Tag Archives: Nigeria International Television Summit

Producers seek NBC action over payments

L-R: Paul Igwe, Victor Okpala, Ariyike Oladipo, Agatha Amata, Matthew Okuduwa and Jerry Isichei

Nigerian producers have called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to intervene in the issue of paying for airtime, with one claiming “ridiculous rates” are leading to content repetition.

The comments came during a heated debate on the topic at the Nigerian International Television (NITV) Summit this week, during a session titled Content Rules: Digitisation Demands for Broadcasters & Independent Producers.

Ariyike Oladipo, founder and CEO of producer Apreel Ventures, was among several from her industry to claim it was almost impossible for TV producers to excel in the current environment due to the need to constantly buy airtime from TV stations while also carrying the costs of production.

“We are given ridiculous rates that lead to content repetition,” said Oladipo, while pleading with NBC officials to find a way out of the problem.

Panellists explored the question of whether the NBC ought to put regulations in place so stations can thrive without relying on airtime payments.

However, NBC official Matthew Okuduwa said there was nothing the corporation could do: “Airtime purchase is simply a business relationship between content producers and broadcasting stations. And it is up to producers to either accept or reject it.”

The other panellists were Agatha Amata, founder of Rave TV; Paul Igwe, president of EMCOAN; and Victor Okpala, producer at Dope 7 Media. Jerry Isichei, CEO of Daches Media, moderated the session.

The panel also discussed whether stations should promote Nigerian content rather than foreign programming in order to boost the local economy. “Television stations should air less than an hour of foreign content so that local content producers can thrive,” argued Amata.

NITV delegates were told that the NBC is doing all it can to ensure that Nigerian broadcasters’ content is least 80% local.

 

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Summit explores future of VoD

Members of the Understanding Digital Content Monetisation panel

Nigerian film makers and TV producers are constantly battling with the high rate of piracy and dubbing of online materials by viewers, Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit delegates heard this week.

In the closing session at the NITV Summit on Wednesday, before the vote of thanks by conference founder Ijeoma Onah and cocktails, panellists tackled the topic Understanding Digital Content Monetisation & the Future of VoD in Nigeria.

Media professionals discussed the challenges they encounter with their online content as well as the various formats available to them as regards VoD.

This session was moderated by Izu Osuigwe, CEO of Forest TV, while the panellists included Chioma Ude, chairman of Envivo; Denis Pagnac, founder and CEO of Summview; movie actor Emeka Ossai; and movie producer Madu Chikwendu.

One of the issues addressed by the panel was the challenges producers face when putting their content online. Some of these include the inability to have your own channel as a producer, which can ultimately lead to failure.

Another threat to producers, according to the panel, is not creating unique content and failing to partner with telecom operators, since producers often fail if they try to monetise content online on their own.

One of the proven ways that producers can get revenue from online content is by partnering with corporations to advertise their products within that content.

The panel agreed that by targeting advertisers’ needs, producers will be able to generate revenue. “Who you are and who you know matters a lot,” said Ude, who is also the founder of the Africa International Film Festival.

Marketing is also key if you want your content to be known by the masses. Not only will you garner publicity and viewers but it will also promote you as a producer.

Delegates also heard how Envivo offers content providers the opportunity to showcase their videos, which are subsequently translated into different video formats.

The panel concluded that if producers are sensitive enough to know the direction the television industry and the world is headed, they will surely not be left behind.

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Nigerian nets ‘must find niche’

Industry leaders took part in a session titled Define Your Channel: Original Programming Quality Content & Brand Positioning

Carving a niche is key to establishing a channel brand in a crowded market, delegates at the Nigeria International Television Summit were told earlier this week.

Industry leaders emphasised the need to offer viewers a unique proposition during a session titled Define Your Channel: Original Programming Quality Content & Brand Positioning.

Speaking about the inspiration behind his upcoming channel, Teen Africa, Nollywood film director and producer Charles Novia said: “Niche programming and niche content is the future of TV. There is a gap in the market for original content for teenagers in Nigeria, which is why I developed Teen Africa. I was able to know the market in order to discover the need to create real content for teens.”

The speakers also stressed that creating a niche goes beyond just programming, noting that it is sometimes more about finding a gap in the market and meeting audience demand. “People want a voice and want to be heard,” said TV presenter and Rave TV head Agatha Amata.

According to media entrepreneur Obi Asika, who moderated the discussion, the right approach is knowing your market. “The first thing we need to do is focus on the black diaspora – they are seeking our content. As much as we focus on international audiences, we must also bear in mind that the local and diaspora market exists and they are our best bet.”

The issue of copyright was another major talking point, with Ebony Life TV chief strategy officer Eunice Omole noting: “Independent producers ought to protect their ideas because that idea might have already been brought up by some other producer.”

Elsewhere, the panel discussed the issue of producers paying for airtime, with Amata highly critical of the practice.

“TV channels should stop demanding airtime [fees] from producers,” she said. “It is inhumane, but that is what they do. You need to know you are adding value, otherwise you will be tossed here and there. So, define how you want to operate your business.

“I have been running my talkshow, Inside Out, for 22 years and we have never bought airtime. There is no way I would produce and still buy airtime. As a producer, I’m bringing value to your channel with my content.”

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Animators speak out at NITV

Somto Ajuluchukwu, Ayodele Elegba and Kola Olarewaju at the animation roundtable

Animation is an often-neglected part of Nigeria’s media industry but this is beginning to change, delegates at Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit heard.

In a roundtable discussion at the Wednesday event, studio heads and animators discussed the uniqueness of the animation industry as well as the challenges.

Mbuotidem Johnson

Speakers included Mbuotidem Johnson, CEO of Basement Animation; Ayodele Elegba, CEO of Spoof Animation; Kola Olarewaju, CEO at Komotion Studios; and Niyi Akinmolayan, CEO of Anthill Studios. The session was moderated by Somto Ajuluchukwu, MD of C3 African Network.

Highlighting the challenges facing the industry, panelists agreed that one of the major issues is electrical power, saying that the use of high-powered computers and other technology necessitates constant light, which is costly in Nigeria.

According to Akinmolayan, talent is also difficult to come by because there are no training schools in Nigeria, so it falls on the animation studios to train animators, which is a long and costly process.

“Finding the right person to do your job is not easy because there are no qualified people and no training schools. Therefore, that responsibility lies on us, so we train and do the job simultaneously because that is the best tactic,” he said.

Agreeing with this, Johnson, who is also the founder of trade body Animation Nigeria, said: “I came from a background of 3D animation but as I considered my options, I switched to 2D. With 2D I can finish a project and train faster. Within a month a trained person can execute 2D renderings well enough, but 3D takes about five to six months of training and you’ve hardly begun.

“Finding investors is also one of the hardest thing to do. So to stay in this industry you have to do things in unusual ways.”

For Akinmolayan, director of The Wedding Party, the right approach to sustaining an animation studio is to get other jobs to keep the cash flowing.

“Do something on the side. I make money as a film director. If you call me to do wedding videos, I will do it. Anything to keep the money flowing in, because animation is a long-term investment and I’m not giving up.”

Olarewaju highlighted the issue of religion and animation. “When we did [short film] Sango, many people said it was fetish. They liked it but would badmouth it because of their religion. They do not see it as a work of art but as something fetish, which is mostly how Nigerians react to something out of the norm,” he said.

“The audience demand in the international market and here in Nigeria varies. Animation in the international market is often created for younger audiences, for under-nines, or nine- to 13-year-olds. However, here it appeals more to adults, so to break the market in Nigeria we are often forced to create content for adults, which is kind of restricting,” said Johnson.

Elegba, also founder of Lagos Comic Con (LCC), advised on the right strategy for getting investors. “If you are only thinking of how good your content is, you will run down,” he said. “You have to think of the business side – think distribution, coproduction, and more.”

LCC, of which Content Nigeria is a media partner, takes place at the Landmark Centre, VI, Lagos on September 15.

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NITV panel explores collaboration

Participants gathers for the first Nigeria International Television Summit roundtable

The first roundtable session of the Nigeria International Television Summit addressed the need for TV producers to create relevant content in the broadcast industry.

The discussion was led by Ahmadou Bakayoko, director general of Ivory Coast public broadcaster RTI, who showcased the promotion of Nollywood content on screen.

The other speakers on Wednesday included Ana Ballo, head of distribution arm RTI Distribution; Paul Igwe, president of content owners trade association EMCOAN; and Ariyikie Oladipo, film producer at EMCOAN.

The various media stakeholders deliberated on the necessity for Nigeria and Ivory Coast to partner and collaborate in order to promote African content.

“We aim to promote and distribute RTI’s own productions in Ivory Coast and abroad,” Ballo said.

There needs to be a shift from the norm and producers need to come up with new ideas that will replace existing ones on television, she added. “We require stories that have volume of content.”

In view of this, producers ought to know their market and consumer demands so that they can effectively produce meaningful content, the panel agreed.

Emphasising the point, Oladipo revealed that EMCOAN only uses equipment of international standard, which gives it the best quality content.

Coproduction was also top of the agenda, with panel members believing it would help strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. “You cannot make money alone,” Ahmadou said, concluding that partnerships are important.

Making high-quality, premium content is the way to go for the TV industry, the panel concluded.

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Pay TV in focus at NITV

Emeka Mba, Bamidele Adetunji, Funmi Adenaike, Zachary Wazara & Lindsey Oliver

The first panel session at the Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the country’s pay TV industry.

Addressing the issue of sustainability and growth in the pay TV business in Nigeria, panelists discussed the challenges and ways in which these can be overcome.

Panelists included Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV; Emeka Mba, former NBC director general and now CEO of Questechmedia Consulting; Bamidele Adetunji, CEO at Montage Media Group; and Zachary Wazara, CEO of Kwese TV. The session was moderated by Lindsey Oliver, CEO of Yanga TV.

The conversation kicked off with an evaluation of the industry as a whole and how it has evolved so far. Panelists agreed that rapid development of technology poses a challenge for pay TV platforms.

“The internet is changing consumer behaviour and business models,” said Wazara.

Meanwhile, despite agreeing that other industries are threatening the growth of the TV industry, Adetunji stated that the challenge to sustainability is a lack of proper recording technology and archiving.

“There was time I wanted to produce an epic Nigerian movie but was told it was unavailable because a recording had been done over the master recording, which basically means it no longer exists.

“And this leads me to ask, who has the rights to TV series like [classic Nigerian drama] Village Headmaster? Where are our formats? Where are our records? There are no local formats, yet international formats still exist,” said Adetunji.

Addressing the issue of telcos encroaching on the TV industry, Mba stated: “There are no level playing fields in an industry that is hugely dependent on technology and data to operate.”

Buttressing his point, Adenaike added: “There are enormous challenges in the industry and some pay TV companies are forced to deliver certain kinds of content because they are working with what is available, which is not much.”

Speaking about the way forward, Adetunji suggested that Nigeria should establish a commercial satellite platform so local pay TV channels don’t have to form partnerships with international satellites and pay “astronomical” amounts to air content. This is especially true when consumers do not understand a pay TV channel’s need for high prices because all they want is content at a low cost.

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RTI chief delivers NITV keynote

Ahmadou Bakayoko at NITV Summit

The Nigeria International Television Summit (NITVS) kicked off today with a keynote speech from Ahmadou Bakayoko, director general of Radiodifussion-Télévision Ivoirenne (RTI).

Bayakoyo, who runs the Ivory Coast’s public broadcaster, discussed the various issues pay TV companies are faced with in the African continent. According to him, consumers value content aired on pay TV networks but do not give a thought to the costs of operations and production.

He also stated that the advent of more technology-driven innovation has created stiff competition, thereby causing loss of revenue for those companies. “More technology is coming that breaks the geographical barrier and pay TV companies can hardly make money when their programmes air on YouTube before they officially launch it,” he said.

He further stated: “Telcos are a threat to us because they have the money to create content. They say data but it’s video and people love video content they can easily access.”

However, despite the challenges he mentioned, Bakayoko suggested solutions that could help sustain companies in the television industry. He said the three keys to sustaining the pay TV business is securing talent, forming relationships and being innovative.

“The biggest asset in this industry is talent; it gives an extra edge and passion. Therefore, the solution is to secure a relationship with your talents, nurture them and satisfy them to ensure they don’t just go to the highest bidder because of the relationship they have with you.”

He added: “Whereas, innovation is also very key, as important as international cooporation. Even the bigger players make mergers and partnerships, locally and internationally.”

RTI is the publicly owned radio and TV authority of Ivory Coast. It is financed through a combination of TV and radio licences, advertisements and taxes.

Earlier this year, RTI signed what is thought to be the first TV coproduction deal between Ivory Coast and South Korea, RTI Distribution, the distribution arm of RTI, sealed the deal with Seoul-based PlayOnCast to coproduce drama series Abidjan City Club (30×26’).

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