In preparation for the upcoming 4th Edition of the OTT Streaming Platform And Content Management Summit, to be held on 27th – 28th February 2024 at the Capital 15th On Orange, Cape Town, South Africa, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) did a short interview Benjamin Cowley, CEO of Gravel Road Distribution Group. (Mr Cowley is one of the leading industry executives who will be speaking at this industry event)
During the conversation, Mr Cowley highlighted that the growth of OTT services in Africa is still very much hampered by the persistent challenge of limited access to affordable internet. He is of the opinion that despite the stride taken so far, Africa still faces a significant digital divide, with a large portion of the population needing access to reliable and affordable internet services.
Below is an abstract from the conversation with Benjamin Cowley, CEO of Gravel Road Distribution Group.
BMA: What influenced your decision to agree to participate in this year’s OTT Streaming Platforms and Content Management meeting?
Mr Cowley: As an independent distributor, our focus is on the African continent, and I believe that participating in these types of events allows us to understand the landscape better, share knowledge and experience with our industry colleagues, and hopefully contribute in a meaningful way to the future of our industry.
BMA: How do you see the Content Streaming Space in Africa evolving in terms of the effect on the Production, Distribution and Monetisation Of Content?
Mr Cowley: More content production opportunities arise with more services entering the market. There is a greater need for content, which is a good thing for producers, the challenge will be monetising this in a way that makes an ROI possible. Producers must be creative in funding the shortfalls if the services are not fully commissioned or licensed at rates that allow for quality production.
BMA: In your opinion/experience, what biggest challenge(s) do players in this industry face, and how do you see it being resolved?
Mr Cowley: I believe that access to affordable internet is the biggest challenge in the continent of Africa. The reality is that the majority of the population cannot afford reliable and consistent access to incentive mass content consumption. Whoever solves the internet issue will be in pole position to win the race.
BMA: With all said, kindly tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry summit?
Mr Cowley: Shared vision for the future. A better understanding of how collaboration in this market will lead to everyone’s success.
To join Mr Benjamin Cowley and other industry leaders in Cape Town, visit the event website here.