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Africa: You Tube Opens the Road to New Online Business Models in Africa With Video Streaming

         Date: 2012-07-17

           Tag: Africa, Africa Business Models

Summary: You Tube is available in all African countries but has been localized in a number of African countries including: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. In one West Africa country with a lo…

You Tube is available in all African countries but has been localized in a number of African countries including: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

In one West Africa country with a local Google cache server, the amount of traffic through the local IXP is now 800 mbs and the majority of it is You Tube use.

So how does a country get to have a localized You Tube site?

According to Kitaka:"We need to sign an agreement with a (rights) collection society for authors, publishers and composers. Typically one body plays that role and it deals not just with local rights collection but also works on behalf of global rights holders."

Once that important formality is dealt with, You Tube looks at levels of existing use and the number of potential content publishers to see whether any interest.

"There's still a lot of pain on the infrastructure side but this pain should reduce. Access and the cost of access is still really a barrier. But You Tube can play a key role in Africanising the web". Google has installed local cache servers in 4 countries and neighboring countries can take advantage of their presence.

In addition, the You Tube Feather feature allows users with much lower bandwidth access to watch a lower resolution version:"Feather will make these settings static and deactivate the fancy features. With optimization, a stream should run properly even with low bandwidth."

In terms of content providers, there are three categories that You Tube wants to work with:

1. Existing African broadcasters: You Tube can take broadcasters existing content and extend its audience, whether in the country itself or for the diaspora.

Kenya's NTV has a live stream of its prime time news programme and also uses You Tube as a platform for catch-up viewers. It has had 10 million views to date. South Africa's SABC also makes use of it in much the same way.

2. African film and music producers: Much has now been written about the success of Nollywood Love but there are still film and music producers in other countries who are not yet properly exploiting the potential of online streaming.

A typical example of this kind of content producer would be Homeboyz Entertainment Group in Kenya.

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