Rwanda’s Tele10 remodels its VoD platform as a “white label” for mobile operators with local content

10 February 2017

Top Story

Getting the right business formula for a VoD platform in Africa is tough. It’s a new market and nobody really knows yet what will work. Tele10’s CEO Eugene Nyagahene has had to rethink how its sells its Watch Africa TV service. This week he talked to Russell Southwood about how he has changed it.

The Watch Africa TV VoD platform, was launched in Kenya at the end of 2015:”We lost money in Kenya because our package was US$25 a month because of (the international partner) we were working with. We couldn’t make it a game changer. When Netflix came in, we’d lost the opportunity. Now we’re just selling DVB-T2 boxes (for our TV service).”

It has now focused on “white labeling” its app to mobile operators and shifting from largely international content to wholly local content. In its home territory it has struck deals with MTN and Korea Telecom.

”We’re giving a white label product to telcos. We’ve changed the content from international content and are now customizing it for every country with local content. We’ve gone from international music to local music and from Al Jazeera to local news. We have our studio where we produce local news and we’re not paying rights on it to anyone outside Rwanda. We have local stories and local TV series and films”

Users can upload their own music videos to the channel and can also play games. There are nine different content streams on the platform including: music, church, and history and documentaries:”We have a team of camera men who go into the churches every day to film the services for those who can’t go.”

It has also sold the white label service to mobile operator Leo in Burundi “and we’ve had some requests from Smart and Lumitel. Everyone wants their own brand”. On this white label basis he plans to go into Uganda with MTN.

So how many subscribers are using the service?:”All this is very recent and it’s only three months old so we’ve no feedback yet.”

In terms of the business model, users buy a monthly package of data from the operators and get free access to Watch Africa TV. Tele10 gets 5% on the basis of data sales.

In terms of sales expectations he is bullish:”In Rwanda, MTN has 1 million data subscribers and we expect to get about 10-20% of them. The monthly data package is RWF20,000 (US$24) which is still quite expensive but it’s a very different market to Kenya. Also the price is data plus content which is different to what we did in Kenya”.

He also makes the point that Tele10 as a TV channel can promote the service and not just in Rwanda but also in Burundi and Uganda.

 


 

Digital Content Africa: Balancing Act’s web TV channel Smart Monkey TV has an e-letter called Digital Content Africa. On a fortnightly basis, it covers online film and TV, music, media, social media, digital advertising and services and applications. We have already produced 79 issues and these can be viewed on this link:

Essential reading for those in mobile VAS to anyone just interested in what African and relevant international content they can now get online. If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to info@balancingact-africa.com with Digital Content Africa in the title line. Look at the full list of past issues here:

So far 1624 people have subscribed to Smart Monkey TV’s web TV channel which uploads 7-10 video clip interviews a month, covering African TV, Film, VoD, social media and media. Should you be one of those subscribers? Find out on this link:

Essential reading for those in broadcast and film and to anyone just interested in what African and relevant international content they can now get online. If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to info@balancingact-africa.com with Digital Content Africa in the title line. Look at the full list of past issues here:

Warrick Percy, Capasso on the switch to digital music and its relationship with mobile operators

Pierre van der Hoven, Tuluntulu on how African mobile content models are changing for the better

Julius Nyingmeh on how Vivabox wants data partnerships with African mobile co's to deliver VoD

Ingrid Kopp, Electric South on funding five African Virtual Reality projects

Shalini Moodley on creating DRC's leading entertainment web site and a music web TV channel

Rehad Desai on The Giant is Falling, a documentary about the dying days of the ANC

Ingrid Kopp, Electric South on funding five African Virtual Reality projects

Director Craig Freimond on his film Beyond the River, based on a true story of Dusi Canoe Marathon

Olivier Laouchez on how Trace TV's digital offer will make 50% of its revenues in 3 years time

Martin Munyua on launching Ronga TV, a new VoD service for Kenya and his pasta cooking programme

Mary Njoku, Rok Studios on its five new planned TV series telling traditional African stories

We Are Trace - Trace TV's breathtaking promotion video

Marek Fuchs on working with Sauti Sol and launching an entertainment branding agency

Jason Njoku on how iROKO has pivoted its business from the diaspora to Nigerian mobile users

Adam Tiran, Africori on its A'friquency music event series and digital playlists

Biola Alabi on her new TV series Bukkas and Joints about making and eating African food

South Africa: Arcade's Will Nicholson on using branded content to reach those who don't watch TV ads

Bakahika Bruno, Kapital Movies on a South Sudanese film about a rich man's land grab

Biola Alabi on two Nollywood films - Dry and Wives on Strike - that tackle the issue of child brides

Obi Emelonye on his next film Code 24 about the American President going missing in Kenya

Start-up S & T Media's Soji Ogundoyin on Africa's 1st dwell time TV ad & content in petrol stations

Film-maker Ken Attoh on SparrowStation.com, a VoD platform for the company's films and TV series