21 Sep 2012

“Companies should have general passion for developing content specific to the market needs” says Endemol SA’s Sivan Pillay


Sivan Pillay is managing director of TV company Endemol South Africa. Since Joining Endemol South Africa in 2000 he has been responsible for all of the company's business affairs across South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, most recently as Head of Commercial Business. Sivan also pioneered Endemol South Africa's digital media business with the launch of Mobivision in 2004, which has delivered innovative new business especially in the mobile space.
He will join the ‘Digital Gurus’ keynote panel at AfricaCom, where he will share his views on service innovation and partnerships in the digital ecosystem, alongside representatives of YouTube, Universal Music and Mlabs.
He answers a few questions ahead of his participation.

CWS - What activities has Endemol undertaken in opening new markets in Africa recently?
SP - From a TV production perspective Endemol has recently produced new shows for Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Burundi,  Uganda, Tanzania in addition to Kenya Nigeria and South Africa.  Each of the shows feature cross platform opportunities on both mobile and television.

CWS - How has Endemol started adapting to major changes in an increasingly competitive international market?
SP - With regards to Endemol business in Africa there are three key areas that are vital to be competitive.  They are creativity, pricing and production delivery.  Endemol is well skilled in each of these areas and has learned to adapt to the diverse needs of the African market.

CWS - How can content companies more effectively deliver targeted content for the African market?

SP - Content companies can potentially achieve this by understanding the broadcast platforms, the needs of the market, having better relationships and having a general passion for not just selling, but also for developing content specific to the needs of the market.  

CWS - How do you believe broadcasting has changed in Africa in the past 1-2 years?

SP - The key changes seen are the increased appetite for new content both local and national.  Also, global hit formats attract much attention in Africa and audience expectations favour local versions.  In addition to this, broadcasters are starting to look at the future technical platform for broadcasting (DDT) which will create huge requirements for the acquisition of new, fresh, diverse and specific content for their broadcast territories.  What remains to be seen is, if broadcasters are actually prepared to make the necessary investments to ensure successful DDT channels.  Also, broadcasters are in the early adoption phase of cross platform broadcasting which includes mobile and tablet.

AfricaCom will take place in Cape Town on 13-15 November.