To give a practical insight into the module Marketing Management taught by Dr Jonathan Ivy of Lancaster University, UK a masterclass was held on 25th November 2022 for the cohort 7 of Lancaster University Ghana’s Executive MBA class.
The topic for the masterclass was “Understanding the Evolution of Media Business – Traditional vs. Digital” and we were honoured to have the Managing Director of Multichoice Ghana, Mr. Alex Okyere as the guest speaker for the session. Mr. Alex Okyere spoke to the audience about how the media business has evolved over the years around the world and emphasized on the progress of Africa, specifically Ghana in this evolution.
Mr. Okyere began by giving the class a brief introduction to the media business. He continued by stating that “the world has gone through several industrial evolutions, and we are currently in the fifth industrial evolution, which is an era of exponential technologies. Companies have moved from a linear approach to growth and are now looking out for technologies that can exponentially increase the output of an organization within a short period of time”. He related this to the media business and explained that the media business has also evolved so much that there are now new technologies that aid in the creation and production of quality content.
He cited that, even in our homes we can see how the media business has evolved. From viewing content on analogue televisions to digital televisions that are not only limited to television broadcast but can serve many other purposes. He also added how hardcopy books have evolved so much that people can now access books from their mobile phones once they have internet connection, and the same goes for music where people have moved from buying of cassettes to subscribing to online music platforms such as Apple music, Spotify, etc. In the context of advertising, Mr. Okyere mentioned that LED advertising displays are becoming very common in our society as compared to billboard advertisement.
He continued the session by stating that, Ghana is still behind in all these media advancements and that our media landscape is still dominated by a lot of satellite TV transmission. He went on to mention that in Ghana, radio and TV are the new “space to space” with a lot of people flooding the industry, and as digital penetration grows, most of these businesses will crash. He added that “this is because TV has evolved over the years since its invention in the 1930s. From analogue televisions to live streaming, the rest of world is gradually moving away from traditional TV, while Africa is being a bit slow in this advancement due to the fact that internet is still expensive in most places of Africa as compared to the other regions of the world”.
Mr. Okyere mentioned to the class that, the media evolution can be viewed in two spectrums; crises or opportunity and you decide which end you want to be. He further explained this is because as the media business is evolving, most businesses will either crumble or grow and become bigger, and those who will grow will be those who will align themselves with exponential technologies. He emphasized this point by explaining to the class how companies like Uber and Airbnb have maximized exponential technologies to become some of the biggest brands in their respective industries.
Citing Netflix, Mr. Okyere explained how companies in the media business are making use of some of these exponential technologies. He explained how Netflix, a subscription based streaming platform has changed the scope of movie distribution by allowing people from all over the world have access to movies and TV shows only if they have access to an internet connected device and can pay a subscription fee for the service. This has helped the streaming platform gain a wider audience all over the world as compared to the distribution DVDs which can take a longer period to reach most parts of the world. He stated that “as data charges become cheap, people are leaning to on-demand over-the-top streaming services and therefore companies who do not align themselves will crushed in the process”
Mr. Okyere concluded the session by stating that “digital is the new black, and therefore media companies should align themselves with these exponential technologies, so they do not phase out in the long run”.
The masterclass ended with a question-and-answer session and was followed by a networking cocktail session at the Lancaster University Ghana campus.
About the LU Ghana EMBA Masterclass
The EMBA masterclass is an engagement designed around taught modules of the EMBA programme with industry speakers. These masterclass sessions form and strengthen the relationship between industry and academia in support of our students’ personal, professional and leadership development.
About the Speaker
Mr. Alex Okyere is the Managing Director of MultiChoice Ghana, a leading video entertainment service in Ghana. He was appointed by MultiChoice Africa in 2021 as the head of MultiChoice Ghana to strengthen and provide the best content on DStv and GOtv as well as ensuring seamless customer experience.
Prior to assuming this new role, Mr. Alex Okyere was the Chief Customer Officer at MultiChoice Ghana. He has held various roles at MultiChoice including, Regional Finance Director for East, West and Central Africa, Finance Director for the West & Central Africa Region and Finance Director for MultiChoice Kenya.
Mr. Alex Okyere brings over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting, commercial and general management in various industries and multinational organizations such as MultiChoice Africa, Weatherford International, Schlumberger, Newmont and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).