KenTV unveils online shopping network

Technology & Convergence

Internet broadcaster, KenTV has launched an on-line shopping network for local and international shoppers visiting its website. Company executives said the service not only targets the growing number of Kenyans using the Internet but also opens a new window for Kenyans in the diaspora to buy goods for their relatives back home.

“We believe that a guide on the net that gives consumers a hassle-free view of the best offers in town adds value to our website,” said Kimaita Magiri, the managing director of the online television network. KenTV is banking on the lure of local content for Kenyans living abroad to develop an on-line consumer market that incorporates an e-commerce element to the website.

“The number of visits to our site has risen from 25,000 hits a day to 90,000 since its launch,” said Mr Magiri. The television station broadcasts solely on the web. Its programmes range from daily news broadcasts to music shows, highlights of popular sports events and even religious services.

A number of companies with an interest in selling to the global consumer market are on the network. They include Nakumatt, Uchumi and Bata. KenTV’s Shopping Network hopes to take on the more established players such as that launched over seven years ago and has built a solid client base on the Internet.

KenTV has also announced an extension of its programming line-up to meet rising demand. Magiri attributes the rising number of visitors to the website to the signing of a partnership with international broadcast firm Sky in November. The move has allowed KenTV to attract more European viewers and advertisers such as Moneyline UK that promotes its money transfer services on the website. KenTV’s is the first Kenyan-based dedicated Internet television station but the format promises to draw a large number of traditional broadcasters to web transmissions.

In September,2007, NTV went online, in a partnership with Internet social sharing website Youtube, the first part of a comprehensive plan to develop a digital broadcasting division. Within the first month, NTV’s website received over 325,000 views, three honours and an average of 4,000 views for every video uploaded, and can boast solid viewership figures from all over the world. “Preliminary surveys indicate that the site is increasingly becoming popular with Kenyans and other citizens abroad,” said Joseph Mucheru of Google, who own the YouTube site.