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Online media

  • ShowMax: what the Memeburn team thinks

    By now you're probably well aware of the fact that Naspers has launched ShowMax, a video on demand (VoD) service aimed squarely at grabbing the attention of the country's online population before Netflix's inevitable arrival (scheduled for some time before the end of 2016). At R99 a month, it's clearly designed to make South Africans think twice about using the semi-legal methods currently required to access overseas streaming services in South Africa. For one, it gives them some reprieve from the fluctuations of the Rand/Dollar exchange rate. For another, it comes with local and HBO content that Netflix doesn't have. But...

  • ShowMax: the good, the bad and the Naspers conundrum

    Naspers' video on demand (VoD) service ShowMax launched late yesterday. It comes with a reasonably large library (including plenty of classic South African series and films) and, at R99 a month, a competitive price point. Those two things alone mean that it's a step ahead of the other VoD services that have launched in the country but that's no guarantee of success. There are still plenty of obstacles it has to overcome, some of which come from Naspers' other video entertainment products. That's not to say that ShowMax is doomed to fail though. It's clear that Naspers has spent...

  • ShowMax: 7 things you should know about Naspers’ new VoD service

    Naspers today officially launched its ShowMax video on demand (VoD) offering. The Johannesburg launch followed more than a week of media reports around the product, which is aimed at the South African market. Despite the best efforts of the country's tech journalists, it did manage to keep some details of the launch under wraps. While the threat of Netflix was never overtly mentioned, there can be no doubt that the bigwigs at Naspers are well aware of exactly how many internet users in the country already subscribe semi-legally. ShowMax has tried to differentiate itself from other VoD services in...

  • It’s official: Naspers launches video streaming service ShowMax

    Naspers today officially announced the launch of ShowMax, its Netflix-style online streaming service. At an event in Johannesburg, the emerging markets internet and media giant revealed that the service will cost R99 a month. In addition to the online offering, ShowMax has a companion app which is already available for download on Android and iOS Among the shows available on ShowMax from day one: are The Big Bang Theory, Ray Donovan, Vikings, and True Blood. While the service officially launched today, reports of its development have been circulating for some time now. While earlier media reports suggested that Naspers' ability...

  • Naspers reportedly working on Netflix competitor

    It's no secret that many connected South Africans have forgone traditional TV for Netflix, despite the fact that the on-demand video service doesn't officially operate in the country. Now though, it seems that emerging markets internet and media giant Naspers is preparing to fight back. The launch, which could take place as early as next week, would signal an acknowledgement by the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that it needs to move beyond its existing PayTV offerings. Through its subsidiary Multichoice, Naspers runs the DStv and GOtv satellite offerings. Read more: Netflix seems to be clamping down on overseas VPN users It...

  • Times Media poaches Media24’s Lisa Macleod for top digital job

    Times Media has announced the appointment of Lisa Macleod as its new head of digital. Macleod, who has been in the industry for the best part of 20 years, was lured across from Media24 where she's currently GM for Digital Publishing. Andrew Gill, MD Times Media, says MacLeod’s appointment is significant given the demand for digital expertise in a highly competitive media environment. “MacLeod is familiar with the challenges of taking widely recognised print businesses, and evolving them into lucrative digital-first operations. The intellectual capital she brings is completely aligned to TMG’s expansion strategy, and our...

  • Lies, damn lies & metrics — the death of digital media

    Metrics are the most believable of lies. They come pre-packaged with cause and effect, giving us the comfort of feeling our actions have led to an outcome. They are an easy pointer to success, and often become the focal point of a campaign, versus actual success. The ease of creating metrics has pretty much created an industry built on loose association and correlation, hardly ever causation. One of the great deceptions of the digital marketing era is measurability. This would indicate that there is some source of truth being conveyed by the metrics, which in fact there hardly ever...

  • What does Apple News mean for SA publishers?

    Apple introduced its latest app, Apple News on Monday 8 June 2015, in California, however it will officially launch with iOS 9 later this year. In the same breath it has said farewell to its Newsstand app, which was fraught with issues from the start. The new app is an aggregated app, which will launch with a number of big media partners such as The New York Times and ESPN. It will pull content from a number of sites globally and present content to the reader in a magazine-style format. Users can also select topics or specific publications to...

  • Global online video ads seeing double digits, to grow over $13b this year

    The moving pictures on the newspapers in Harry Potter make it all seem so magical, but they're not much different from the animations on the average web page these days -- something we've grown so used to. Yes, we are all glued to our magical digital screens and it's big data for big money. As reported by Streamdaily, global advertising revenue from online video doubled to US$11.2-billion between 2011 and 2014, and will jump to US$13.8-billion in 2015. Let's be honest, the living room is dying, slowly but surely we are starting to surf the web on our TV and now...

  • Mystery group creates publicly accessible online Sapa archive

    A group of civic-minded hackers have come together to launch SapaFiles, a publicly available, searchable archive of articles belonging to the recently shuttered South African Press Association (Sapa), dating back to 1998. The group decided to make the archives available after it was announced that the 77-year old news wire service would be closing its doors on 1 April "We took the extraordinary step of saving as much as we could and making it public, because we believe that the Sapa archive represents an invaluable South African historical asset, that should not be controlled by one private company," the group...

  • 3 things you need to know about the platform agnostic publisher

    The world of online publishing is constantly evolving. A 20-year-old industry that quickly became more powerful and influential than its older print sibling is undergoing constant disruption by new technologies and changing audience consumption patterns. The perfect storm of 2015 – spiking mobile device penetration, the dominance of social media and the constant connectivity of end users – has set the stage for the rise of a new breed of publishers. Audiences no longer seek and consume the content of a small set of trusted publishers, but rather turn to their social media feeds to find content they stumble...

  • 24.com folds regional English, Afrikaans papers into News 24 and Netwerk 24

    This is big. News24 and Netwerk24 have announced that the online platforms of 11 English and 14 Afrikaans newspaper titles have now moved into the 24.com network. These include local, regional and national newspapers. The papers now under the News24 banner include national title City Press, regional daily The Witness, and community titles such as Amanzimtoti Fever, Stanger Weekly, Greytown Gazette, Hillcrest Fever, Maritzburg Fever, Coastal Weekly, South Coast Fever, East Griqualand Fever, Edendale and Maritzburg Echo. At face value that seems like bad news for the community titles in particular. News24 says however that readers can also customise...

  • 5 reasons media partners are as important as ever in the era of content marketing

    With the rise of “owned” channels such as social media accounts and corporate websites, more and more brands are looking to distribute content directly to consumers as a major component of their marketing strategies. The thinking is that where publishers owned the audience in the era of mass media, digital channels allow brands to engage more deeply and meaningfully with their audiences. It’s a compelling idea and it’s one that many companies seize upon as a way of controlling customer data and driving down marketing costs. Yet the reality is that in today’s fragmented and cluttered landscape, publishers still have a great...

  • Yield optimisation: the term online publishers need to learn about, fast

    Yield optimisation is a skill buyers apply on technology platforms to ensure the best possible performance for campaigns. This enables them to optimise the reach and success of their campaigns, in other words, to spend money on inventory that performs well, and have a high chance of conversion. On the seller side, publishers can define certain parameters which ensure that inventory sells at an appropriate (and usually higher) Cost per Thousand (CPM) rate to buyers and that indirect inventory which serves specific campaign objectives is sold at a reasonable selling rate. For buyers, yield optimisation could be as simple...

  • BuzzFeed goes literary, announces $12k emerging writers fellowship

    BuzzFeed has announced that it will be offering US$12 000 fellowships to emerging writers. The selected writers will spend four months working with BuzzFeed News’ senior editorial staff in New York City. The world's favorite Clickbait site, it would seem, has literary aspirations. In 2013, BuzzFeed launched BuzzFeed Books. Though this was an indication of moving towards being a lot more than just a clickbait publications, its articles like ‘Can We Guess Your Age Based On Your Taste In Books?’ or ‘Which Book Of The Bible Are You?’ are still a far cry from the literary content of the...