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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