What does the most popular financial brand in the country do when they want toannounce their next big media initiative? Call the NTA? Send for AIT?
Nah. They call together a bunch of young bloggers and treat them to drinks and fingerfood at a swanky Lagos restaurant.
That’s right. Last thursday, I was in a roomful of GTBank corporates with other people whom the bank considers online tastemakers, for the the pre-launch of Ndani TV.
And just what is Ndani TV? Actually, Ndani TV started out as just “Ndani”. Since its creation some 3 odd years ago, Ndani was a quarterly e-newsletter that attracted scant attention. That is set to change now. Powered by GTBank, Ndani wants to become the number one online destination for premium African content.
It’s about telling the other stories of Africa that the world needs to hear, Jadesola, our hostess at the event, told us. Up till now, most of the world knows a single story of Africa, a story of stick thin children, lions and elephants, military coups…but there is more to this lively continent — there are thriving African businesses springing up out of virtually nothing, African musicians coming to global acclaim, African fashion to rival those on any runway in the world, African tech entrepreneurs changing their communities one innovation at a time — Ndani, which means “inside” in Swahili, wants to take the rest of the world beyond decade old stereotypes, right inside Africa, via its online TV platform.
From Kenya’s own Silicon Valley, the beautiful South African coats, to Nigeria’s vast entertainment landscape, let Ndani take you on a journey into the depths of Africa, unveiling the beauty inside…Ndani will feature the best of New Nollywood as well as the classics. With exclusive interviews and backstage access to Africa’s largest fashion events, features on the continent’s most beautiful destinations and the most exciting sport interviews and analytics, Ndani TV will be the purveyor of Pan African taste and the #1 online destination for premium African business, entertainment and travel content — source, Ndani blog
An ambitious undertaking to be sure, one that will require a significant investment in content. The Ndani team have already hit the ground running by toeing the self production route, coming up with a bouquet of programmes that feature pop culture and entertainment, young African entrepreneurs, African fashion and more. There was also talk of syndication agreements with entities who have already produced interesting African content as well as content partnerships with young people who have great media concepts and could use the Ndani online TV platform to get their stuff out to a larger audience. That would explain the invitations to the crop of young online content creators present. While I wasn’t able to identify who each one was, I did get to meet Wale Adetula, the guy who runs The Naked Convos — a popular blog forum where young Nigerians discuss love, sex and relationships.
One interesting thing about Ndani TV is that it’s almost entirely online, save for some offline events and receptions which will be hosted as required. Don’t expect to see any of this stuff in print, I was told, in response to my inquiry about alternative mediums of access. I don’t imagine that you’ll be seeing it on TV either. But with NTA and Co getting less and less love, it does make more sense to go where the people are. Right now, Ndani’s videos are hosted on YouTube. Whether they’ll make the transition to a proprietary video platform for branding purposes remains to be seen.
Where exactly is GTBank going with all this? Anyone who knows GTBank also knows that the company is no stranger to media, in all its forms. With close to 15k followers and more than 200k fans on Facebook, GTBank is one of the most engaged corporate brands on Nigerian social media. GTBank.com ranks 16th in Nigerian visitor traffic and number #1 for banks. Its unique visual brand, adept use of technology, and unwavering customer relationship management strategies, online and offline have made it so popular that it often has problems with the flood of customers that throng its branches, even though a huge proportion of its user base already do their banking remotely via its online platform. Very few companies can match its commitment to African arts, culture and corporate responsibility. For a brand that already has far reaching influence in Africa, especially among the burgeoning young and connected demographic, Ndani TV is no doubt a cultural drive that will consolidate its position on the continent. The only question now is with Africa on the rise, how long before GTBank emerges as a global superbrand?
Ndani TV is already live, and first of the shows have begun to go up — a Toolz exclusive with Davido on The Juice, a Bez performance on Ndani Sessions and an interview with Paga’s Tayo Oviosu on Young CEO — hot stuff all round. Yes, the content is definitely Nigeria-skewed at the moment, but I expect that the Ndani team will quickly move further afield and bring more pan-african content to its self-stated global target audience.
So all the way from banking into entertainment…Ndani TV is certainly GTBank’s most ambitious media undertaking yet. And the Ndani team tried to impress us last Thursday. But it’s the people out there, you guys, that they really need to delight. Are you excited by this development? We’d like to hear your thoughts.