AlternaTV, the 24/7 South African internet TV channel, expanded its digital presence by launching a free mobile app, educational show and a pop music feed on 12 May 2014.
It has created the app to be as user-friendly as possible, with its on-demand section being categorised into genre, so it is even easier for viewers to find what they are looking for, at a time that is convenient for them.
Creator and creative director, Nico Nel, is elated with the progress and growth the company has experienced since the channel launched in July 2013 and even more so now, with the introduction of the mobile app.
"The big idea was to publish affordable and accessible video content for viewers, with no payment or subscription fees, and afford advertisers the opportunity to connect with these viewers on a mobile/digital platform. We wanted to create a 24/7 internet TV channel, with a unique and fresh content offering.
"Our flagship shows that were present with the initial launch of the channel - our movie, gadgets, gaming, fashion, music and internet trends shows are still featured, with a bunch of new shows being added to our fleet regularly. We are excited to introduce the mobile app to the offering and feel that it will give fans the ease and accessibility to content that their lifestyles demand.
Pop music feed
"In addition to the app, we've also added a second 24/7 pop music feed, which runs completely independent from the 24/7 alternative rock feed. Therefore, if you are a party animal or a pop princess, you will now also be able to watch your favourite artists such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Avicii on our pop music feed. An internet TV channel is able to mix music genres without 'alienating' fans of certain genres, so now music fans can choose to either watch/listen to rock or pop music."
Along with the launch of the app, comes a first of its kind educational show - MathsPod, a free mathematic tutorial show, tailored for students attending private schools, public schools and home schools, as well as for university students and working professionals who wish to recap their maths knowledge.
"MathsPod was founded on the need to transform the educational landscape in South Africa. This especially applies to the maths and science fields, which undoubtedly form the cornerstone of a robust workforce that enables sustainable job creation and economic growth," says the channel's MD, Terence Odendaal.
It aims to provide quality maths tutoring and learning to help matriculants and students meet the educational demands of a developing economy. Coupled with this glaring macro-demand, there is also a need at the individual level for an online educational platform that is free, accessible, user-friendly, on-demand, fun and relevant. Odendaal is confident that the offering will fit in with a learner's lifestyle.
"We searched for well-suited presenters, which coupled with the station's editing capabilities, results in a great viewing experience for the learner. The easy to use app provides learners with the ability to view the content in their own time - pause, fast-forward and rewind episodes and lessons; as well as covering the syllabus at their own comfortable pace."
Anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet, will have free access to the full content offering, including MathsPod. And while AlternaTV has undergone a bit of a transformation since it launched - the new logo, the addition of the 24/7 pop music feed and new shows added to the line up - its offering to viewers is still free. All viewers need, is a mobile device and an internet connection.
Free wifi in Tshwane
Internet coverage in SA has improved in recent years - with many public areas offering free wifi, and some municipalities, such as the City of Tshwane, preparing to roll out plans to blanket the city/town with free wireless data. In the education space, major provincial governments, such as Gauteng, are rolling out free wifi at schools. The UN recently added internet access as a basic human right and, as a result, the South African government has allocated R20 billion to enable this to happen.
"When we launched, we were aware of the internet connectivity issues and data costs, but these issues are much less than we originally anticipated. Since we launched, we've had over 300,000 hits to the site, which shows that if you create the right content, people will find the internet connection in order to watch that content. Uniquely, we have seen many international viewers tuning in, which means that the internet TV model is working and more viewers are turning to the internet, as opposed to Pay TV channels, for their content. Online TV works for so many reasons," Nel concludes.
For more information, go to www.alternatv.tv