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China and France counting on the African audiovisual market

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Friday, 08 January 2016

China and France counting on the African audiovisual market

While America and Asia are geographically distant markets, and Europe is in crisis, Asian and French operators are taking an interest in Africa, with its emerging economies. France, the former colonial power, intends to retain influence over the African audiovisual sector. The Canal+ group, the pay-TV operator, wants to invest in this market of 250 million French-speaking Africans. It has teamed up with the company iROKO, an online distributor of African audiovisual content, to launch a mobile-based video on demand service. Canal+ and iROKO want to boost their customer base by recruiting customers among smartphone and mobile Internet users in French-speaking Africa. Jacques du Puy, Chairman of Canal+ Overseas, the international division of the Canal+ group in Africa, has stressed the size of the market, which has more than 250 million people spread across 23 countries, and where there will be approximately 165 million smartphones in circulation by 2020. Two million African households already subscribe to the pay-TV services of Canal+ and the group’s ambition is to expand its audience to those whose smartphone is the only means of accessing entertainment. For its part, the French group Lagardère is disposing of its magazines in France but growing its audiovisual business abroad. Last May, its media division purchased the Spanish Boomerang TV, in order to enhance the international stature of its TV production activities. And in just over a year, it has launched two radio stations, in Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire, with the ambition of expanding rapidly into other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Lagardère’s international radio stations, operated by the Lagardère Active Radio International (LARI) arm, are not as well-known as the French radio stations (Europe 1, RFM, Virgin Radio), which generate almost two-thirds of its turnover of EUR 200 million. But the French dominance of “Black Africa” is being followed very closely by China, which has established a research centre devoted to African TV and films.

Source: l'expression dz.com