With more than half the population of Africa under the age of 18, networks are looking for more ways to target young audiences with cross-platform content, hoping to grow today’s generation of increasingly connected African youths into tomorrow’s brand-loyal consumers.
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is…come up with themes or content blocks that reflect and resonate with what’s happening with young people today,” says Monde Twala (pictured), VP of Viacom Africa’s BET, Youth and Music portfolio.
The goal isn’t simply to “grow eyeballs” for the company’s flagship nets, like BET and MTV Base, but to build a sense of ownership from an audience that Twala says will come to trust the channels to reflect “the kind of attitudes that young people have today.”
In the process, “you become a custodian of youth culture, and you become that reference point” for young viewers, he says.
Music videos are the driving force, reflecting a brand of youth style that Twala describes as the “new African swag” – a pan-African lingua franca that’s understood on the streets of Johannesburg , Kinshasa, Lagos and Dakar. “It’s about the whole notion of one Africa,” he says.