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In the Middle of the Channel

In the Middle of the Channel

Thiago Fonseca – Partner and Creative Director of the agency GOLO PCA Grupo LOCAL de Comunicação SGPS, Lda.

Very recently I was invited to speak at a seminar of Radio Mozambique on media sustainability in current times.

It was a great challenge, an honor and, above all, an opportunity to reflect on the current media landscape and where the consumers’ attention is.

RM is one of the most prestigious institutions in the country.

Radio is a medium that has marked the history of Mozambique for the last 90 years. For decades, until the 80’s, radio led the audiences. Even when television appeared, radio continued to be one of the most important means of communication along with the press.

Radio is the medium with the widest geographic reach. It is the only medium that broadcasts in local languages in the provinces. It is a very strong medium.

But the technological revolutions, the emergence of the Internet, followed by the mobile and social networks, have transformed the media landscape.

In Africa, more precisely in Mozambique, given the stage of development, the transformations happen faster, while in Europe, for example, the habit of consuming the radio prevails, especially among the older generations, in the dynamics that the radio medium found to adapt to the changing times, especially because 70% of the population is young and around 17 years old.

There is much to delve into on the issue of radio in Mozambique.

But this article is not about radio. It is about content. Any medium is a channel to pass on information, entertainment, and more to consumers.

In the Middle of the Channel

So on the day of the talk at Radio Mozambique, I started the presentation with the following phrase: “RM has never been radio! It is a content broadcaster.” Just as TVM is not television. It is a broadcaster of audiovisual content. The Notícias is not the newspaper. It’s printed content on paper.

This introspection is a major challenge, especially for public channels. Which must make rapid changes. After all, there is no point in being a public channel if you have no audience.

Media is just media. All media are technology that allows content to be passed on. As time went by, a great misunderstanding happened. To confuse media with content. The channels, which after all were media, got a little confused.

Technology has revolutionized and will continue to revolutionize the way we receive information. If someone wants to know something today, they will know it first on mobile. They are not going to wait for the TV news or the newscast. Or for the newspaper the next day.

This scenario has both challenges and opportunities. Because the media themselves are also brands. And brand is the most precious asset of any company. We follow brands because we so choose. And our choice is based on thousands of perceptions we have about that brand.

In the case of media, one of the biggest advantages of their brands is credibility. After all, if MRI said it, it’s because it’s true. We trust it. And so it is with other media brands.

It is the way in which these media reach us that has changed. Radio, television, written news comes through cell phones. And if they come with the strength of these brands, these media gain strength.

In the case of smartphones, which today is the largest percentage of cell phones in the country, apps can be created for each brand. And, within this app, you can have selected content from the media brand.

In other words, radio in a mobile app can transmit sound, audiovisual and written content. Radio is much more than sound. And with even more advantages. We can review those contents. Because they stay on the platform. It is a world of ways to reach us that already exists. Like Youtube and more. And this which seems obvious is not being taken into account by the media.

The Means of Reaching

Right now, according to INCM data, there are already 12 million active sim cards in Mozambique, of which 60% are smartphones. And this number grows exponentially by the minute.

Not so long ago, we knew something because “it was on the radio”, or “I saw it on TV”. There has been a drastic and very rapid change through the growth of mobile. Information comes in the moment to the consumer’s hand. The power is in the hand of the people. The eyes and ears of the consumer are first on the mobile screen. And people search and consume content at a speed like never before.

A good example of the power of cell phones was the live broadcast and very high media trial that happened recently. The radio was heard on the cell phone.

In Mozambique these cell phones have a name. “Bombinhas.” Baptized by the people, this is how the people refer to a cheap cell phone that allows you to listen to the radio. Listening to the content in the background. And so the people did. Bricklayers on construction sites, guards in buildings, workers in the lower income classes are on the radio from their cell phones all day long.

It’s just more proof that content rules. The media must become brands of credible, interesting and well-distributed content in multiple ways. They must invest in their content and their brands. Otherwise, they just stand still in the middle of the channel.

Right now, according to INCM data, there are already 12 million active sim cards in Mozambique, 60% of which are smartphones. And this number grows exponentially every minute.

At this moment, according to INCM data, there are already 12 million active SIM cards in Mozambique. Of which, 60% are smartphones.

See Also

And this number grows exponentially every minute.

Not so long ago, we knew something because “it was on the radio”, or “I saw it on TV”. There has been a drastic and very rapid change through the growth of mobile.

Information comes in the moment to the consumer’s hand.

The power is in the hand of the people.

The eyes and ears of the consumer are first on the mobile screen.

And people search and consume content at a speed like never before.

A good example of the power of cell phones was the live, and very media-rich, broadcast trial that happened recently. The radio was heard on the cell phone.

In Mozambique these cell phones have a name. “Bombinhas”.

Baptized by the people, this is how the people refer to a cheap cell phone that allows you to listen to the radio.

Listen to the content in the background.

And so the people did. Bricklayers on construction sites, guards in buildings, workers in the lower income classes are on the radio on their cell phones all day long.

It is just one more proof that it is the content that rules.

The media must become brands of content that is credible, interesting and well distributed in multiple ways

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