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Community radio gets boost to accelerate digital evolution

Community radio gets boost to accelerate digital evolution

CloudIntelligent TechnologyRegionsSouth AfricaTop Stories

Durban-based tech company, immedia has invested 10 million rand (US$677,675) to help African media entrepreneurs to build sustainable community radio by using Fabrik, a set of cloud-enabled digital tools that empower media entities to live-stream shows, grow and engage with audiences around the world and benefit financially by monetising their audiences.

The 25-year-old company, which has the backing of Microsoft and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), has been developing their Fabrik technology since 2017. Fabrik allows media entrepreneurs to upend the traditional notion of ‘we broadcast and you receive’, by creating a feedback loop that directly helps the stations and listeners that use it to leapfrog old technology, to become citizen journalists and find their strategic space in a digitally transformed world. It is already being used by 15 commercial clients, including South Africa-based radio stations Gagasi FM, Smile 90.4FM and YFM.

As part of its Digital Leap programme, immedia will be giving its platform to qualifying media entrepreneurs across Africa for free for a year. This includes consultation, training and support to help monetise the technology, cumulatively valued at 10 million rand (US$677,675).
Phil Molefe, Head of Business Development and Strategy, Fabrik, said the programme was key to the company’s vision to spearhead media transformation.

Molefe added that the uptake of Fabrik by energetic entrepreneurs at community radio stations showed how empowering the suite of digital tools is. “It enables them to deepen their relationship with their audience and monetise it sustainably because the quality of their engagement with listeners is meaningful.”

Molefe pointed out that while community media is often under-resourced and struggles to retain skills, the company’s case studies have shown that it is more than possible for them to thrive and the Digital Leap programme is the kind of opportunity they need to succeed.

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