A radical change for the African media? Distribution vs Perturbation in the Midst of Critical Con(di)vergence

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Emerging technologies are not only revolutionizing the way people and businesses interact, but they also continue to determine how to produce and deliver the information that people and businesses need around the world. Our analyst previously looked at the tech merger of 63 African media outlets, focusing on Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

According to various sources, these countries have long been Africa’s largest media markets. In these countries, the media ecosystem is complex and relatively advanced in terms of content production and distribution to the public. As stated earlier, new technologies are influencing the way media organizations and professionals produce and deliver what audiences want. This was specifically driven by the internet, smart devices, and the constant innovation of social media owners.

To keep up with the constant innovation of producers of new media and other emerging technologies, news media and their professionals are driven to converge or lose the game of creating and capturing value from dynamic audiences. emerge. This insight is one of the key findings from the analysis of the African media convergence ecosystem.

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The extent to which 63 African media outlets have converged with new media, particularly social networking sites, podcasts, live FM TV and mobile apps, clearly demonstrates that developers of new technologies and owners of social networking sites social forces force media into spaces where it is not generally expected. In this regard, our analyst observes that the concept of convergence and divergence of industrial structure is constantly concretized by media owners and professionals.

Our research reveals that the majority of media (Exhibits 1-4) are under pressure to combine content originally intended for distribution through traditional radio and television with internet versions of the same mass communication channels. Our data shows that in addition to content integration, one of the media companies also engages in content syndication. A situation known as content syndication occurs when one media and another agree to share media content created on their respective platforms.

Looking at the data, our analyst discovered that some broadcast organizations are clearly using the internet to make their presenters and management team visible to the public. According to our analyst, they break down the anonymous barrier associated with traditional radio and television as mass communication channels.

Our data also shows that some media outlets have sessions dedicated to promoting upcoming programs and news, in addition to letting the public know the people behind the program and presenting the news. Our analysis shows that when posting these, a brief description of the news or purpose of the program and any potential benefit viewers or listeners might experience is usually provided.

Exhibit 1: Convergence of radio stations with new media according to content distribution models

Source: Media organizations, 2022; Information analysis, 2022

We have discovered that some media organizations are linking their branches to the main website in what appears to be an effort to reduce the use of the internet (as a platform to reach audiences). This primarily allows the public to visit other establishments owned by the same people and/or organizations. As technologies continue to impose constant convergence on media owners and practitioners, our analyst observes that a critical balance must be struck between new technologies with which to converge and with which to diverge. One method is to assess which emerging technologies are working and which are not working for the target audience of each content (specifically the program).

Exhibit 2: Main content distribution strategies of radio stations in the face of media convergence according to operating models

Source: Media organizations, 2022; Information analysis, 2022

Exhibit 3: Main content distribution strategies of television stations in the face of media convergence

Source: Media organizations, 2022; Information analysis, 2022

Exhibit 4: Main content distribution strategies of newspapers in the face of media convergence

Source: Media organizations, 2022; Information analysis, 2022
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