The company recently launched an Ethiopian channel Zee Alem, on its DStv platform as well as invested in dubbing international content in Amharic.
The MultiChoice Group has announced that the company is looking to significantly expand its investment and support of content and content creators in Ethiopia. This includes investing heavily in local content as part of the MultiChoice’s hyper-local content strategy.
The Group previously announced its intention to significantly increase its investment in Ethiopia which is recognised as having huge growth potential with its large population (second only to Nigeria), impressive GDP growth and its largely untapped potential within the ICT sector.
Commenting on the announcement, Calvo Mawela, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Group, said: “Our commitment to Ethiopia can be seen throughout our tenure. Unlike many other businesses, we remained in the country since we launched our local operation nearly 30 years ago. We have built a truly Ethiopian business which has delivered solid results for us over the years. The strong foundation we have established through our local business, knowledge and expertise, positions us with a distinct advantage as we seek to unlock opportunities presenting themselves.
“Ethiopia is open for business and has demonstrated its commitment to supporting businesses from around the world. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to Ethiopia through the development of local skills and industries, and through exciting plans for content that speaks to Ethiopians in their own voice.”
The MultiChoice Ethiopia operation, helmed by General Manager Gelila G Michael, employs nearly 100 Ethiopians directly, and through its supply chain and network of technicians and installers supports hundreds more.
MultiChoice Group’s strategy of creating hyperlocal content has allowed the company to continue its investment in local content production and aggregation. This is evident in the popularity of the recently launched Ethiopian channel Zee Alem, on the Group’s DStv platform as well as the investment in dubbing international content in Amharic. MultiChoice has also conducted training for SuperSport commentators in vernacular for local sports broadcasts.
MultiChoice Ethiopia has also brought on board almost all free-to-air local channels and radio stations on the DStv platform to better serve customers with local news, entertainment and music offerings.
“By continuing to invest in our local markets we intend to create lasting value for the local creative industry, with benefits including improved quality in the industry arising from training in our stringent technical standards; opportunities for local content creators; distribution of content in local languages; promotion of local talent who are able to build their individual brands; on-the-job learning for those involved in productions; and new content which we can license to other channels,” Mawela noted.
The MultiChoice Group has access to 19.5m households across the continent with a library of more than 56 000 hours of local content in 17 languages for distribution via 33 proprietary entertainment channels in 50 countries. In 2013, local content spends as a percentage of total general entertainment content spend was 30%. In 2020 it was 40% and is targeted to reach 45% by 2022.
“In the aftermath of Covid-19, our commitment to the long term, and to creating local value chains and local content, is more important than ever. Multichoice is a business born and bred in Africa, and we are proud to reinvest in the continent for lasting socio-economic impact,” Mawela added.