A recent study by the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has revealed that TV is the most popular news medium in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. When asked about how they stay informed about the latest news in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates, more than 75% of nationals reported watching television each day rather than relying on online sources.
Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of Africa Press Organisation (APO) says: “The study confirms what we’ve been observing for some time, not only in MENA region but also in Sub-Saharan Africa. Disparities in literacy, including digital literacy, and education greatly influence news platforms choices. And despite internet penetration and the rise of social media, it’s also important to take into consideration that there’ s still an unequal access to internet technology in both regions. This explains in large part why television still holds a central place in media consumption patterns.”
Whether via broadcast TV or online, news is increasingly being watched as opposed to read, particularly on mobile phones. Northwestern University in Qatar’s fifth annual report states, for example, that 78% of Tunisians watch news videos on their smartphones on daily basis. With already 365 million mobile subscribers across the MENA region (63% of the population) and with the number of smartphone connections set to triple by 2020 in Africa, according to GSMA study, a considerable demand for news video content is expected in upcoming years.
As a result, APO Group strongly believes that it is in the interest of both private and public organizations to undertake a “paradigm shift” in their media communication approach in order to remain relevant to their audiences. To support them throughout this change, the consulting firm will from now on help them transform their press release into a broadcast quality video footage suited for televised news through their new service, Video Newswire.
Video Newswire will not only offer organizations a cost-effective solution to generate greater interest among target audiences but also facilitate the use of their content by newscasters who for years have complained that written press releases needed formatting and editing before being able to be used as news content.
“Within a few hours, APO Group can deploy their production team anywhere in Africa, the Middle East or around the world to shoot a news video of an event, an announcement, a product or an offer. We will produce a video perfectly tailored to news producers’ editorial policies and technical criteria so that they can have access to the same quality material they would receive from their own production teams. In addition to producing the video, we will also provide distribution to up to 1,000 news TV channels across Africa, the Middle East and the world”, said Pompigne-Mognard.
APO Group intends to go even further. To increase smartphone viewership and content shareability, the consulting firm will also distribute the news video content to specific websites, social media platforms and, as the Africa-related content provider for leading phone companies, such as MTN Group, Airtel, Orange and Gloworld, to over 250 million mobile subscribers across Africa.
“Video Newswire reflects our goal to continuously provide best-in-class solutions in line with local media landscapes. As the leader in media relations in Africa and the Middle East, we are best positioned to assist organizations in understanding audience preferences and attitudes towards the media and alert them to new forms of media communications. News video is a growing trend and this is just the beginning,” concluded the founder and CEO of APO Group.