Minister tasks DSO stakeholders on content

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (middle); Mr. Tony Subair, Executive Director, Digital Play Nigeria Limited (right) and Mr. Albert Okumagba, Managing Director of BCL (left) at the Creative Industry Summit 2018 in Lagos on Monday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has tasked stakeholders in the Digital Switch Over (DSO) to carry out a detailed research on understanding consumers’ preferred content and means of delivery, in view of the growing influence of the internet in sharing videos.

The Minister gave the task in Lagos on Monday at the opening of the Creative Nigeria Summit 2018 with the theme “Content: The Future of Nigerian Film and Television in A Digital Era”.

“With respect to content consumers in Nigeria, a well-researched survey of what the customers want, where they are, what they watch, want to watch, when and how they want it delivered, does not exist. The stakeholders within the ecosystem of the DSO project are unfortunately focused on their immediate economic returns and convenient modules of implementation.

”But technological growth does not flow along those lines and, in the near future, smart media entities will outstrip all plans, institutions and government power and reach the customer, leaving non-informed players with empty castles,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said a research carried out on the 24 million TV households in Nigeria revealed that the Digitisation of Television required a much deeper understanding of Customers, Content and the quality of delivery of ‘Video’, however they are delivered, including but not limited to Television.

He said everywhere in the world, video has exploded via on Demand and Live streaming, and that Online TV or subscription services are now the norm – YouTube, Netflix, Iroko etc.

”Video is now delivered via social feeds like Facebook, Wechat, LINE etc. Indeed, video is the future of media on the web and is competing with scheduled linear TV content for consumer attention. I implore the key players in the DSO project to focus on any of the above,” the Minister said.

He disclosed that a recent survey done in over 42 countries revealed that expected video consumption on devices over the next 3 years will grow 45% on Mobile, 45% on Internet-enabled TV, 40% on Tablet and 36% on Laptop computers.

Alhaji Mohammed, however, said Traditional TV grew by 0% – a development that led the researchers to come to the conclusion that video is not only increasingly consumed from the internet, it is clearly going mobile.

He said with the changing landscape, media and entertainment companies that want to stay in the game may need to embark upon a holistic, coordinated and integrated programme of digital innovation to focus their resources, investments and capabilities on the things that truly matter.

While noting the role of Nigeria as a leader in raw content in Africa through Nollywood, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and Comedy, the Minister observed that such contents are hardly monetized through production, distribution or royalty collection due to lack of investment in the production of compelling video content.

To buttress his point, he said of the N20 billion so far spent on the DSO, less than N500 million went into the production of content because Nigeria is yet to appreciate that Video, not Television, is about content.

Alhaji Mohammed assured that the present Administration remains dogged in its determination to grow the Creative Industry and turn it into a Creative Economy.

The two-day summit, organised by Think Tank Media and Advertising Limited, in conjunction with The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was borne and executed out of a desire to urgently transform the Film, Television and Music sectors into a well-structured industry in the country.

The first edition of the summit was held in Lagos in 2017

Segun Adeyemi
SA To Hon Minister of Information and Culture
16 July 2018