London — The making of the mobile industry was the moment that pre-paid calling was implemented. Users with no secure income but relatively small amounts of money could become customers when they had money. This week Mondia has launched a content platform that might become the “pre-pay” moment for digital content in Africa. Russell Southwood talked to Paolo Rizzardini, CCO, Mondia about its plans.
Mondia came up with idea for its ‘Pay-As-You-Go” digital content platform just 8 months ago:”We were analyzing data from the African market and realized how difficult it was to monetize Africa subscribers in a US or European ‘all-you-can-eat’ subscription.”
“We looked for a model that can work for the African consumer. We know that they’re interested in content and that they are increasingly more and more smartphones. So we said let’s give them a one-stop shop where you can taste in a convenient way. You can buy a bucket of entertainment time.”
Monsooq is currently a web portal but will transition to also becoming an app as user numbers increase. The portal has four categories: watch, listen, play (online games) and read. It was only launched Monday but the Watch and Play categories are the ones currently getting the attention.
The service launched Monday (9 November) in South Africa at R2 (US13 cents) for 30 minutes. In content terms the aim is to have half-and-half local and international content. Currently the content portfolio feels a little thin but Mondia is promising some important content announcements before Christmas and they will be adding more as they go forward:”We have 50 content partners who we are currently integrating.”
Content providers will get 50% of revenues spent on their content on a monthly basis. Mondia has its own dedicated content team and would be interested to hear from African content owners.
The current content available includes South African lifestyle channel Viva Nation TV; Weflix, a Netflix-style platform; Indian Bollywood platform Epic On; music content from Universal Music; and e-sports content. The launch has been based on the user purchasing time on a card or coupon. The latter can be give as free time as loyalty rewards by sponsors to users.
Mondia’s big strength is its relationship with MNOs, of which it has more than 80 using its other services including Vodafone, Telefonica and Vodacom. In time, it will persuade some of these customers to integrate carrier billing into Monsooq.
It is talking to MNOs about “content+data” bundles that can be sold and also be given as part of a SIM starter pack:”We’re helping operators to monetize in a fragmented market and we see them as strategic partners in terms of reach. The MNOs we’ve talked to are excited and see this as an innovative approach. It is a new way to engage with their customers.”
If the launch in South Africa goes well, Monsooq will be rolled out in Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya:”Our first milestone will be 1 million users and we have sub-milestones based on an engagement with the content KPI that we’ll look at in June.” Over time Mondia would like to see Mondia become a ‘super-app’ with a widening set of other applications.
Africa Sports Business Summit launches in 2021: Global media entrepreneur, Robert Blagman, launches the ‘African Sports Business Summit’ a hybrid B2B event to take place over four weeks, from Monday 23 August to Friday 17 September. The hybrid B2B event is dedicated to the development, production and monetization of homegrown sports via multi-platform content distribution outlets, brand partnership, merchandising and public arenas. The ‘African Sports Business Summit’ will deliver results in the form of well prepared, well researched, meetings, and is scaled to welcome 750+ key players in the sports industry from 100 countries, 500+ of them taking part virtually and 250+ ready to also come to Kigali for three days of in-person meetings, from 7 to 9 September. More info: Francoise Lazard, Brand Development Manager, Basic Lead firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: + 1 (323) 594 8010
Lesotho’s first ever Oscar entry: This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection’, starring the late South African screen legend Mary Twala, starts its Oscar-qualifying run on 27 November at Ster Kinekor Tygervalley in Cape Town and at Ster Kinekor Sandton in Johannesburg. The film will screen until 4 December, in line with the rules for qualifying films for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards, which require films to screen for seven days to qualify for nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Animation lovers and aspiring creatives across Africa are reminded to tune in to an exclusive 15min preview of the We Bare Bears feature film and Q&A session with the award-winning creator, Daniel Chong, from 7 to 13 November. The Q&A session, part of the 2020 virtual NAICCON (Nairobi Comic Convention), is hosted by Nick Wilson, Founder & Head of Projects & Content at African Animation Network (AAN): https://africananimation.net/tv/
Canal+ will launch myCanal in Africa next year: Canal Plus Group chairman Maxime Saada says, that myCanal has become a “major strategic player for the group”. OTT is representing between 30% and 40% of subscriber acquisitions. The company is also in talks with Apple and HBO to bring their contents to myCanal, too. Canal Plus has 20.4 million subscribers including 8.6 million in mainland France. About 75% of the subscribers consume their content in French. After the launch on PS5 and XBOX, the streaming service will also be made available for desktop users. There are also plans to implement an app for LG Smart TVs. The deployment in Africa is set to be made next year.
SuperSport have reached an agreement with UEFA for another three years. Both UEFA Champion League and UEFA Europa League will be broadcasted on SuperSport and there will also be a new UEFA competition which will be available on local screens. “UEFA football competitions showcase the champion footballers of Europe,
Sports Network Africa partners with African Knockout/AKO: The partnership will cover its 2020 pilot season on spnafrica.com as well as our news portal spnafricanews.com. SPNAfrica will be covering the eight episodes and the finale of AKO in the coming weeks, ensuring that readers across the continent benefit from a full and comprehensive reporting of what is going down “in the house”, who is on the rise and who is most likely to be crowned champion as contestants take on the physical and emotional challenges of living in the tight confines of their camp.
Showmax in second place: JustWatch – the international streaming guide and rating service – have recently released its viewing figures for streaming platforms in South Africa. The figures, covering the third quarter of 2020 showed that Netflix is the leading streaming platform in South Africa with a 35 per cent share, and Showmax follows them in the second position with 25 per cent share.