Online radio and video entertainment are big new areas of focus for French telecommunications giant Orange in South Africa. The company already runs a popular online store and a network of Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, mainly in the Western Cape.
Sébastien Crozier, CEO of Orange Horizons — a company established to spearhead Orange’s expansion into new markets, including South Africa — tells TechCentral that the telecoms operator is expanding its Orange Radio application to include a wide range of local stations.
Crozier believes South Africa will follow the European lead and, in future, both radio and television broadcasting will be consumed more and more by consumers using mobile and fixed broadband rather than traditional broadcasting networks.
“With the decrease in the price of data, we feel radio will be something people listen to through their mobile phone,” he says.
Orange already aggregates 20 000 radio stations through its Orange Radio app for the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones. “We intend to have all the South African radio stations available on our app quite soon,” says Crozier.
He says Orange is expanding the service partly in light of the trend to connected cars, where vehicles have Sim cards that provide drivers with a wide range of services, including maps and real-time traffic data. These data connections will also give consumers access to the world’s radio stations.
At the same time, Orange is planning to offer more video options to South African consumers. Working with partner and subsidiary Dailymotion, the company says it intends supporting local content producers, providing a new platform for them to distribute their materials.
“A lot of media players are interested in having a platform to monetise their content. What we plan to do is monetise this through revenue-sharing based on advertising,” Crozier explains. The company is also looking at video on demand, but that will follow in a second stage of the roll-out plan. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media