Taxi media owner Massiv TV and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) announced a R60 million equity transaction by the corporation this morning, Tuesday, 3 February 2009. The deal will see the IDC acquire 24% of Massiv TV, with a further percentage interest banked for an empowerment suitor. Massiv TV retains 51% of the business.
The capital injection will be channelled to fund further growth in the business.
Massiv TV MD Tiff Willemse says that the investment lays the foundation for a significant increase in the number of taxis already online with Massiv TV. “Presently, we have in excess of 200 new generation taxis fitted with the channel, while soon another 2000 will come into operation, to reach 8000 by 2011.”
He says that current viewership figures average 200 000 commuters per week, increasing to well over 2 million by the third quarter this year. It is estimated that 15 million South Africans travel by taxi daily.
According to Basil Ford, head of the IDC's Media and Motion Pictures unit, the IDC is particularly excited about this transaction because it contributes to the general upliftment of the taxi industry in the country, which is the main mode of transport for millions of people in South Africa. “This investment is in line with the IDC's funding mandate of promoting entrepreneurship and supporting opportunities not addressed by the market ,thereby increasing sectoral diversity in the economy and creating employment opportunities.”
Massiv TV was launched at the Loeries in July 2008, providing packaged information and entertainment shows to commuters. Programming is delivered in two two-hour loops, providing fresh content daily to a ‘captive' audience of commuters, giving brands measurable viewership through sophisticated tracking technology.
Ford says that the company aims to achieve a minimum 2% market share in terms of overall domestic advertising spend within the next five years. Direct access to customers in a consistent viewership universe is priceless and, he believes, an affordable way to cut through the clutter and communicate effectively with consumers.
Willemse says the Massiv TV business model resonates with Government's taxi recapitalisation programme, where presently more than 1000 new generation taxis are replacing ageing fleets every month - most of which will ultimately be fitted with Massiv TV facilities as rollouts accelerate.
“It [Massiv TV] is also a source of ancillary revenue for taxi owners,” adds Willemse. “We are actively partnering with the taxi industry and facilitate growth while enhancing the commuter experience. We believe the tide is turning for the taxi industry as it becomes an increasingly significant player in the formal economy.”