The group’s long-established hyperlocal strategy is a multi-pronged, hybrid approach combining local content acquisition, local production, and the development of local content through international production partnerships.
The new Portuguese-language channels will show dramas, telenovelas, local versions of hit reality shows, hilarious comedies, dubbed international content and homegrown music on DStv and GOtv platforms when the channels go live on Monday, 17 January.
“These channel launches are an exciting milestone for MultiChoice, and our hyperlocal strategy,” says Joao Ribeiro, channel head for both Kwenda Magic and Maningue Magic. “MultiChoice’s mission is to showcase Africa’s diverse, rich culture through our continent’s deep storytelling history. To have two new 24-hour channels in local languages, featuring locally produced content, provides an incredibly powerful platform to do this.”
Over the past 18 months, MultiChoice has grown its local content offering through several channel launches including Pearl Magic Prime, Akwaaba Magic and Abol TV in Uganda, Ghana, and Ethiopia, as well as hit international co-productions like Reyka and ongoing local productions like the ever-popular Big Brother Naija.
Local content remains a core part of the group’s differentiation strategy. The group produced an additional 2,692 hours of local content in 2021 (41% YoY growth). The combined MultiChoice local content library is now approaching 66,000 hours and represents 45% of total general entertainment content spend.
Focus on local content
Despite this proportion being in line with local-content targets, the group plans to increase local-content investment even further. Ribeiro says the new channels are already proving a significant boost to the production industries in both countries.
“Until now, independent producers had few outlets for their work and had to act on many levels, struggling to get budgets, and to have their content shown,” says Ribeiro. “With our channels requiring content 24 hours a day, we can now invite local producers to pitch ideas, to commission and develop projects, and to pay fair, market-related rates for work.”
“By investing in the industry, we are creating opportunities for local talent, telling local stories, and adding to the stability of the industry. We are committed to growing the industry in countries where we operate, and to deliver content that resonates with our viewers,” says Ribeiro.
Ribeiro says that in the months MultiChoice has spent setting up the channel, broadcast professionals in both countries have been exposed to many new opportunities. Content workers now have more options and are less likely to leave the sector due to a shortage of work.
“We are commissioning work from established producers as well as smaller companies across the continent while also creating opportunities for alumni of the MultiChoice Talent Factory,” says Ribeiro.
Speaking on the ongoing hyperlocalisation and production of content across Africa, MultiChoice Africa CEO Fhulufhelo Badugela says, “When we develop local channels or produce local content, we aim to create a platform that reflects local culture, so audiences see themselves represented in the content they watch.
“Localisation goes beyond simply duplicating popular formats in a different language or with a different cast,” says Badugela. “It’s about incorporating a country’s social, gender and religious conventions, as well pop-culture trends like music, influencers and celebrities into stories. This is what makes our hyperlocal strategy unique and exciting.”
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