With easier access to the internet and devices like computers and mobile phones, the popularity of video is set to surge in the coming years. In fact, Kenya is projected to earn a whopping $8.08 million in revenue from the Video-on-Demand segment by the end of this year, according to Statista.com. Local entrepreneurs are jumping on this lucrative trend, offering top-notch video streaming services with the promise of global reach for clients and substantial cost savings for themselves.
“Live video streaming of TV channels was once a novelty, now streaming linear TV and live events is becoming the norm as the largest broadcasters, operators and media companies enhance their traditional services with additional streaming video services,” notes Santos Okottah, Chief Executive Officer, Eziki.co.ke
“Increasing adoption of gadgets such as smart mobile phones, laptops and wider penetration of Internet has created opportunities in real-time streaming of events which in turn has offered providers a chance to make extra coin and reach their customers,” he said.
In 2011, Santos, a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from Maseno University formed Eziki Limited, an online video streaming and production company to capitalize on the Video on Demand (VOD) opportunities.
The company has over the years supported various organizations through its video production, live streaming and Artificial Intelligence based content creation services.
He has provided streaming services for Kenya Broadcasting Corporation for major feature events including GES 2015, WTO 2016, and Rio 2016 Olympics. Also, he has carried live streams for events such as MTV’s Shuga, Blankets and Wine, Kenya Fashion Awards, Aga Khan University Hospital, United Nations and SOMA Awards.
Santos says he has a clear vision to empower small businesses and local artists to market their work far and wide beyond Kenyan borders.
“Under eziki.co.ke, we have also created a streaming service section like YouTube or Netflix where artists can upload their work, enjoy our Artificial Intelligence-based marketing to reach a wider audience and earn decent money from their work,” he says.
I started building eziki out of the experience I got working in some of Kenya’s leading media houses as a software developer. “During those days, I would see many artists line up at the reception to drop their work in CD format to get airplay,” he says. “Some would not be featured due to scarce airplay schedule making many artists lose on revenue to non-exposure,” he adds.
“I thought of coming up with a platform that doesn’t lock anyone out, giving them a corner to display their work and our AI-based marketing, push their work to the market.”
To date, the techpreneur has provided online streaming services for individuals as well as local and international organizations through his company Eziki. Clients he has worked with include Canal France International and KBC as the leading Video streaming provider for World Trade Organization, Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Rio 2016 Olympics, AITEC Africa among others.
Despite the bandwidth challenge to consumers, Santos says, he has witnessed a growing demand and excitement from creators who want other services such as podcasts and webinars.
To stay ahead of the ever-evolving technology, the company has remodelled its platform to the status of Netflix and YouTube which now enables for instance, influencers, SMEs, and churches better return on investment.
Deloitte says in 2023, indications show that change in the media and entertainment is likely to continue. Studio and video streamers face the reality of their own market disruption, trying to find profits in a less profitable business.
“They not only compete with each other for attention, time, and revenues, but with social media, user-generated content, and video games.”