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All posts by Stuart Thomas

  • Why is this SA radio legend betting big on personality-driven streaming apps?

    Memeburn readers of a certain age might remember blasting their radios to the latest dance hits in preparation for a big night out. And if you were listening to one of those stations in particular, chances are the person mixing those tracks was Derek -- aka "The Bandit" -- Richardson. Now working at an ad agency on the Isle of Man, Richardson is also one of a handful of high-profile South African radio personalities throwing their weight behind a suite of genre-driven streaming apps. Powered by South African media giant Kagiso, Richardson's app is called Databass and features a...

  • ShowMax finally comes to Apple TV, Chromecast

    After more than six months, and the entry of the world's leading incumbent into the South African market, ShowMax is finally available to Apple TV and Chromecast users. The Naspers-owned video streaming service announced the long-awaited updates through a couple of press releases. While some may question why the features weren't baked into the service from day one, the team at ShowMax will be hoping that, together with a crackdown on VPNs such as UnoTelly, they help convince people to move across from Netflix. Apple TV users can access ShowMax by searching for it in the Apple TV App...

  • You can now boost video quality on Opera Mini for Android

    Opera Mini has long been an important tool for bringing mobile web access to people in markets where data is expensive. Thing is, until now, it hasn't been able to do much about video. But as people seek out more video content, its become increasingly necessary for it to come up with a solution. After all, a 2015 study by Conviva showed that viewers have little patience for video interruptions: 75% of viewers abandon poor-quality video in four minutes or less, and 33% within 30 seconds. Interactive Advertising Bureau research meanwhile found that buffering/speed is among the top-three most...

  • MPULL, WG2K merge to form ‘new kind of digital agency’

    Inbound marketing agency MPULL has announced a merger with WG2K to form what they call a "new kind of digital agency" aimed at "delivering results that increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies" for its clients. Called League Digital, the agency will apparently steer clear of chasing awards and instead combine beautiful design and data-driven insight in ways that grow their customers' business. “Consumers and B2B buyers have evolved," says League Digital MD Justin Glanville. "Word-of-mouth referrals are among the very few powerful sources of growth for brands. and can only be achieved by delivering amazing customer experiences.” The two...

  • Mzansi Experience: Google gives virtual tours of SA’s national parks

    South Africa has some of the world's best, and most diverse, national parks. Thing is, not everyone can get to them and even those who can sometimes end up going to the same places because they don't know what else is out there. In a bid to change that, Google South Africa on Tuesday announced the launch of Mzansi Experience -- Discover South Africa. The new product, which is part of its Maps offering uses images collected by the Street View Tripod and Trekker and gives people the chance to explore some of South Africa's most beautiful locations in...

  • Nomanini vendors in Mozambique can now top up using MPesa

    This is interesting. Enterprise payment platform provider Nomanini has integrated with M-Pesa in Mozambique enabled via its local country partner, Mozambique Mobile Solutions (MMS), to allow its merchants to use mobile money agents as a means of topping up their virtual vending accounts on Nomanini terminals. Designed especially for informal markets, Nomanini's mobile payment terminals allow vendors to sell everything from prepaid airtime to electricity and insurance in the form of vouchers. Integration with Vodacom’s M-Pesa service in Mozambique allows merchants to deposit cash with M-Pesa agents in order to top-up their terminals. This new method of merchant cash-in is already...

  • Bookmarks 2016: talking cars, a bearded magician, Gloogilvy comes into its own

    The Bookmarks Awards, now in their eighth year, took place on Thursday night and,aside from some fancy tricks from night's entertainment, there were few surprises. In line with the shortlist, the big agencies took home most of the awards on the night. Native VML's "BMW i3 Talking Car" was undoubtedly the campaign of the night, while Gloo -- now safely ensconced in the Ogilvy group -- showed that being part of a giant holding company hasn't dampened its ability to win serious numbers of awards. Ultimately however it would be Native VML that would take top honours for the night,...

  • Guy Phillipson: lessons from the UK’s digital revolution [IAB Summit]

    The UK is one of the biggest digital advertising markets in the world. Worth £4-billion in the first half of 2015, it accounts for the majority of adspend, having overtaken TV as far back as 2010. That's hugely significant, especially given how low digital advertising spend remains in a number of markets. In South Africa for instance, digital spend is growing (excluding Google and Facebook, it was worth more than R1.5-billion in 2015) but still only accounts for a small fraction the country's total adspend. One of the leading players in the UK's digital marketing revolution is Guy Phillipson, who has...

  • New IAB committee to punt transformation in SA digital

    You only have to go to a typical industry event to see how far the South African digital space has to go when it comes to being more representative of the South African population as a whole. In recognition of that fact, the IAB South Africa has launched a new council aiming to push transformation among the country's digital publishers, agencies, and marketers. The council is one of two added to the voluntary, non-profit association's portfolio and was announced on Thursday at the IAB Digital Summit. The council will be headed by Metropolitan Republic's Bronwen Auret, who pointed out...

  • MailOnline to enter SA market, appoints ad partner

    The world's most visited English-language newspaper website, the Mail Online, is set to enter the South African market as it looks to leverage the large readership it already enjoys in the country. The popular, and frequently controversial, site sits just outside the country's top 50 sites above the likes of Supersport and the BBC. There is plenty, then, for some of South Africa's biggest online pubishers to be scared of. As the publisher looks to expand it's African focus, it's appointed AddSuite -- the Ole Media-owned digital advertising services company offering ad-serving solutions, real-time-bidding, programmatic buying and...

  • Facebook brings its F8 developer conference to the world

    Facebook's F8 Developer Conference has become one of the highlights of the tech calendar. But of all the millions of developers around the globe, only a few thousand actually get to go to the conference. In a bid to change that, Facebook is set to host a series of community meetups around the globe to showcase the day one keynote of the conference. "With more than 70 percent of developers building for our platform outside of the United States, Facebook's developer ecosystem truly has a global reach," says Facebook's Deborah Liu in an official blog post. "In an effort to...

  • You can help turn this Cape Town-made animated trailer into a graphic novel

    A little under a year ago, an animated teaser trailer surfaced on Vimeo. The video, for a project called Kariba, quickly racked up over 250 000 views and made it to the front page of Reddit. This online success led to features in Variety, Animation and the respected industry website Cartoon Brew. Now, with the goal of raising funding for a full-length feature film, the team behind Kariba, Blue Forest Collective, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a graphic novel expanding the story. Set in Zimbabwe, Kariba interweaves history and mythology through an imaginative retelling of the...

  • FitKey users can now earn Multiply points

    Insurance and healthcare providers are desperate for their customers to be fit and healthy. It makes sense too, the healthier those customers are, the less they end up needing their insurers. Small wonder then that they're looking for increasingly innovative ways to reward them for being healthy and are looking to tech for ways of doing so. The latest example of this comes from Momentum, which now allows its customers to earn rewards points through gym membership app FitKey. Multiply members can also get a 25% off their monthly FitKey membership. The app, which gives users access to...

  • Facebook launches Canvas, a DIY full-screen ad product

    Facebook on Thursday announced the launch of Canvas, a new mobile product that allows video ads to play in full-screen whenever someone taps on one in their News Feed. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the product was built in collaboration with agencies and brands and is aimed at allowing them to create immersive mobile ad experiences that load nearly instantaneously. Facebook says that Canvas gives brands agencies, "a fully customizable space on which to build multimedia stories". Advertisers, the social network says, can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to "build...

  • #SONA klaps #Budget2016 in social media showdown

    While most South African news organisations were heavily focused on Pravin Gordhan's first budget speech since his return to the post, social media was a lot less interested than it was in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) earlier this month. That's according to figures from social media insights company YouKnow digital, which shows that there were around 43 680 conversations around the speech. That's not bad. It was certainly enough to make it a top trending topic in the country, but it's nothing compared to the 345 964 conversations that took place around SONA. That's understandable. SONA...