London — The mobile phone is becoming one of the key devices for accessing broadcast material in Africa. Cote d'Ivoire public broadcaster RTI has chosen to meet the challenge rather than pretend it doesn't exist. Russell Southwood talks to Sahifoulaye Kone, RTI's Digital Director about how its content is viewed.
Q: What is RTI?
RTI is the leading Ivorian public media group. It brings together 6 channels, including 3 TV channels (RTI1, RTI2, RTI Bouaké) and three radio channels (Radio Côte d'Ivoire, Frequency 2 and Radio Bouaké). In this way, RTI offers diversified programs that meet viewers' different expectations. These programs are cover: news and information, entertainment and education.
Q: When did RTI realize that it needed a digital strategy and what started?
A: When CEO Ahmadou Bakayoko became RTI CEO in 2013, as soon as he took office, he accelerated the digital revolution in RTI with the optimization of digital support, the implementation of Web TV, and the implementation of two mobile applications (RTI Mobile and Frequency 2) and the launch of our presence on social networks.
Since then, RTI has been working on content and presence on social networks: including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Dailymotion.
The transition from a multimedia department to a digital department at the beginning of the year is also a strong signal of the general direction being taken towards the digital market.
Q: We are now in a multi-device world but what is the reality of it in Cote d'Ivoire?
A: Indeed, the world is multi-device with strong growth in Africa. According to the predictions of Deloitte 2018, there will be 330 million smartphone subscribers in Africa, whiche will increase to 660 million by 2020 (a transition from 24% of the handset marketto 54%.).
Today, we find that the 15-35 age group spends more time on their phones than in front of TV screens. We can also see from our stats that 86% of our content is viewed on a mobile phone.
We offer complementarity to broadcast media: the experience of online TV continues on digital with social networks or viewers and Internet users engaged in the conversation.
With this vision, we can access our target audiences through more powerful programs through the RTI Mobile application portal from either a smartphone or a tablet.
Q: Which streaming services do you compete with in Cote d'Ivoire?
A: The competition is not only in Ivory Coast. When users are choosing content on internet-connected devices, it is possible to choose among the media that he or she can find on the net. It's quite challenging for us.
Q: Who uses which social media in CI?
A: As in many countries, it is of course young people who use social networks in Côte d'Ivoire. We have the general public who uses Facebook and educated people, who Twitter Twitter more.
Like many companies, we find that we have a majority of men (about 60%) and young people (15 to 34 years). We know for example at least 1 in 5 Ivorians has a Facebook account and that 22% of the population aged 15 and over has an account.
Q: What impact does social media have on dissemination?
A: Social media allow us not only to reach a larger audience, but also both in Côte d'Ivoire and outside, but also to promote the content that is broadcast and therefore to retain new viewers. It's a great way to interact with communities, listen to them and share with them. Some comments are shared with editorial and enrich our programs.
Q: Will there soon be more (private) TV channels in CI?
A: Yes, the liberalization of the audiovisual space provides a next step to encourage the arrival of new private operators on the television market in Côte d'Ivoire.
Also the Ivorian Broadcasting Company (SIDT) which manages the DTT process has already started its activities.
Q: How is RTI evolving to meet the digital challenge?
To best meet the users' digital needs you have to be attentive and constantly on standby. We share the feedback from the Net surfers with the editorial teams of the TV and radio channels.
We remain in contact with the market and the technological environment (we participated in Africacom (Dakar and Capetown) and Vivatech etc ...) in order to anticipate and follow it for our strategy and our action plans.
Q: How are you going to attract the public to the new digital channels?
A: The question is in the present, how do we attract them now
Without going into details, we are working on listening, creativity and differentiation.
For example, during the last World Cup, the Ivorian netizens were able to watch live images on TV or their screen and superimpose either a live radio feed or an RSS feed alongside the live images on their screen.
have appreciated in addition to the images that offers the television to be able to follow the live radio commentators superposition their match, the RSS feeds and their window on the same screen.
Q: How big is your audience worldwide?
A: Today 60% of our audience of the website and social networks comes from Ivorians in the country, and the remaining 40% come from the diaspora in West Africa or Europe in particular.
Here are some figures as of August 10, 2018.
- 2,006,721 subscribers on all Facebook pages of the group.
- 480,000 subscribers on all of our Twitter pages.
- 358,511 Subscribers on YouTube.
- 97,000 subscribers on Instagram.
In addition to Internet users in Côte d'Ivoire, Ivorians living outside or even the inhabitants of other countries (Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, France) have a special attraction for our programs and keep in touch with Cote d'Ivoire through these different platforms and are very present on our platform.