The rapid evolution of ADS becoming organic with data at the core compels us to improve our capacity in fields of data science

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Michael Dearham
Group: Senior Consultant
StarTimes

What is StarTimes positioning on the African continent in both Anglophone and francophone territories?

This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary – our growth and development during this period of time has been dynamic and sustained. In this regard, StarTimes has prioritised sustained production and promotion of quality indigenous language African television content and channels (in diverse formats and genres).
Our commitment to sourcing, packaging and distribution of cutting-edge Chinese drama series and movies has been unrivalled. We have steadily built a market niche in lower and middle-income segments, as the preferred destination for prestigious sporting brands. Our multichannel delivery technology is superior, content pricing affordable, supported by easily accessible business halls in urban and semi-rural settings. Our audience share in terms of male and female representation is roughly between 52% and 48% respectively. Over 65% of our core audience is between 20 and 45 of age, most of whom work in the various disciplines of the service industry, government sector and civil society – our customer generally straddle LSM ranges of between; 6-15, with average with household monthly income of around USD 750-800.

What are the advertising opportunities both TV and Digital that StarTimes want to tap in for Africa?

For digital TV, we are well positioned to attract a wide range of categories inclusive of; foodstuff, fast moving consumer goods to automobile products. Our current major contributors are essentially businesses enterprises with focus on; gaming, skincare, a wide range of FMCG’s, telecom, white goods and cosmetics. Benefiting from the economic development in some regions, we are seeing positive growth trends in banking and finance sector spending. This year we officially launch our OTT service in select African markets, a service that already boasts 40 million downloads. Strategic partnerships with leading telecoms will serve to expedite OTT business consolidation and growth. Partnering with ad-serving engines will fast-track our plans for RTB, via programmatic instantaneous auction. Given Africa’s leader-status in mobile-share of web traffic and the fact that Global Ad growth is driven by mobile, this given the advantages of enhanced ad-measurability and more targeted delivery, Startimes we accordingly place greater emphasis on mobile market in the ensuing period. Ads Evolving Rapidly = Often Organic + data @ core.
The opportunities ushered in by rapid evolution of Ads that are becoming increasingly organic with data at the core, compels us to improve our capacity in fields of data science. We are also mindful of positive trends; ‘in-App ads’ and ‘Ads as curated and browsable storefronts’ as new advertising techniques in driving conversion rates. Reported high levels of Ad-blocking on internet will in near future compel us to improve levels of creative engagement with brands to create Ads that do not look like Ads – achieved through deployment of such techniques as; improved storylines in short formats, video-ramping and native advertising.

How has the digital and technological revolution change the way StarTimes advertise on the continent?

Rapid global technological advances and digitization of media has not resulted in the much-awaited digital dividends for African citizens. Neither has it provided firm foundation for Startimes to harness benefits from ad-monetisation point of view. FIFA will be a spring board and entry point to Startimes online advertising business. Our slow pace of entry into on-line ad business is mostly due to insufficient/weak national analogue compliments as found in most African countries.

According to you, why should brands advertise on StarTimes?

We have significantly strengthened our capacity to: Safeguard the integrity of partner brands on our platforms, to accurately find and match potential target customers with respective brand, high frequency of impressions, work with brand partners to leverage Startimes creativity, flexibility and execution ability, use local formats that appeal to customers, increase penetration rates across all media, paying attention to quality of content broadcast, improved content marketing and accountability and integrity.