Mobile entertainment apps have a big future in Africa, as demand is rife among young people on the continent for round-the-clock portable entertainment, according to the founders of Cameroonian television-based social networking site Djoss.tv.
Djoss.tv is an online and mobile social forum which aims to connect people watching the same television programmes, allowing viewers to chat and discuss the programme they are watching.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Djoss.tv founder Patrick Ndjientcheu predicted television will remain a key entertainment tool in Africa, but a move to providing mobile ways to connect and be entertained is key to the social environment on the continent.
“I think television is here to stay. It has an important place in people social life, especially during big events like AFCON or World Cup. But as more and more people are connected, they are going to use online and mobile platforms to enhance their TV watching experience,” Ndjientcheu said.
“Also, young people want to entertain everywhere they are. And because their phone is always with them, I think mobile entertainment apps have a bright future in Africa.”
In this vein, Djoss.tv has over the past year launched an SMS-based service, which allows TV viewers to interact via their mobile phones while watching their favourite programmes.
According to Ndjientcheu, this SMS service has proven the most popular way to connect with users, while TV channels also relish the audience activity.
“Over the last 3 months, around 2000 people use the service monthly, mainly by SMS,” Ndjientcheu said, noting that the company has spent the last year focusing on integrating the SMS service.
“Djoss via SMS proved to be a great service as it allows people who are not connected to Internet (the majority of Cameroonians) to “djoss”. TV channels also like it as it increases the interactivity rate of their shows. We are now working on improvements that will let us deploy this service faster to more TV channels.”
While the SMS service allows users to interact easily and without hassle, TV channels also benefit from the unified source of statistics regarding viewers’ interests.
“From TV stations, getting SMS and web viewers contributions on a single platform help them manage easily manage interactivity. They are also interested by the stats as they can see which topics draw the most participation and improve themselves,” Ndjientcheu said.