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Changing media landscape

The arrival of social networking holds immediate implications for media use. Mobile browsing, on smart phones, has placed computing power and access into the hands of a massive number of Namibians. Those who are not yet reached will be, as groups such as Nokia, HTC and Chinese brands place cheap smart phones within reach. The only major barrier at this point is the cost of mobile bandwidth.
Print is the most vulnerable medium at present. Within social networks, news can be disseminated rapidly, and the commenting is highly interactive. In other words raw information can be spread and discussed without the intermediate steps of writing, editing and going to print.
Print will die back. General print news will be first, followed by more specialist print news. This does not spell the end for journalism and publication. It will however require evolution on the part of news publishers and marketing and other communicators, to ensure that revenue levels and reach are maintained.
In terms of revenue to print mediums, the immediate losses will be purchasing of physical paper, loss of display advertisement revenue as sales shrink and loss of classified advertisements.
In the latter regard, regular users of Facebook will be aware of many communities that engage in a form of classified advertising. The groups are extremely lively. In most cases responses are virtually immediate. As the genie is out of the bottle that revenue will peter out in future.
The sale of printed editions can also be expected to die back. Online subscription may be a method of replacing revenue from sales of printed editions, however this will inevitably not be a successful strategy in light of the fact that there is free news.
The loss of revenue might be offset by losing the expense of the print run and the associated equipment and fixed assets and, unfortunately, the staff required to run things.
This leaves the question of display advertising. How can news publishers justify the cost of reporting? And how can advertisers get their messages across?
The two immediate solutions are clearly visible on most major news sites. Firstly, on entry, it is quite possible to display an ad for a certain number of seconds before the page becomes visible. This  can be done with our without a click. In other words, the handheld and / or computer monitor become display mediums.
Secondly, with streaming media such as internet radio and video inserts, it is equally possible to preface the medium with an insert. On some Youtube videos, and many video clip news items, this is already standard practice. Before you set eyes on the news item, you have to watch the ad.
This implies that advertising will have to evolve to the new paradigm by producing media that is suitable for these purposes, and so will current news providers. Advertisers will have to rapidly abandon fears of television advertising, as this will become the new normal on Internet media.

The reason I say this is because an advertisement that contains motion and sound is more effective than a silent, motionless advert. Those advertisers who cannot adapt will have less effective messages, and those advertising houses who service them will have to lead the way.
The important note here is that media owners will still have the same media set, but combined within one device: electronic print, voice and visual. The question is will media owners choose to spread their product offerings across all three or will it be a single means. My estimation is that the media house which offers all three will be the top dog.
This will all have to operate within the confines of a mobile display, and wsill also have to work within the context of social media. There is breathing room, based on the cost of bandwidth, however this is limited. As economies of scale are reached, more Namibian media consumers will make the change.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.