ZIMBABWE’s leading independent media house, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), will soon launch online radio and television services after being awarded a licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), in terms of Section 10 of the Broadcasting Services Act (Chapter 12:06).
By Staff Reporter
Through its subsidiary, Heart & Soul Broadcasting Services, AMH, publishers of NewsDay, NewsDay Weekender, Southern Eye, The Zimbabwe Independent, and The Standard, can now provide video on demand (VOD) and Webcasting Services, as the group moves to tap into the growing digital platforms and internet population.
Heart & Soul Broadcasting Services chief executive officer and AMH chief operating officer Kangai Maukazuva said the media giant was very excited to expand its business model into digital broadcasting.
“Broadcast journalism has moved and content consumption patterns have also shifted. The phenomena present to us a huge opportunity to expedite our vision of a digital first business in a market that is fast becoming a digital society,” Maukazuva said
“Our shareholders are passionate digital citizens and were the first to have coined ‘a digital first strategy’ and we are proud to be the largest digital media business in this market.
“We also appreciate that our local regulatory authorities are moving with times and unbundling opportunities arising from new trends.”
AMH managing director Kenias Mafukidze said the licence would enable the company to expand its market share and give more value to its already huge internet following.
On all its online platforms, including the three websites and their respective social media platforms, AMH has a following of over four million.
“The way in which we consume news and entertainment has changed dramatically over the past decade, creating exciting opportunities for traditional broadcasters. Come to think of it: Millennials spend more time streaming content than watching it on television, and more than 20% of them are viewing shows on their mobile devices. Streaming services are growing rapidly, with around 60% of consumers using them,” Mafukidze said.
“Being able to offer VOD allows our users to select and watch and listen to video or audio content such as movies and TV shows whenever they choose, rather than at a scheduled broadcast time. This will complement our leading print offerings. We are committed to investing into delivery of content to our loyal customers.”
The global media and entertainment industry market is worth $2 trillion and has grown by nearly 5% annually. In 2016, the United States market alone accounted for $712 billion. VOD viewers are expected to reach 209 million by 2021, up from 181 million in 2015.
“In this regard, as AMH, we are repositioning our business to take advantage of the new opportunities in the digital space,” Mafukidze said. “The future lies in being able to distribute content in creative ways to different audiences.”
He added that AMH was focused on improving customer engagement on all its platforms, creating an efficient content marketing and distribution strategy.
The media and entertainment industry continues to experience growing secular shifts in viewing consumption and advertising spending on digital media at the expense of traditional print-based media, and AMH is seeking to tap into millions of those internet users.