Lai Mohammed tells why Nigeria broadcasting sector is underdeveloped

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Tuesday that lack of scientific Audience Measurement System was responsible for the underdevelopment of the nation’s broadcasting sector.

The minister stated this in Lagos at the third International Summit on Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

He noted that audience measurement was key to fostering growth of the broadcasting industry and making Digital Switch Over (DSO) sustainable for all stakeholder.

“We need an objective and scientific Audience Measurement System that articulates value of the content to consumers, as well as value of the audience to advertisers, particularly in the television sector.

The minister noted that what was obtainable at the moment was that the advertising community relied on subjective factors when making decisions on the content they wanted, as opposed to how many viewers the content truly attracted.

He said the factor had contributed to the less optimal investment by key stakeholders in the television broadcasting value-chain.

“The consequence is that TV platforms are subjected to renting out space on their channels to sustain their businesses while content producers become over reliant on sponsorship

“This existing model unfortunately skews the authenticity of creative output in favour of a few decision makers and not the millions of TV viewers.

“It stunts the quality of the content that can be created and limits the capacity of television platforms to invest in dynamic offerings that consumers will be attracted to.

“It will never enable the Nigeria’s creative and entertainment industry to reach its full potential,” he said.

The minister said that the lack of audience measurement also rendered the nation’s broadcasting advertising market non proportionate with its population when compared to South Africa and Kenya

“Despite having a population three times more than South Africa, Nigeria’s television advertising revenue in 2016, at 309 million dollar, was 76 per cent behind that of South Africa, at 1.301 billion dollar.

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“By 2020, the gap between South Africa and Nigeria is projected to marginally decline to 72 per cent. Similarly, in the radio sector, the value of Nigeria’s 2016 advertising revenue of 81 million dollar was 75 per cent behind its peers, South Africa and Kenya, both at 343 million dollar.

“Kenya is projected to overtake South Africa in 2017 as the leading radio advertising market. In both territories, the value and growth rate of the broadcasting revenue is largely influenced by the availability of a scientific Audience Measurement System.

“It provides confidence to Advertisers in measuring their Return-On-Investment,” he said.

To address the shortcoming, the minister said that it was imperative to put in place a robust Audience Measurement System that is in line with global standards.

He said the framework must ensure that content producers receive their just due for the value of the content they create while advertising community will be guaranteed return on their investment on media placements.

Mohammed announced that his ministry was ready to take the important first step in addressing the challenge by organising an Audience Measurement Conference.

He said the conference, which would hold on October 3 in Lagos, would afford stakeholders opportunity to contribute to efforts in coming up with a scientific Audience Measurement System that would boost the sector.

“This is our next task and we invite all well meaning practitioners of this industry to join hands with us to achieve this,” he said.

Earlier, the chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh, said the summit on digital broadcasting was organised to galvanise opinions of stakeholders on how to achieve effective and efficient transmission from analogue to digital broadcasting.

He enjoined the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission to come out clearly on the timeline for DSO.

Momoh, who is also the chairman of Channels Media Group, owner of Channels Television, was represented at the event by BON Vice Chairman, Hajiya Sa’a Abubakar.