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Zimdancehall dominates & comedy is the most lucrative – Our findings on the Zimbabwean internet video economy

Beneath the Surface, Internet Video

April has just come to an end bringing to a close our first ever Beneath the Surface in-depth feature.

We spent a full month exploring Zimbabwe’s internet video economy and in that period, we uncovered a lot of information that has helped shape our understanding of this unique sector.

As a roundup of this feature, we have recorded a podcast explaining some of the discoveries that we came across over the past 30 days.

These findings were shared in greater depth throughout the month in varying forms like a video interview, written articles, and a podcast. But just in case you missed it all the following were our main findings;

  • The pie is still very small – particularly in terms of revenue with some of the leading content creators charging less than $1,000 per episode. 
  • Freebooting is a problem– Content creators are frustrated and disadvantaged by this practice which is the unauthorised downloading of content from their channels for distribution elsewhere.
  • YouTube is popular – Facebook isn’t always the leader in views. In some very prominent creators’ cases (outfits like Baba Tencen & Bustop TV) YouTube views came out ahead of Facebook. 
  • The Diaspora audience is a huge contributor to views – this also explained the YouTube dominance.
  • Piracy is rife, but artists aren’t too bothered– This is expressed clearly through the aggregators model which has been enjoying traffic from content that isn’t always authorised for distribution. Interestingly the artists are not concerned enough. An IP lawyer was even amazed at that.
  • Comedy is the only genre that is doing well with the skits being the most visible format.  A host of content types like citizen journalism, product reviews, news commentary, DIY videos and celebrity postings are largely unexplored.
  • Zimdancehall is the largest biggest content type – This is underscored by its dominance in video aggregation and the significant views generated by its videos. Unfortunately, there has been no structured approach to its distribution.

You can listen to our podcast that explains these findings in greater detail by following the link below.


Do you have any questions, comments or  thoughts on this Beneath the Surface feature? Please share in the comments section below or on social media. 

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One thought on “Zimdancehall dominates & comedy is the most lucrative – Our findings on the Zimbabwean internet video economy

  1. kasekero kamunoita podcast ichitanga haka jairiki, otherwize great job. thank u for the insights into the zim tech economy.

    my recommendations for beneath the surface topics
    1. funding in the zim tech economy (unravel for us the zimbabwean venture capital funds or those funds that target africa)
    2. zim app economy
    3. development tools/platforms
    4. agritech ie rlmns
    5. tech journalism (lol)

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