Rwanda’s Tele10 remodels its VoD platform as a “white label” for mobile operators with local content
10 February 2017
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.
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