share of the creators and attracting advertising dollars

However there are African startups trying to carve out a space for themselves in the video content sharing and distribution verticals.

 

Most video sharing sites in Africa tend to favor professional content creators/film makers/tv channels and mostly have a subscription model or pay as you go model.

The leaders in the markets are well known, i.e.

iROKOtv ,Afflixtv Buni.tv concentrate on working with filmmakers on the video on demand side of things or Tuluntulu  which means “continuous stream” in Zulu. Tuluntulu is a video streaming mobile app focused on the bottom of the pyramid users by working with tv channels

 

However small, a brave population of African startups in this space have stayed with the YouTube advertising based model and lowered the bar for creators to share their content with the world. I review two of such startups:

 

[view video]

 

 

 

IrokoX

Irokox is the brain child of Iroko TV. Iroko TV was started by co-founders Jason Njoku (CEO) and Bastian Gotter who have fought and survived the perilous landscape of video on demand in Africa

 

Irokox puts out a call to content creators and essentially hand holds them through the growth process by providing for free to them:

A world class in-house video editing and graphic design team and several years of distribution expertise, the IrokoX team will specifically provide a suite of services, including, but not limited to,

  • content production & promotion,
  • programming and branded sponsorship campaigns to connect brands with powerful influencers across all entertainment industries,
  • existing media channel management and
  • global content distribution.

IrokoX will work out of its iROKO’s Lagos, New York and London offices, where it selects a round of artists from , produce, distribute and monetize new and original short-form video content (3 – 5 minutes).

Irokox provides content distribution across itunes, youtube, Spotify, google play and split revenue 80/20, where 80% goes to the creator.

 

Business Model Difference

IrokoX leverages on its experiences running  Iroko TV to help  newest content creators  and makes its money through streams: ad revenue and distribution platform sales with download sites such as iTunes and Spotify, content syndication with third party mobile and social media platforms, and brand marketing deals,

IrokoX is not necessarily one platform, more of a blend of offline and online activities

 

Irokox Criticism

The numbers of content creators that Irokox can affect are smaller than it would with a one unified platform.

 

 

Zylofon Cash/Zylofon Dream

The Zylofon Dream program was introduced by the Zylofon group on 16th February, 2018 with its focus on supporting creative arts in Ghana. This initiative has as its focus anyone who aspires to be a model, musician, actress, fashion designer, comedian, poet or any act one might be good at. Zylofon Dream seeks to not only promote creative arts, but to help individuals with talent earn money whiles showcasing these talents.

 

Creatives and content creators can upload their video and images, i.e. music videos, comedy, movies, music, TV shows, and etc., can also be uploaded and monetized.

Difference in Business Model Approach

 

Zylofon cash requires it creators to buy a scratch card worth 20 USD to upload 3 videos (earlier it was around 40 USD). Which I think enables the organization to defray the platform costs.

All content is reviewed before allowed onto the platform

 

It does not rely on advertisements dollars to pay creators , it pays users by views and likes only , which begs a lots of questions about financial sustainability , unless the plan is to  have a large numbers of creators paying to upload on  the platform offsetting the cost of the likes and views

 

 

Criticism of the Zylofon Cash

 ‘Barely three months since the platform was introduced, it has attracted some 27,000 plus active subscribers now attached to the array of creative arts contents. Zylofon Media launched its application for Zylofon Cash on the Google and App stores in May and June respectively.

Unlike existing digital markets for creative content, ‘Zylofon Cash’ has not set a threshold for views before the owner of the art work can get paid’. (https://www.modernghana.com/news/854359/zylofon-cash-now-on-play-store.html)

Some Acts on Zylofon Cash

 

Artiste

 

Craft

Time posted

Number of views

Money generated

Kwame Legacy

Poet

4 months ago

756

21.22gh

Smoke

rapper

3 months ago

1311

37.92gh

Diana Adonu

Fashion Designer

2 months ago

89

3.16gh

Unique Nsiah

model

2 months ago

99

2.72gh

 

On the other side, Zylofon Media also make money for its signees/renowned musicians by putting up their videos.

 

Artiste

Craft

Time posted

Number of views

Money generated

 

Shatta wale (gringo teaser)

Musician

1 month

635

16.76gh

Becca ft Stonebwoy

Musician

3 months

347

10.08gh

Kumi Guitar

Musician

1 month

824

21.58gh

 

 

 

 

 

Critics

 

‘Any platform that would reward content publishers or creators per views needs traffic to be successful and Zylofon Cash seems to have little to none traffic—the reason why Becca and Stonebwoy’s music video on the platform has only been viewed 36 times.

While Kumi Guitar’s Betweener has received over 25 thousand views on Youtube, the same video has received a depressing 213 views on Zylofon Cash’s website—where it was even first uploaded’. (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Zylofon-Cash-Becca-Stonebwoy-made-96-pesewas-Kumi-Guitar-earned-GHC5-633178)

 

 

I interviewed one of the creators, on the platform, She is a fitness model and after a week on the platform, she has earned 50p USD and even though she believes it’sanother channel to build her brand, she believes the site forcing everyone to sign up before connecting with the content will limit her ability to earn much on the platform