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Media Moves: Mastercard connects, Newzroom Afrika launch campaign, Black Coffee and Lebashe ink deal

The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media. As South Africa entered lockdown, businesses closed across the country. But the media will continue to do its job, and The Media Online will continue to report on the sector. #StaySafe.

This week’s BIG move: Mastercard commits to connect one billion people, 50 million small businesses, 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025

In this time of crisis,
Mastercard has expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion by
pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small
businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

As part of this strategy, the
payments technology company will focus on providing 25 million women
entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.

The impact of COVID-19 has made
it even more pressing to support inclusive growth in developing economies like
South Africa, which according to the World Bank, is forecasted to
have more than one million people pushed into extreme poverty due to the

“The health
and economic consequences of COVID-19 have highlighted the critical need to
support vulnerable populations, many of whom are disproportionately impacted. If we are going to recover in any sort of long-term,
sustainable way, we have to ensure that everyone is included in the digital
economy. Financial inclusion is a critical part of that goal,” said Suzanne
Morel, country manager at Mastercard, South Africa.

In South Africa, 11
million people are unbanked or under-banked, with 65 percent of all retail payments
made in cash, locking merchants and consumers into unnecessary risks and high
transaction costs.  A Mastercard study showed that the cost of
cash for consumers is R23 billion per annum or 0.52% of South Africa’s gross
domestic product (GDP), with the majority of this cost carried by lower income

Over the past five years,
Mastercard achieved its initial goal of including 500 million people in the
digital economy through more than 350 innovative programs across 80 countries.

Business moves

Afrika launches bold campaign

Premier 24-hour news channel Newzroom
Afrika is solidifying its place in the category with the launch of a bold
marketing campaign built on its credentials as a proudly African, impartial,
independent, authentic news service dedicated to editorial excellence.

“The foundation of our campaign is based on
highlighting our channel platform, DStv channel 405, which has been turned into
a room of truth. In Room 405 we welcome viewers to stay engaged and make themselves
uncomfortable  because ‘the truth isn’t always pleasant, but it’s always
good’. The concept of Room 405 morphs easily from a newsroom into a decision
room or an innovation room – any space where truth is at home,” said head of
marketing and communications, Zamahlasela Gabela

The marketing campaign – the first since the channel’s inception – was conceived by creative agency The Odd Number. Sibusiso Sitole – the agency’s co-founder and group chief creative officer – said he was “most excited for people to finally get a sense of the energy and attitude of this brand”.

The campaign has already gone live on
radio, to be followed in the coming days by TV, digital and print elements.

iiDENTIFii penetrates SA market

iiDENTIFii’s team have been working on their digital identity deep
authentication technology for a number of years, they only recently officially
launched their platform on home soil, right here in South Africa. Introducing
their technology just a few short months ago, they have quickly found
themselves amidst a massive growth wave, moving into fifth-year projected
numbers within their first year of operations.

Within a
number of months, the market has been deeply penetrated by way of demand for
the iiDENTIFii platform, with some of their newest clients and interest spread
across the globe, including leading banks in South Africa, Africa, South
America and Asia.

Jonas Bogoshi

Bogoshi, CEO from industry renowned JSE listed company, BCX, has been quoted to
have said that iiDENTIFii are, “ground-breaking innovators in the sphere of
blockchain technology, improving the field of artificial intelligence by
developing one of the most accurate face matching and secure proof of life
technologies, not only locally but across the globe”.

Being led by
their mission, which is to stop identity fraud by providing seamless identity
authentication technology, the expeditious uptake of iiDENTIFii’s technology
has been timeous in the requirement to merge an individual’s on-line and
physical off-line identities.

teams up with Shoprite, Shoprite K’nect, Checkers and Usave to help people pay
for essential goods

Over 11 million South Africans do not have a bank
account and, in lockdown, sending and collecting wages is difficult. Many
businesses have been forced to close by the COVID-19 pandemic and employees
have been laid off. People are running out of cash and hunger is now a greater
worry for many than the virus. But help is at hand.

6DOT50 is stepping in with a new
way to pay for essential goods,
as COVID-19 takes its toll on the South African economy. 6DOT50 has introduced
Digital Rands and a 6DOT50 COVID-19 account to assist people to pay for much
needed food items.

“These are unprecedented times and we need to come
together to respond to the difficulties of South Africa’s poor and vulnerable,
in ways that are relevant. We have the right technology in place and with the
support of South Africa’s best known and most trusted retail brands, we believe
that Digital Rands will meet a critical need in South Africa, during COVID-19
and beyond,” said Warren Venter, director of 6DOT50.

DJ Black Coffee and Lebashe Investment Group announce a strategic
partnership with Gallo

Black Coffee/TimesLIVE

, the investment holding company owned by acclaimed
international DJ Black Coffee, has concluded a deal acquiring a significant
stake in Gallo
Music Investments
(GMI), from Lebashe Investment Group for an undisclosed

purchased GMI, South Africa’s largest and oldest independent music label, from
Tiso Blackstar for R75-million in March this year. GMI was incorporated into
news and entertainment business Arena Holdings, which is 100% owned by Lebashe
Investment Group.

While Lebashe chairman
Tshepo Mahloele believes the investment in GMI significantly enhances Arena’s
entertainment offering to its consumers, the transaction with FlightMode will
add tangible value and attract diversified audiences to its platform.

“We are
delighted that South Africa’s most extensive musical archives reside within
Arena Holdings, and it is our intention to explore and reintroduce these
amazing classical archives to our mainstream market, locally and globally. The
collaboration with internationally renowned DJ Black Coffee will usher in a new
era for the South African music business on a global scale,” said Mahloele.

Similarly, DJ
Black Coffee said: “This is the first of many moves we are working on to change
the landscape of both the South African and African music industry. The music
in the Gallo catalogue is some of the most culturally rich that has ever been
created in this country. The partnership with Lebashe to invest in the
catalogue and masters, is more than just a business transaction – it’s about
creating an environment in which artists and creatives have a truly equitable
stake. It is also the beginning of an industry revolution where African artists
are part of structures that are fair and encourage new ways to monetise

Universal Music Group launches Def Jam Africa

Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in
music-based entertainment, today announced the launch of Def Jam Africa, a new
label division within the continent dedicated to representing the best hip-hop,
Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa. Def Jam Africa will follow the blueprint
of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge
in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years.

The label will initially be based in Johannesburg,
South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, but will identify and sign artist talent from
across the entire continent. It will be supported by dedicated A&R,
marketing, creative and digital teams from the UMG teams in both Nigeria and
South Africa and will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan
Africa & South Africa.

The label launches with a flagship roster, that
includes some of the most influential, successful and followed African talent
including: Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga
(Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South
Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector

In making the announcement, Sipho Dlamini said,“Many of us in Africa grew up on music from
legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to
Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records,
the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more.”

Partners with StarTimes to Launch TOONAMI, the Home of Superheroes
Channel, in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the first-ever deal with StarTimes in English speaking Africa,
WarnerMedia’s TOONAMI is now available across sub-Saharan African
countries. Subscribers in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda,
Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Mozambique will be able to enjoy a tidal wave of
non-stop, uninterrupted, 24-hour programming, jam-packed with top-rated
superhero action.

WarnerMedia’s TOONAMI has been in existence across Africa
for the past three years and targets all superhero fans, offering top-rated
series’ such as DC Comics’ Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern, Young Justice
and The Justice League as well as popular animated series Teen Titans among

“WarnerMedia has an existing relationship with StarTimes in
French-speaking African regions, which has allowed us to distribute Cartoon
Network, Boomerang, Boing, WarnerTV and CNN, among other franchises. We look
forward to creating more platforms within this partnership to widen our
footprint on the continent,” said Guillaume Coffin, VP Head of Commercial and
Business Development Turner France, Africa & Israel.


What the data says! How Primedia Broadcasting listeners feel about lockdown 

An April survey conducted by Primedia
Broadcasting surveying radio listeners has revealed the vast majority were
satisfied that the Presidency and national government were effectively
addressing the COVID-19 threat in South Africa. 

However, while feeling that the stringency
of the government response was necessary and appropriate, 75% of respondents
were concerned about the impact of the lockdown on the economy, with fears
surrounding job losses and retrenchments accounting for 73% of the respondents’
concerns. The survey also highlighted concerns around mental health, with 47%
of respondents raising concerns about their own mental
wellbeing considering the ongoing social isolation and the escalating
virus transmission numbers. 

Listeners also indicated that they would
like to hear more communication from the Government during this time. Across
the three provinces, 78% of respondents requested that radio clips be played
during the day that provide information about the types of services available
to them – whether health, social or business support -through their respective
municipalities. And, over a quarter of respondents say they tune in
specifically for the news bulletins across Primedia Broadcasting’s radio

Melissa McNally, research manager at Primedia Broadcasting, said that by interrogating its research on advertising and content consumption data, Primedia was able to develop key insights on citizen sentiment and behaviours. We hope that these insights will contribute, even in a small way, to informing the national initiative combating coronavirus transmission in South Africa.” 

These findings were presented at a
Primedia Broadcasting webinar last week. Visit for past
and upcoming webinars 

For the Diary

Daily Maverick debate today

Daily Maverick School Reopening: The Great Debate After today. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga confirmed last week that schools will reopen on 1 June – only for grades 7 and 12.

But multiple questions remain. Is it rational to select grades 7 and 12 to return first? Can schools really guarantee the health and safety of pupils and teachers? What is the likely impact of the extended learning break so far – and which children will pay the worst price?

Join education experts Dr Nic Spaull and Sara Black (PhD.) unpacking the issues with Judith February on Thursday 28 May at 12h00. Reserve your virtual seat here: // Supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to

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