Partnership to fast-track proudly SA entertainment sector growth
Digital Technologies & Video on Demand solutions provider Discover Digital has partnered with local content production collective Hashtag Live to bring exciting new local productions to a broader audience.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Discover Digital and Hashtag Live will create new content development opportunities for local producers and creatives, help mainstream and commercialise local content, and upskill talent latent across South Africa.
Taryn Uhlmann, Executive Head: Content at Discover Digital, says the far-reaching MoU will see the two companies collaborating on a number of projects, including upskilling young creatives in SA’s townships and hosting a Hashtag Africa branded section on Discover Digital’s DEOD service.
“This mutually beneficial partnership will generate socio-economic benefits, skills development and growth of the entertainment sector overall. Importantly, it will provide a broader platform for South African stories to be told, and give local viewers more choice in entertainment,” says Uhlmann.
Apollo Zake, Chief Creative Officer of Hashtag Live, says that both companies believe collaboration has the potential to change the lives of the greater South African content producing community through digital transformation, particularly in the townships where content and video on demand (VOD) can be used as a tool for upliftment.
Hashtag Live, launched early this year, already has content production facilities in Bryanston and a number of Hashtag Hubs in Gauteng townships, where young content producers are involved in developing truly South African content.
“Traditionally, with only a limited number of linear channels in the country, scores of young creatives simply did not get the opportunity to break into the market or have their content seen. But on-demand platforms open up the market for them, unlock the backlog and potentially get this truly African content to audiences across the world,” says Zake. “We see the DEOD partnership as a way of giving these talented young South African content producers an audience; as well as telling the African stories better.”
Offering a mix of locally developed entertainment, animated shows, short form content and documentaries such as the new The Sowetans, Hashtag Live will give viewers across South Africa and the continent one-stop access to fresh, locally-produced content.
Says Stephen Watson, MD of Discover Digital: “This partnership is the latest initiative in Discover Digital’s ongoing efforts to add value through the development and distribution of quality local content and make premium content available to everyone.”