The creators of the Zimbabwe’s popular social media comedy show, Bustop TV, have launched an independent site, bustop.tv. Essentially instead of going to Facebook to watch their shows, fans can go to the site directly.
The site is also a way to show more information about the show and to attract possible sponsors for their videos and booking for their services. Aside from offering brands sponsored video skits, Bustop TV comedy stars are also available to perform at events as MCs and stand-up comedians.
It will be interesting to see how much an independent website will increase the show’s audience.
Techzim spoke to the Bustop TV Co-Founder and Producer Luckie Aaroni and he told us they hope to reach a new audience through the website to add to their existing numbers. They are targeting people that don’t spend much time on social media and may therefore miss the content posted there. This way, Aaroni says, they can increase their revenue too.
Aaroni also told us they are introducing new shows to compliment the regular Gonyeti and Maggie skits that have been the mainstay of the crew up to now. “We have drama queens talk show in partnership with Nafuna TV. We also have a Bustop TV News, a weekly show”. The news show launched last week and you can watch the first episode here.
Bustop already has a significant following on social media; 64k Facebook followers, 12k on YouTube, 22k on Instagram. Twitter isn’t that huge, just 3.4k and WhatsApp offers no channel feature for shows, and no way to measure the views on content. These are interesting figures however not only in terms of where Bustop TV has put its effort but might also speak of which platforms Zimbabweans in general hang out in general.
Zimbabweans are understood to only use social media platforms that are offered as a bundle by mobile operators. But this understanding may be incomplete. How do we explain the 22 thousand Instagram fans seeing we don’t have an Instagram bundle on any network yet? The diaspora? These may be the signs Aaroni and his crew see in terms of life outside the bundles.
Globally, most prominent YouTube and Facebook stars only rely on the social media platforms as the home of their content. Even though some, like Anne Kansiime and SuzelleDIY have websites, the audience there is insignificant when compared to their social media following. Kansiime, for example, is followed by 362 thousand people on her YouTube channel with videos averaging 25 thousand views, but got less than a thousand visits to her website in January.
Other YouTube stars, like the famous MKBHD have a site but only use it to redirect people to their social media channels.