Disrupting The Kenyan Movies Industry

I just read a very well written and thought-provoking article on how piracy affects the Kenyan movie industry: Secrets About Piracy Revealed By Jitu Films Director. It seems that a very interesting problem plagues our industry:

  • Piracy is apparently illegal in Kenya.
  • However, all those “DVD for 50 bob” shops in town sell nothing but illegal pirated stuff. But they sell foreign films and so no one bothers to go after them. (An instance of how the law fails local film makers).
  • Those shops in town can never dare try to sell Kenyan movies because they need a special license to do so and because if they did, the city council will be on top of them quickly.
  • This presents an interesting problem for local film makers: they cannot hope to compete on price with foreign films. Would you buy “The Rugged Priest” at 100/- when “Avatar” is available at 50 bob?
  • To add to that, there is no local DVD factory hence local film makers have to import these and pay import taxes on top of all the other ‘normal’ taxes int heir industry. Essentially, they are unable to sell their movies at 50 bob and remain financially viable. The illegal shops in town selling pirated stuff pay no taxes.
  • This creates a situation where locally made movies are more expensive than foreign movies. They are also harder to find because to sell them you need a special licence which the 50 bob shops typically do not get.

Of course this creates an industry in which it is difficult to make much good money. What do you think can be done to overcome these problems?

IN my mind, piracy is a problem that can be best solved by offering a more convenient alternative. However, I am not to sure what, exactly, can be done to bring up such an alternative.

Through my brief work with Space Yangu, I read numerous emails from people asking us where they could buy Kenyan movies. I believe there’s demand here and money to be made – someone just needs to figure out the logistics. I can think of two approaches to a solution:

  1. Someone to open a chain of little shops in Nairobi (and eventually elsewhere) to sell Kenyan movies. (this was suggested in the linked article)
  2. Someone could open up a huge online shop that sells and delivers a wide selection of Kenyan movies. Perhaps it could eventually lead to a Netflix like service.

What do you think can be done?

16 Types of Websites You Can Create to Make Money

Every website idea or type is a potential winner. None of them can be ruled out definitively because a big part of any site’s profit potential depends on how well you market the site and grow it from the ground up. If you are an excellent marketer and strategic CEO, it’s not difficult to make even the most common ideas a success.

What sites are worth developing? Most sites are, if you have time and are willing to invest time/funds and energy on growing the sites aggressively. Being an optimistic webmaster, I would say that you can turn a profit on anything if you really work at it.

The Sitepoint marketplace and Digital Point marketplace are probably two of the more popular places to buy websites of all sorts. Monitor them if you’re interested in expanding your virtual estate. You’ll find all of the site ideas below in both forums:

  1. Affiliate Review Website. Create a website that reviews affiliate products like make money online programs, web hosting services etc. Run it on WordPress and update it everyday with affiliate feeds or articles. How much you’ll make depends on how thick (amount of content) the website is.
  2. Product Fan Blog. Create a WordPress blog around a popular product and update everyday with news about the product. The iPhone is a good example of a hot product to choose. Traffic will be quite decent over time if the product/s have longevity.
  3. Auction websites. Create a website that is similar to eBay to allow users to sell and buy products from each other. You will generate income by monetizing through ads and drawing a commission through each sale. You might get some steady revenue if you sell high ticket products or go niche enough to get a loyal user base.
  4. Dating Websites. Dating websites are communities which allow users to register, chat with and meet other interested users. They can be easily setup with turnkey scripts although you’ll really need a customized template and some coding work done to make it competitive or attractive enough to get some users. Markus Frind is currently the biggest individual Adsense publisher and makes well over $10K a day from his free dating site, Plenty of Fish.
  5. Made for Adsense Websites. These are websites with a keyword domain and they come with a bunch of pre written articles around a specific topic. Examples of common topics include acne, cancer, health and finance. These are generally boring, low maintenance sites that are plastered with contextual ads. Incredibly easy to create using the WordPress platform.
  6. Affiliate Product Website. This is a salespage which sells an electronic product like an eBook. Create the product, buy an existing one or just get someone to do it. The main way to make money is to drive or buy traffic to your salespage and make money when they buy your eBook or opt into your email list. This is an easy way to generate some real income, especially if you are have a great niche product or am skilled in promoting your personal brand and salespage.
  7. Online Games/Arcade Sites. Get someone to develop an online game that is for members only and earn money by selling points, which allow users to unlock extra options within the game. Arcade sites are simply sites with a collection of flash or online games. They are monetized through display ads. Games can spread quickly if they are very well designed and appealing.
  8. Forums or Social Network. Pick a topic that is able to attract a decent amount of users and create a forum or social network. Income will not come quickly and a lot of work is needed to build the community. Create a blog on the same domain and use for promotional purposes. There is a potential to earn a good amount of money when the forum gets big or popular.
  9. Specialized Search Engines. Build a search tool that allows visitors find media of specific types. Include your adsense ads within the search pages. This sort of tools usually don’t do very well unless you provide additional value on top of search. Examples of things to add include ajax search, folksonomy and recommendation engines.
  10. Paid Membership Site. These are membership sites which provide ongoing educational lessons on a specific topic or offer a large archive of resources, along with a forum. An example of this is the Teaching Sells website. Members will pay a fixed fee every month to maintain their membership.
  11. Design/Coding Service Site. Create a website that offers customized logo or website design, alongside coding for PSD to XHTML, WordPress and Joomla. Hire freelance coders and designers and manage them. Pay them a portion of each sale and promote your website through blogs and webmaster forums.
  12. File Hosting Website. Set up a file host which allows users to upload and share their files online with other users. There’s a tremendous amount of competition in this niche so its very difficult to make some real money unless you innovate on features or market it well.
  13. Web Directories. A web directory provides listings for websites and makes money from both display advertising and sale of premium listings. Most of the work needs to be focused on marketing and branding the site. Niche directories with a good reputation might find it easier to make money.
  14. Online Web tool. This includes URL shorteners, spell checkers, picture editors, file converters and various webmaster tools (keyword volume, link popularity). Visitors will often return to your site to use these tools if they are comprehensive enough or if your site is well designed and genuinely useful.
  15. Proxies. Proxies are websites which allow a websurfer to not only surf anonymously but bypass certain filters which prevent one from viewing a site. They are popular with the Myspace crowd and will often require a dedicated server. There are many proxies on the market but they may be worth exploring. Income is largely passive.
  16. Commercial Template Sites. Basically this involves the creation of readymade website templates for sale. They can be bundled up into sales packages and traffic can be obtained through PPC advertising. If you’re not interested in producing original templates, you can run the site using affiliate feeds from the other more established template websites like Template Monster.

The ideas mentioned can all be created by yourself using an existing script or you can set up your own by hiring a coder and designer. It’s more or less DIY, although you will need to some research on the market and have some basic webmaster skills

Now for your opinion. I imagine that some readers might want to start purchasing or building up some of these websites. What do you personally think has the most potential for profit and which idea would you recommend?

Source: DoshDosh.

Interesting in investing in websites? If you want to get into this but have no idea how to search for, value, evaluate and manage a website, give us a call. We’ll work something out.

Using StarCraft to Boost Your Tours & Travel Business

No idea if this can work but…..

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine your organization at the centre of an exciting online event that generates passionate conversation all over the Internet: on news websites, on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on other websites. Imagine your organization featuring prominently on YouTube videos viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Imagine reaching up to 15 million people through one marketing campaign. Now imagine these people passionately applauding your organization.

What am I talking about? Too good to be true – you say?

StarCraft 2 is a computer game published by Blizzard Entertainment and which is played primarily online by millions of players. StarCraft is one of the best-selling computer games in history. In South Korea, it is a national sport whose matches are televised and whose players are national celebrities.

StarCraft 2 has spawned immensely popular online tournaments throughout the world. The tournaments are followed by millions of people worldwide. The companies that sponsor these tournaments include: Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia, Samsung and many others – and this is just a selection of the biggest names. Needless to say, these companies benefit greatly for tapping into an exploding “e sports” industry. How exactly do they benefit?

  1. Tournaments are almost entirely played online and so they generate passionate activity and discussion from fans on many websites including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Tournament sponsors are usually prominent in these discussions.
  2. Tournament videos are created and posted to YouTube and similar websites. They are often viewed by hundreds of thousands of people during the tournament itself and by many others afterwards. These videos usually prominently feature tournament sponsors.
  3. E sports is relatively new. As such, video game players are very appreciative of anyone who supports it.
  4. Everything that is put on the Internet is still going to be there years later.

Now, we all know that there are probably hundreds of Kenyan tours and travel businesses out there. Indeed, with the Internet it is extremely easy to start such a business. But how easy is it to profit from one? I put it to you that actually making a decent amount is much more difficult than most people think it is. In my opinion, this is mostly due to two reasons:

  • There is a great amount of competition
  • How does a small Kenyan company market to Europeans, Americans, etc in a cost-effective way?

StarCraft 2 and “e sports” can make the second problem go away. I see this as an incredibly accessible marketing channel. How so? What if your organisation organised (or partnered with these guys) a successful StarCraft 2 online tournament? What would you get out of it?

  1. You would get your name out there amongst possibly hundreds of thousands potential tourists
  2. Your investment would reap continual benefits as long as you exist – two years from now, people will still be able to watch YouTube videos of the tournament in which you featured

I do not know about you, but I think that this is something worth thinking about…

The Coming Disruption: Teen Knowledge Work

Dale Stephens is 19. If you or your business would like to consult with him for a day, his published rate on his website is $5,000. Imagine that, a 19 year old who is confident enough to charge Kshs 400,000/- a day for his consulting services.

Dale’s story is from an interesting articles titled The Coming Disruption: Teen Knowledge Work (click to read it).

The article describes the phenomenon that is young people (mostly barely out of their teens) are no longer getting employed but choose to try their hand at starting businesses. This is a very major change from just a generation ago when our parents would seek and hold on to jobs for most of their lives.

What do you think of this new trend? I’m all for it – instead of adding onto the high unemployment numbers, young people should instead try to create jobs – ama?

The “Kenyan App” Market?

It seems that the Android operating system is getting to be really popular in Kenya. Reportedly, over 60,000 Huwaei IDEOS phones have been sold in Kenya in just a few months. The Huwaei IDEOS is the primary Android-powered device in Kenya. It is rumoured that Safaricom has ordered for 200,000 of these phones.

Think about it. That is 60,000 people and may rise to over 250,000 if Safaricom have its way.

In other countries, one of the”side effects” of the widespread use of Smart Phones has been the business of selling applications (“apps”) for these smart phones. This business is set to grow into a $12 billion industry by next year. That is, an industry that generates Kshs 1,020 Billion every year.

Obviously, Kenyan entrepreneurs should think hard about making apps and try to cut a niche for themselves in this huge, huge market.

What about the local “app industry”? How large is it? I would argue that it is nearly insignificant at this moment in time. But, as I said earlier, we shall soon have a quarter of a million Kenyans owning Smart Phones. Let’s analyse this:

  • Most, if not all of the people will be using apps made elsewhere and targetted at other markets, not Kenyans
  • The mobile phone is still the primary method through which the vast majority of Kenyans “use a computer“, or access the web
  • We are a distinct market and while we may appreciate and use apps made for other markets, we undoubtedly have needs that cannot be met by apps made for other markets

What does this mean? Well, if you ask me, there is an opportunity for smart Kenyan entrepreneurs to pioneer an industry that shall grow to be significantly large. Yes, I am saying that an opportunity exists for someone to make and sell “Kenyan apps” in the local market.

What do you think?

Print a Newspaper?

We all know the story: newspapers are dieing everywhere, and most likely will start dieing in Kenya soon. So why should anyone print a newspaper anymore? And more importantly, where would you get one printed? Isn’t the newsprint becoming obsolete like the old cassette tapes did? In one respect that is true, but in another, more valuable aspect for businesses, newsprint is even more important today.

With the advent of the internet, most people are getting their news from websites accessed through a keyboard and a screen or on the mobile phone. Since, for the most part, it is free, who wants to pay for a newspaper anymore? Hardly anyone. The daily newspapers are going out of business, but the uses for a publication that people can hold in their hands has not really diminished that much. And if a business can take advantage of this, the rewards can be great indeed!

Let me explain. People still like to read. They still like to get information. And having something to read that is on paper instead of the computer screen has not lost its appeal. If you hand someone a free newspaper, he will probably read through it. He just may not want to pay for it.

Take a business that wants to disseminate information about itself to clients, customers, and employees. Spam is so prevalent that most information sent by email is often lost, ignored, or disregarded. But put a newspaper in a person’s hands with articles about the company, new products, new services, and current products and services and people are a lot more apt to read it.

It is the niche market that can now benefit from printing a newspaper. A church can deliver a message to the community through a newspaper, and a business can keep potential customers updated on exciting products and helpful information. Imagine having an 8 page newspaper filled with articles relating directly to your area of expertise. Imagine these newspapers sent to clients, customers, or even lying around in waiting rooms across your city. Imagine the name recognition. Imagine the marketing potential!

Every business can benefit from publishing a newspaper. It can replace expensive newsletters. It can generate cash flow. It can cover its own costs by selling advertisements in it. It can disseminate much more pertinent information. It can capture potential customers attention in ways that a typical ad or short newsletter could never do! It is perfect!

Publish a newspaper and be one step ahead of the competition! Get your message out!

Tastefully Use Social Media at Your Wedding

A few weeks back, we wrote about Event Management 2.0 whereby we suggested that it may be of great benefit for an event management company to integrate modern technology, and social media into managing their events.

Today, Mashable shares on how to tastefully integrate social media into your wedding. Here’s a snippet of what they say:

  1. Pre-wedding preparations – Introducing wedding attendees online before the big day can help you avoid any day-of awkwardness. This will give people the chance to break the ice and virtually get to know a little about everyone else.
  2. Stay offline during the ceremony – “Be polite. Don’t tweet when you should be participating and listening, specifically during the liturgy or the ceremony.”
  3. Appoint a chief Tweeter – If you want your wedding to be recorded for posterity in 140-character posts, then let people know and even encourage them to get involved by creating a hashtag. “Tell your bridal party it’s OK to tweet!” says Howard. “Create a hashtag for sharing your event. This will make all tweets from your day easy to find later on and helps to create a feeling of celebration for your guests.
  4. Set up a social media station – There’s a way to keep a traditional look and feel to a wedding celebration and still make room for social media. A “social media station” is a place where those who want to connect or comment online can do so, without forcing the issue onto the uninterested.
  5. Live stream for those who cant make it – Thanks to the wonders of modern tech, nowadays you can share your special moments with people who can’t make it in person. Ustream is one such site that can help you share your ceremony with those well-wishing from afar.
  6. Enjoy your day

So is there any event manager out there who thinks that there’s even a small chance of these methods succeeding?