Views Channels, DW Partnership: Providing Reach For ‘The 77 Percent’

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Nigeria’s foremost channel for Millennial and Generation Z driven content, Views Channels recently entered a strategic partnership with Deutsche Welle, DW, Germany’s  foremost international broadcaster to bring the teeming young population of Nigeria DW’s foremost youth centric programme,  the 77 Percent.

DW’s 77 percent is a programme based on the background that 77 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is younger than 35 – that’s around 770 million people. A generation of confident, dynamic people which can shape the future of Africa. But many don’t have economic opportunities in their own country and dream of a brighter future in Europe: many of those risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean are also part of the 77 percent. They are also the least represented demographic. It is against the need for their voices to be heard as they shape the future of Africa that 77 Percent was birthed to give hard-hitting reports, personal stories and lively discussion direct from the continent about the issues that matter most.

The partnership with Views Channel speaks volume of the young channel’s offering to the Nigerian audience.  Views Channel which recently celebrated 365 days of air time and is driven by the goal of reaching Millennials and Generation Z at every point of contact from digital to physical contact. Launching in 2018, and based in Lagos, Nigeria; Our goal is to be the number choice platform (TV and digital) for Millenials and GenZ with the widest mileage across platforms.

Speaking on the partnership, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Maxima Media Group-owners of Views Channel, Mr Femi Ogundoro said that the partnership speaks volume of the impact it has made thus far, considering that it launched a little more than a year ago.

Femi Ogundoro, MD/CEO, Maxima Media Group.

“We have had partnerships within Nigeria and the African continent. This is the first time however we are stepping out of the continent for partnerships like this. DW is not a small medium. If you look at those who have partnered with DW in this country like Channels Television, you will know it’s no big deal as these people have built their credibility to high standards over a number of years. They, coming to us, a relatively new platform speaking to a particular sector, the youths, will go a long way in showing people that our potential is limitless. This speaks to what the DNA and philosophy of the channel is all about. This we cannot really overemphasize. There is really no channel in Nigeria right now that speaks to all the need of the young people, especially the Millenials and Gen Zs, asides us,” he said.

Why 77 Percent

77 Percent talks about everything that concerns the millennials. Asides the fact that they are the engine room on which the development of societies today lie, they have the financial might to move from South Africa to Morocco or from Senegal to any part of Africa, the programme is across Africa.

 According to Ogundoro, the programme that will commence airing on its Channels in November 2019 on Thursday and Sunday will have loads of episodes. “It will be shown twice weekly on Views Channel and social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube during the time that it will be airing on the platform. Interestingly, this will be the first time we will be having that content in West Africa and also in Nigeria and the partnership is with Views Channel.”

As further explained by Ogundoro, bringing 77 Percent to Nigeria in partnership with DW is to give voice to the numerous but underrepresented voice of millenials and Gen Zs. Though the 77 percent forms three-quarters of the population, they often don’t have a say in political decisions. Young population – old rulers: Long term presidents like Paul Biya (84), Yoweni Museveni (79) or Alpha Conde (79) are the reality in many African countries. A lot of young Africans don’t feel represented by them.

Despite the old leaders, young Africans are politically engaged, speaking out against injustice, corruption and fraud. That can be inconvenient for many politicians. Young voices are getting louder but they can struggle to penetrate the media. 77 Percent is also birthed for the purpose of making these voices heard.

The programme also provides the youth a platform for debate. Part of “The 77 percent” project is a new social media segment “What Else?”  which talks about African stories that don’t make headlines. On the social media platforms of 77 percent, the youth can get to share these stories and their opinions while affording them the opportunity joining the debate in Amharic, English, French, Hausa, Kiswahili and Portuguese! Providing education, information and entertainment the way Millenials and Gen Zs want, the programme also highlights painful issues, tackling controversial topics.

Understanding that Africa is more than just poverty and violence, the programme will feature constructive stories from around the continent while showcasing the real change makers. Have you already heard about Zimbabwe’s first female pilot or the Kenyan biologist who develops drought resistant crops in her lab? No? Well, “The 77 Percent” brings you the kinds of stories you won’t find in the mainstream media.

Why Views Channels?

The choice of partnering with Views Channel on 77 Percent is not farfetched. Unlike targeted programmes that general television channels create to reach the youth at a presupposed time, Views Channel’s programmes are completely tailored with the youth in mind and advertisers can target them, hence, a programme like 77 Percent fits. “What we do at Views Channel is to find out from what drives the Millenialls and Gen Zs, their wants, needs and aspirations. Then we ask ourselves and ask them what they are interested in viewing. We create some of these contents and partner to get those we do not have for them.

“Now, bringing 77 Percent to our teeming viewers is not going to rob us of other content or within the sub-confines of the programmes we offer our audience.  Like I have said, we are speaking strictly from the perspective of the youth who form a very huge percentage of our population across the continent they form over 77%. That is why you have the partnership between Views Channel and DW on the 77%. You don’t want to put your content on a channel that is speaking to a particular segment on a general entertainment channel. We speak to the millenial and gen Z.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Claus Stacker, Head of DW’s West Africa Programming said, “The focus is on dialogue because ultimately the show is the result of debates among our more than four million social media followers,”

Claus added, “Young users often feel politically and economically underrepresented and seek an exchange of ideas across national borders. ‘The 77 per cent’ takes a constructive approach. The young protagonists can serve as role models with their innovative business models, unusual ideas or social and cultural commitment. A strategic partnership with Views Channel in Nigeria, will further give these young people an avenue to express and be informed about the issue, because it is their responsibility to tackle these issues.”

Maxima Media Group launched the TV platform, Views Channel more than a year ago to give the youth opportunity to express themselves and to capture the interest of youths on digital platforms and television in one space. Views Channel which broadcasts on channel 108 on Startimes (DTT platform in Nigeria) is a TV and Digital platform for millennials and Gen Z to express their passion on music, sports, movies, enterprise, food and every other entertainment genre they love.

While speaking during the launch some years back, Ogundoro had said that the youths were a large productive but misunderstood segment of the society, hence, the need to established this platform and enable them to express themselves like their counterparts in other climes.

Ogundoro added that his vision for the project began in 2009 with the view to filling a vacuum in the music industry where there was no feedback nor the mechanism to appreciate the system. With the target audience of 16 to 35 youths who are agile, passionate about what they do, and need a platform to express themselves, it was not a surprise that View Channel became an instant hit among the youth.

Aside the fact that View Channel is a trend setter in the industry, it is also consistently in tune with current trends and latest innovations in the media industry. It achieves this through regular training and retraining members of its staff through in-house trainings, inviting professionals in the field.

For Views Channel, the drive for more excellent delivery of youth centric programmes and growth is a continuous one. “Though we are only on StarTimes, Channel 108 at the moment, we are planning to be on other platforms to satisfy our viewers. We have had people watch our content and asked when we are coming to this or that platform. We also wanted to start with those platforms but of course they also have their policies as regards new startups like ours and so, we just decided to start from somewhere which is StarTimes, and we will definitely move to other platforms so that we can reach more of our target audience.

In its relatively short foray in Nigeria, Views Channels has recorded some successes. It was the only platform not running on the DSTV platform and was on the red carpet, and had our own stand at the AMVCA 2018, all thanks to Airtel. It also enjoys the patronage of some brands including Airtel Nigeria. As Ogundoro notes, the journey may not have begun a long time ago, but it has started. “So, we are not there yet, but we are on the way. We are now going to be engaging more young people. We will be having interactions which they want and that is why we built a studio where we can broadcast live from. There will be loads of events and engagement activities like activations and all so that we can be right there in the face of these target audience,” he said.

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