Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Strive Masiyiwa announces Kwesé TV, Econet’s DStv rival

Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and Chairman of Econet Wireless has announced a new pay TV service called Kwese TV. Through a post on his Facebook page, Mr Masiyiwa highlighted how Econet had been working on the service for three years.

Opportunities for internet providers as Naspers eyes bigger VOD market

As the proprietor of the largest pay TV service in Sub-Saharan Africa through Multichoice, this huge focus on VOD is reflective of what the future holds and how the company needs to adapt to the next wave of video entertainment. Naspers is out to ensure that it doesn’t lose its firm hold on the market by betting on the next big thing through Showmax.

YouTube Offline offers Zimbabweans another workaround for expensive internet

YouTube recently followed this up by opening up this YouTube Offline experience to all devices in selected African markets – South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. The good news is that the service is now also available in Zimbabwe.

More details of Liquid Telecom’s VOD service ipidi emerge as it nears launch

According to an updated ipidi website, the VOD service will come with two options – ipidi flix and ipidi boxoffice. The ipidi flix alternative offers monthly access to TV shows and movies and ipidi has made claims of a growing library with “thousands of hours” of content.

BAZ signs Eutelsat for digital migration satellite capacity; service to launch in 2016

Now, in its latest announcement, Eutelsat has mentioned that it has sealed a three-year contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for capacity in Ku-band on the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.

Zimpapers accused of stealing content by local bloggers…again (update)

Effectively, them pirating content from online publications would mean the government is stealing from the young businesses it should instead be helping protect

Advantages of B2B model for VOD startups more apparent as iROKO goes Global

In a sense, that is what content curators chasing the iROKO model might have to consider as well. The real revenues that warrant praise for a growing demand for African content are yet to be realised from a subscription based model in our environment.

Liquid Telecom invests in South African VOD and free-to-air TV startup

The latest in Liquid Telecom’s quest for a share of the African TV market is an investment in a South African VOD and linear free-to-air startup called Hola Media that the company has made.

Zimpapers’ HY results and the challenges of a digital future the company faces

When Zimpapers, Zimbabwe’s largest media company, announced its half year results two months ago, it reported a US $20,000 loss. Shortly after, the company apparently uncovered an error in its tax accounting for the period and had to adjust the accounts, effectively pulling itself out of the loss all the way up to a US $1.9 million profit. The company […]

The touchline of digital opportunity – soccer giants Dynamos & CAPS turn to DVDs

Local soccer teams like Dynamos and CAPS United are now extending their brand visibility through the distribution of DVDs. However, there’s more to explore digitally.

Govt sets aside $18 million for decoders in next stage of digital migration

In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Charamba mentioned that a distributor for the 400,000 set top boxes necessary for digital migration had been identified and an order had been placed, with the transaction set to cost $18 million.

ONTAPtv VOD service launch in SA displays strategy built for the rest of Africa

As much as a strategy used by ONTAPtv has been earmarked for the South African market, it has a fit in the rest of Africa. In Zimbabwe, that sort of approach could work, assuming that the VOD provider is willing to identify and craft the right sort of partnerships with public WiFI service providers.

As MTN zero-rates data for VOD here’s why other providers might follow suit

It was recently reported that MTN South Africa, the mobile network operator, zero-rated data for MTN FrontRow. This is the operator’s Video On Demand (VOD) service. This has implications on what might work for VOD services in Africa aligned to broadband providers.

TWZ, Battle of Chefs, Zim Dancehall & the dozen shows on my Zambezi Magic to-watch list

Since it went live on the 1st of July this year, Zambezi Magic has been filling in gaps with a lot of South African content. The good news is that Zimbabwean productions are going to be flighted on Zambezi Magic. Shows like Battle of the Chefs, Tonight With Zororo are set to be flighted there.

How to capture supernatural photos using an iPad: A guide by Prophet Bushiri

The audience is awed as self-proclaimed man of God, Bushiri captures “super natural” photos. Not so long ago there was a lot of controversy here over the story of Saith Technologies. A good number in the audience, myself included, were unconvinced by this talk of “micro-sonic devices” and inventions that “defy the laws of physics”. I […]

Showmax to enable Game of Thrones downloads for African market

A report from Bloomberg cites a source who shared plans by Showmax to enable downloading of its content which includes movies and highly popular series like Game of Thrones. This is supposed to be a way of addressing the challenges the African market has with the high cost of internet and the sparse distribution of fixed internet solutions.

Zimbabweans miss another opportunity as game developers cash in on Cecil The Lion

Well after Cecil The Lion became an American Dentist’s victim and just when we thought we’d moved past it, it turns out in the world of tech, specifically mobile gaming, others are keen on making something out of the Lion.

YouTube introduces offline videos for select African markets

Google has activated YouTube offline video viewing via a download button available on the app during video play. It seems, however, it is only available in countries where the Android One project has been launched.

Naspers’ ShowMax to offer Mobile VOD

Naspers is in negotiations with Vodacom to offer Mobile based VOD services via its new vehicle ShowMax. This move may consolidate Naspers market share in the face of NetFlix expansion.

Naspers, parent company of MultiChoice set to launch a Netflix competitor

It seems like the guys behind MultiChoice, Naspers, are preparing for the arrival of Netflix with a new service. An article has cited sources that have said that an event being organised by Naspers and pencilled for the 19th of August is the launch of a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service that Naspers has been working on for a while.

Sports publication SSN starts crowdfunding campaign to livestream local matches

School Sports Network (SSN) launched a crowdfunding campaign meant to mobilise resources that will be used to set up a live stream service for Zimbabwean school sports. The target is $1,700 and SSN is offering unlimited access to live streamed sports for everyone who contributes.

Latest on Zimbabwe’s digital migration – we are 400,000 decoders closer

According to the latest information released on Digital Migration, George Charamba from the Ministry of Information and Media told people that Zimbabwe has ordered 400,000 set top boxes from Huawei in China. According to Charamba, this is four times the penetration rate of TV sets in this country.

Death of Wabona gives glimpse of jungle called the African VOD market

The news that Wabona, an African content Video On Demand service shut down was a low moment for African tech and media startups. a number of aspects related to their model have stood out as weaknesses for a while now. Theirs represent most of the challenges in setting up a Pan-African VOD service. However, in the lessons, there are some opportunities that could also emerge for Wabona or other VOD services.

MultiChoice makes call for Zimbabwean Music videos

Zambezi Magic, the MNet Channel launched recently to act as the go-to spot for Southern African content, is looking for Zimbabwean music videos. This is the latest invitation for Zimbabwean content that started some months ago with calls for Zimbabwean shows and movies. MultiChoice, through channels like Zambezi Magic, wants to tap into the talent pools of countries like Zimbabwe that haven’t had a huge representation on DStv

Introducing Sponsored Articles. Our editorial responsibility stays intact

You probably noticed that, since last week, on the left sidebar of this website is a new section called Sponsored Articles. This articles are clearly labelled “Sponsored” so that you’re very clear that this is not regular Techzim content. To ensure there’s no confusion, such stories will not appear in our regular news feed which is reserved for our traditional content.

African VOD service Wabona shutting down

One of Africa’s video on demand (VOD) services, Wabona, has just announced that it is shutting down. In a statement that has been circulated to its stakeholders and shared on Facebook, the team behind Wabona has pointed out how they will be closing shop in the next few days.

Econet now has its own USSD News service

It could be mere coincidence that as Econet introduces a content account disrupting the Zimpapers mobile news service, a new USSD based news platform is launched. However, some would speculate that Econet in fact benefited from the confusion by bringing in their own, or a new player in the SMS News VAS.

Zimpapers’ gamble on digital news looks set to pay back millions

Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Dekete reports in an Zimpapers AGM sideline interview that digital content is generating 3% of their annual revenue and they have at least 300,000 subscribers on their SMS and MMS mobile news and classifieds platforms.

New local show, Tonight With Zororo, embraces digital with YouTube launch

Tonight With Zororo, a local talk show has been launched today. using the internet, specifically YouTube, as its main distribution channel, it joins other producers defying the status quo on content distribution.

Zimbabwe Independent Website Hacked

The Zimbabwe Independent website was attacked and penetrated by hackers earlier this week. Though this is hardly something new for local publisher websites, this attack was the first in quite a while. According to the team at the Independent, the newspaper has been back online and precautions have been taken to guard against something like this.