Views Channels @ One: Driving Youth Engagement Through Excellent Content
By Tunji Faleye
Over the years, Nigeria’s population has continued to grow retaining its position as the largest black nation around the world. According to Nigeria Demographics Profile 2018 released by Index Mundi, the country’s population was projected to grow from more than 186 million people in 2016 to 392 million in 2050, becoming the world’s fourth most populous country. Interestingly, while the population keeps increasing the largest part of it is dominated by the youth from age 16 to 35 having about 60 per cent, hence, the importance of giving them opportunity to express themselves and excel is better now than later.
Remarkably, the reason Maxima Media Group launched the TV platform, Views Channel was 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.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Maxima Media Group, Mr Femi Ogundoro, while speaking during the launch some years back said that the youths were a large productive but misunderstood segment of the society, however, the reason to established this platform and enable them to express themselves like their counterparts in other climes is regarded as a way to liberate the youth from monotony.
Ogundoro stated 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.
Speaking on the reason for the establishment of Views Channel, Ogundoro said, “Vews Channel started as TV Programme called Views and Chills. It was born out of the need to provide some feedback mechanism because as the saying goes in marketing, ‘consumer is king.’ So, if the youth are king, why don’t they have a say in the product or services they get. At the time, we felt that there was a gap between the entertainment space where people were just doing whatever they deemed fit. We thought of having a show from the consumer’s point of view that will project their voice and that was why we started Views and Chills and we focus more on music at the time. The programme did quite well with loads of sponsorship from a number of multinationals.”
Core Values And Operational Philosophies
Like every organization that knows it onions, Views Channel’s core values and operational philosophies are unique. The organization is not genery based. According to Ogundoro, “we reached out to young people to ask what they like and they confirmed they like music, movies, food, games, but in a certain way. If you look around now there is no platform that is really doing games, there is no platform that is really meant for food except for foreign TV, ‘Food Network’ and that’s why we have ‘food bay’.
“If you look at our target audience specifically, which are the Gen Z and the millennials, they want things in a certain way; fast speed, colourful, not boring. That is why our target audience between the ages of 16 and 35 is unique. We are focused on them with a statement that Views Channel is not for everybody.
Empowerment And Trainning
“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat. This quote by Herschel Walker captures why Views Channel takes the training of its staff as a regular exercise. It is an organization that desires to be a pacesetter in order to make a serious impact in its industry.
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. The team that makes up the organisation is quite unique as the best people gets to work at Views Channel.
While speaking on the staff empowerment and training Ogundoro said, “For us, training is pretty much a daily thing; most of it are not organized but some are. From the camera men as to how to shoot, keep their cameras, to the sales and marketing team, to the post production guys, we keep training them. Despite these trainings I however don’t think we have done enough, I believe there’s still room for more and we are looking at improving on that especially this year.”
The mission at Views Channel is to build an Afro-centric channel that will become a benchmark for “glocal” reference in passion, creativity, and in-out-execution excellence. Being different infers doing what others are not doing, for Views Channel that is a norm that sets the organisation apart from the pool of other channels.
For the GMD/CEO, “We are currently on StarTimes, CH 108, however we are planning and planning to be on other platforms to satisfy our viewers. We have had people watch our content and asked when are we 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.
Journey So Far And Projections In 5years
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, so goes the saying. The Journey so far for Ogundoro’s Views Channel has been interesting. “In the first year, we have been able to set the tone and foundation, tweaking a number of things before we can actually go full blast. We have been able to put certain things in place. We have recorded some successes; we have had patronage from brands, like 6-7 brands have supported us. We were 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. 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.