AccessKenya adds leisure content to boost Internet use

Digital Content

AccessKenya is diversifying its revenue model to entice more consumers to use the Internet for leisurely pursuits.

The listed ISP unveiled a Sh10 million information portal that it is banking on improving the quality of content and marks the introduction of a new division within the group to focus on creating value-added services.

Marketing manager, Petra Somen, will head the new content division, and develop the portal in conjunction with African Laughter, an ICT solution provider that focuses on developing Websites.

The Website, which offers reviews of local entertainment facilities as well as providing up-to-date information on events and news, is banking on revenues made from advertising to boost its development.

“We have deliberately scaled down our pricing to attract more businesses to the website. Our rates vary from Sh1,000 to Sh6,000,” said Jenny Luesby, director of African Laughter.

“We saw the need to increase the number of Kenyans going online was to provide them with content that they could relate to. We are confident this new portal will enhance our core business which is the provision of internet services,” said Jonathan Somen.

In developing its portal, AccessKenya is adopting a model first used in the ISP industry soon after the market was liberalised. In the late ‘90s, as ISPs sought to attract Kenyans to the Internet, many built up information websites which consumers would use to navigate the web.

Despite early successes, most of those websites were phased out as users became more Internet-savvy and turned to more universal tools such as search engines to find the information.

The firm said it was developing the portal to take advantage of a second liberalisation period, which is expected to see larger numbers of Kenyans go online.

Much of the activity in the Internet sector is being spurred by the coming of international fibre optic cable projects which are expected to reduce the cost of communication by up to ten times.

Mr Somen said the information portal would be a test case for future projects along the same concept.

“Content is extremely important to the growth of the industry and while it may seem we are deviating from our core business, we are enhancing our offering in line with changing trends in the market place.

Business Daily