Afro Mobile is THE New Dawn of Ugandan and African Digital Media

“In the rapidly evolving world of digital media…” is a phrase that has become so common that it has somewhat turned into a cliché. I understand why. The pace at which digital content consumption has transformed, particularly in Uganda, has dramatically shifted the landscape of the media business, and many of the leaders in this space across the globe now frequently begin their speeches with it. I think I have too.

Not long ago, we crafted news bulletins for prime times like 7 PM or 9 PM, waiting for viewers to tune in and spark online conversations. Now, the reverse is true: discussions ignite online first, and we, as media professionals, enhance these conversations later. Our role hasn’t vanished; it’s simply evolved. To thrive, our viewers need to grasp this new dynamic.

A glimpse into Western media reveals a significant change. Outlets like The Guardian ask readers to make donations to support their newsrooms. There’s no paywall, just a request for contributions whenever possible. This model of valuing and financially supporting media is one we need to adopt more broadly back home in Uganda.

This realization was sparked by a recent discussion I witnessed. Our Next Media Head of Corporate Affairs engaged with two gentlemen on X (formerly Twitter). One user, @sdkafeero, voiced skepticism about our Afro Mobile model, suggesting it was struggling.

On May 11, he tweeted, “YouTubers are doing that for all popular talk shows, including for Next Media bent on building that Afro Mobile that their audience has refused to buy in!” His comment addressed the illegal uploading of media houses’ popular shows on YouTube.

Our Head of Corporate Affairs, @DMugumisa, promptly responded, “The Afro Mobile numbers do not support your view on this, bruv.”

Let me clarify: the last update I received from my team indicated that Afro Mobile had about 1.8 million total downloads, with nearly 400,000 active users – VERY GOOD NUMBERS! Bwana Kafeero’s concern about our insistence on Afro Mobile usage is actually our effort to improve the active user versus total download ratio. With this growth, the revenue potential for stations and content on the platform surpasses what big tech currently offers us.

Afro Mobile’s influence extends far beyond Uganda’s borders, serving as a vital link for African communities worldwide, especially the Ugandan diaspora. This global accessibility allows users to stay connected to their roots, culture, and favorite events, fostering a deeper sense of belonging.

One of Afro Mobile’s core missions is to champion African content creators, providing a stage for local talent to shine and reach wider audiences. The platform supports a diverse array of content, including over 30 TV channels, 50 radio stations, movies, podcasts, DJ mixes, and live events coverage, ensuring that every facet of African life is represented.

Afro Mobile’s ability to deliver real-time updates and live coverage of events such as sports, concerts, and cultural celebrations ensures users never miss a moment. This feature is particularly valuable for those on the go, ensuring they remain informed and entertained wherever they are. Afro Mobile is more than just a streaming service; it is a movement aimed at reshaping the future of African media by supporting local content creators, connecting communities globally, and delivering timely content.

The transformation driven by Afro Mobile is not solely about technology but about changing mindsets. As media houses evolve into the new infrastructure, innovation is crucial for remaining relevant and fulfilling the mission of informing and transforming Africa.

The platform’s success relies on the collective understanding and support of its users. By subscribing to Afro Mobile, users contribute to a sustainable model that allows for revenue generation and reinvestment in quality content. Embracing this vision will ensure that local content thrives, communities stay connected, and creators are empowered, leading to a more informed, connected, and culturally rich Africa.



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