The African Animation Network, piloted as The Animation Lounge at DISCOP Johannesburg 2016, is teaming up with Sub-Saharan African mobile video solutions company SSTREAMM to create an AAN channel. SSTREAMM is the owner of PockitTV, a short-form mobile VOD platform, available exclusively through MTN.
“Africa has a population of 1.2 billion people with approximately 115 million TVs but, it is also the fastest growing smart device market in the world,” explained Nick Wilson, Project Manager of African Animation Network. “Africa is a very fragmented broadcast space with over 400 channels. The biggest mobile service provider in Africa is MTN and they have 250 million subscribers.”
AAN will put out a call for content ahead of both 2017 DISCOP Africa events (Abidjan & Johannesburg), offering a non-exclusive license to content suppliers to be part of the AAN channel catalog. Stand-out submissions will be used in a promotional showreel for the channel to be presented at the DISCOP confabs.
An AAN conference is planned for DISCOP Abidjan this year (May 30-June 1 in Côte d’Ivoire), where participating national delegates from across the continent will have a chance to introduce their industry to the larger broadcast community, share insights and discuss challenges and opportunities. The launch of the AAN channel on PockitTV will be a highlight of the conference and will give attendees insight into the platform’s mechanics, long-term strategy, benefits to the African animation industry and revenue opportunities for content providers.
One major development to watch for: AAN is actively pursuing potential sponsors to zero rate mobile data costs, thus allowing free access to the channel and enabling it to offer longer content formats to subscribers.
“We have a robust platform on the single biggest telecommunications infrastructure in Africa. We are excited about creating a platform for the fledgling African animation industry and are looking for animated content across all genres and formats that represent the richness and diversity of cultures on the continent,” said Greg Upton, MD of SSTREAMM and PockitTV.
“Animation is an expensive medium and requires significant access to audience to attract investment. With access to MTN’s enormous subscriber footprint and the potential to reach and carve out an audience for African animation, we could be one step closer to creating a sustainable African animation industry — an industry sustained on our home broadcast territory.”