Econet Media (Kwesé) and VICE Media have announced a new joint venture, Kwesé VICE, that will see the launch of a bureau and production studio in South Africa.
Kwesé VICE, set to be launched in 2018 will focus on developing, producing and distributing local content and original video programming. That means editorial content and video content distributed over various platforms, television, digital and more. Both on Kwesé VICE’s channels and third party platforms.
By local content they mean Africa not just South Africa. So although the bureau and production studio will be located in Johannesburg they will be churning out content to cater for all millennials on the mother continent, Zimbabwe included.
They will hire locally too, filmmakers, journalists and creatives.
Kwesé VICE will be targeting the diverse African youth demographic. The youth being targeted here are mostly millennials and not the youth as defined by ZANU PF. That means those born after 1980.
Kwesé VICE will also house Virtue Worldwide, the creative agency from VICE, which will develop branded content for Africa.
This is not the first time that Econet Media and VICE Media have partnered. Kwesé has an exclusive deal to distribute VICELAND, one of VICE Media’s channels across Africa. Under that deal Kwesé TV agreed to add VICELAND to their offering across sub-Saharan Africa, with content also being made available via Kwesé’s catch-up TV service as well as its Android and iOS apps.
VICELAND targets the youth and to get a feel of what Kwesé VICE will offer check it out. VICELAND does not target the African youth especially but American youth but it still is an interesting channel.
This move by Econet Media addresses the criticism some have leveled against the new pay-TV entrant that they are not committed to supporting local content in Africa. The hope is that this is only the beginning and that we will see more production studios opened across the continent.
Econet Media is showing serious commitment to the African market and they seem to understand the economic problems being faced on the continent as evidenced by their free bouquet offering 5 free channels whether one pays their subscription or not.