[New Audio Podcast — Episode 100] The Digital Dilemma: Traditional Media’s Dual Challenge of Consumer Relevance & Content Revenues in Kenya & East Africa.

Moses Mwemezi Kemibaro
3 min readMay 12, 2024

In this 100th episode of the Pure Digital Passion Podcast, we mark nearly three years of exploring the digital ecosystem in Kenya and Africa. Since our first episode on June 21, 2021, we’ve delved into diverse topics, speaking with innovators, thought leaders, and changemakers who are shaping Africa’s digital landscape.

This journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, filled with insights, discoveries, and inspiring conversations that have highlighted the vibrant and dynamic nature of digital transformation in our region.

Today, as we celebrate this milestone, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our listeners for their unwavering support and engagement. Together, we’ve built a platform that not only shares knowledge but also nutures a community passionate about the digital transformation of Africa. Here’s to many more episodes of learning, innovation, and digital passion!

In an engaging conversation on the sidelines of a content marketing training session I conducted this weekend at Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications, I was interviewed by Irene Abalo Otto, a seasoned Ugandan multimedia journalist and digital safety trainer from the Nation Media Group. Irene brought to the fore pressing concerns about how traditional media enterprises are adapting — or struggling to adapt — to the rapid uptake of digital media by consumers in Kenya and the broader East African region.

Navigating the Digital Transition: The Struggle for Traditional Media Businesses.

As traditional media businesses strive to adapt to a digital-first consumer paradigm, they face the dual challenge of transforming their business models and effectively monetizing their content. A prime example Irene highlighted is the attempt by media houses to implement paywalls for premium content — a strategy that has not resonated well with consumers, especially in East Africa, where there is a significant resistance to paying for digital media subscriptions as the majority of consumers cannot afford it, or don’t see the value in paying for it.

The Urban-Rural Divide in Media Consumption.

The conversation also touched on the contrasting media consumption trends in urban versus rural scenarios. While traditional mediums like radio continue to dominate rural areas, urban centers show an increasing preference for digital formats like podcasts, particularly among younger demographics. This urban-rural divide not only influences content creation but also the strategies for monetizing such content effectively.

Short-Form Content & Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword.

Another critical aspect we discussed was the need for media companies to rethink how they create and package content. The rise of platforms like TikTok has popularized short-form content, prompting a shift in consumer expectations. Media businesses are thus compelled to innovate continually not just in what they produce but how they present it, making content both engaging and suitable for consumption on social media, where a significant portion of content discovery now occurs.

The Content Monetization Challenge.

Despite these innovations in content format and distribution, traditional media still faces the challenge of monetizing their offerings effectively, particularly on social media platforms. While content can reach a broader audience via social media, converting that reach into substantial revenue streams remains a challenge. The reality is that while consumers are increasingly engaging with content on these platforms, the returns to content creators, especially those in high-quality journalism, are not commensurate with their investment.

Going Forward — What Next?

My interview with Irene concluded on the note that traditional media businesses must embrace adaptive strategies that not only address current and fast evolving consumer behaviours and advancements in technology like Artificial Intelligence or AI, but also anticipate future trends. This may include exploring diverse revenue models, enhancing digital engagement strategies, and continually innovating in content delivery to meet the evolving demands of a digital-first audience in Kenya and East Africa.

Listen To The Audio Podcast Below:

--

--

Moses Mwemezi Kemibaro

Founder & CEO @ Dotsavvy. Technology Entrepreneur, Blogger, Podcaster & Analyst @ MosesKemibaro.com. I am Pure Digital Passion. Father & Husband. God Leads Me!