Verizon Communications to dispose of Yahoo, AOL in US$5b mega-deal

WORLD – US-based telecoms company Verizon Communications is disposing of its media businesses, which include Yahoo and AOL, for US$5 billion. In a press statement, Verizon and Apollo Global Management announced that funds managed by affiliates of Apollo entered into an agreement to acquire Verizon Media for US$5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at close of the transaction and continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Guru Gowrappan. One of the world’s premier global technology and media companies, Verizon Media…

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Media company GroupM expands its presence in Kenya, Nigeria

AFRICA – Media investment company GroupM Sub-Saharan Africa, has extended its GroupM Academy Gradx program established in South Africa in 2020 to Kenya and Nigeria with plans to add other markets in the future. The New York headquartered firm has also appointed a steering committee for Sub Saharan Africa that will harmonise processes across owned offices and affiliates. According to Federico de Nardis, GroupM Sub-Saharan Africa Chief Executive Officer, GroupM has had a strong and direct presence in all key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa for a long time. “GroupM has…

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Azuri Technologies, MultiChoice partner to launch DStv on PayGo solar TV in Kenya

KENYA – Azuri Technologies, the first company to launch a complete pay-as-you-go solar TV package in Kenya, and MultiChoice Kenya have announced a partnership to bring DStv content to off-grid households in Kenya. The partnership bundles Azuri’s recently announced TV400 product, the 32″ solar powered TV and household energy solution, with the DStv HD decoder to offer customers access to leading world class entertainment, local and international news, documentaries, and educational content. Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said, “We are delighted to partner with Multichoice to bring the world-leading DStv content to…

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NBA and Nation Media Group in free to air broadcast partnership in Kenya

KENYA – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Nation Media Group (NMG) have announced a multiyear partnership that makes Kenya’s NTV channel the official free-to-air broadcast partner of the NBA in Kenya. As part of the agreement, NTV will broadcast more than 25 live games throughout the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season, including regular-season games, the NBA Playoffs and Conference Finals, and weekly magazine show “NBA Action.” “We are excited to enter into this partnership with the NBA to deliver to Kenyans the beautiful game of basketball,” said…

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Oscar Award winner Lupita Nyong’o to produce Africa’s first kid superhero animated series

KENYA – Oscar award winner Lupita Nyong’o, has partnered with tech startup Kukua, to launch first kid’s animated series in Africa. “We’re super excited to announce that the extraordinary Lupita Nyong’o joined us to produce ‘Super Sema’. Our new YouTube Originals series is Africa’s first kid superhero animated series,” read a statement on Kukua’s social media page. Kukua’s mission is to empower children of the 21st century with the skills and capacity to dream beyond what they think is possible and to imagine and create a better world. “This mission…

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Nation Media Group announces shares buyback plan

KENYA – East and Central Africa’s largest media company Nation Media Group (NMG), has announced a proposal to buy back up to 10% of its 18,854,229 ordinary shares which is in line with Kenya’s capital markets regulations that require a company to inform investors about a plan to buy back shares. A share buyback is a unique opportunity for a company to buy its own shares from the stock market. Share buybacks which are relatively new in Kenya, buybacks are used by companies for diverse reasons such as to boost…

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Streaming platform Spotify to launch in Kenya and other markets

KENYA – Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, Spotify has embarked on a sweeping expansion that will introduce the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service available to more than a billion people in Kenya and more than 80 new markets around the world. It will also add 36 languages to their platform, the firm said after formally announcing on its Stream On event. The company said it will introduce free and premium plans across all the markets. However, in select markets, it will offer Individual, Family, Duo, and Student Plan…

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Universal Music Group announces key leadership appointments in Africa

AFRICA – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music entertainment, has strengthened its position as the leading music company in Africa by announcing a strategic expansion of its Sub-Saharan Africa leadership team. These appointments underscore UMG’s ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for African talent to reach new audiences globally. UMG’s holistic approach to expanding operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire,…

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Netflix names Strive Masiyiwa to its board

ZIMBABWE – American over-the-top content platform and production company Netflix, has appointed Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to its board, adding its first African director as it looks to new markets for future growth. Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Global, a telecommunications company that operates across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America which offers phone, broadband, and satellite service, and is also a major provider of mobile payments. Masiyiwa brings a fresh set of connections and experience as the first African — and the third international media…

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Startup myFanPark merges with Silicon Valley based Starsona, creates leading global celebrity engagement platform

SOUTH AFRICA – South African startup myFanPark has announced a merger with the Silicon Valley-based Starsona to form the leading global celebrity engagement platform, with a footprint across Africa, Europe, North America, and the Indian subcontinent.  Launched in 2019, myFanPark allows users to request a personalised shout-out video from their favourite celebrity, such as birthday or celebration messages. After payment, the celebrity has seven days to record the video message, which myFanPark then delivers to the fan via email and WhatsApp. The merger with US-based celebrity engagement platform Starsona comes off the…

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