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Online media

  • What impact could ad-blocking have for SA’s online publishers?

    Apple has included a tool in its latest mobile operating system, iOS9,that will block adverts on iPhones and iPads as a default in its Safari web browser. This means that in order for users to see ads on Safari, they need to choose to manually disable the setting. Publishers derive revenue from advertising sales. If fewer users see ads, publishers and ad networks will earn less revenue. A report published by Adobe and PageFair indicates that ad-blocking software will lead to nearly $22 billion in lost advertising revenue in 2015, a 41% rise from 2014. One third of all...

  • ONTAPtv.com: what you should know about South Africa’s new à la carte on demand video service

    On Wednesday South Africa received a new video on demand (VoD) service in the shape of ONTAPtv.com. This new service, which has packages starting at R39 and allows for video downloads is clearly aimed at a different audience to that of its competitors. ONTAPtv.com launches with a library of over 2 500 movies and television episodes, with titles ranging from the cult-classic Army of Darkness to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and even Mad Max: Fury Road. Some of the content available from studios include BBC Worldwide, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), SABC, CSI Sports, Now TV, and Warner Bros. While ONTAPtv.com's most obvious competitor,...

  • 4 reasons people hate your website’s content

    All businesses trying to make a buck online quickly learn that content is king. The content you put on your website or share through social media is the lure that draws people to visit you and buy your products and services. But not all content is created equal, and many people make the same mistakes with their content again and again. Being Boring The first and easiest mistake to fall into is to be boring. There are two types of boring. The first is just a bad, bland, or uninteresting writing style. The second is to copy the same material that...

  • From Aristotle to AI: the evolution of storytelling [Digital Edge]

    Stories are the organising principle of reality. That's as true today as it was at the dawn of human consciousness. But the way we tell those stories has changed immeasurably and, as a consequence, so have we. That was the message from NATIVE VML CEO at the opening of the Digital Edge Live event in Sandton, Johannesburg. As he pointed out, we've always told stories, but we've never told them in the way we do today. "Technologies that we've only really been playing with for the past 20 years will change the shape of storytelling...

  • Learning from BuzzFeed: creating branded content your audience will love

    Whether you’re a blogger or a brand, you’ve grown and refined your tone and approach to creating and sharing content with your audience over a period of time. The topics you discuss, the articles you share and the amount you engage with people is not only an expression of yourself or your brand, but rewarding on a social, personal and economic front. We recently wrote about the six steps to building a successful influencer marketing plan, outlining best practice to engage with influencers and achieve meaningful results with your influencer marketing campaigns. But what about the best approach to captivating...

  • 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...