Month: February 2015

Media Companies should get rid of ‘Scarcity Mentality’

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By Florence Gichoya

The past week has seen KTN, NTV, QTV and Citizen go off-air from digital platform due to an impasse between them and Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the government’s regulator. This action may have disappointed many Kenyan viewers but it has also led Kenyans to discover other TV channels available on the digital platform. Viewers are now watching variety of content from K24, Ebru TV, Farmers TV, Hope TV, and many others.

Though the ‘Big 3’ stations as they are commonly referred to by local media have a right to be aggrieved, what is more surprising is that they failed to position themselves to take the lead in this process. It is not easy to embrace change especially when it rattles your comfortable position as a market leader. Media technology is dynamic and it’s not static that’s why is surprising if not amusing to watch the manner local media houses have handled the process from court room battles to accusations peddled online against CA.

tv 2The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has worked on a digital broadcasting plan covering 116 countries to switch off analogue broadcasting system to digital system. The deadline switch off date for Africa, Europe, parts of Middle East and Russia is 17 June 2015. When that decision was made in Geneva on June 2006 many countries probably thought 2015 was too far and there was plenty of time. In true fashion of rushing the last minute, African countries are now working round the clock to ensure they meet the deadline. In the continent Mauritius and our neighbor Tanzania have already transitioned to digital broadcasting joining USA, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

There are countless opportunities that will come with digital broadcasting including new content development opportunities, employment, economic growth, cheaper advertising rates and a platform for healthy competition between stakeholders. I am looking forward to the day when we will have Kenyan made content comprising at least 80% of our TV programmes. Nigerian movies and Mexican soap operas have outlived their welcome in our TVs.

Free advice to the ‘Big 3’ is that they should get rid of ‘scarcity mentality’ which has led them to believe everything is limited and there is not enough cake to go around. There is nothing permanent except change and leading international brands like Coca cola know that too well.TV 1

Rosa Moss Kanter of Harvard Business Review said that when more competitors from more places produce surprises and shocks. An intensely competitive global economy places a high premium on innovation, which depends on human imagination, motivation, and collaboration. The Mahindra Group which is an $11 billion multi-¬business company based in Mumbai, employs 117,000 people in more than 100 countries. The Mahindra Group operates in many industries, like automobiles, finance, IT, and several others. And like other great companies, it invests in creating a culture based on a common purpose to provide coherence amidst diversity.

Blaming government and Chinese owned companies will not help, globalization has increased the speed of change and it is up to the ‘Big 3’ to adapt fast for if they snooze they lose.

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