BY SADIBOU SOW
Casper LEE, Peter CILLIERS, Martin LORTON…These names are pretty unknown in French-speaking Africa but are stars in English-speaking Africa and have admitted to making in some cases over $10,000 a month thanks to their YouTube channel.
Whether they are fitness videos, guitar lessons, stand up comedy, make-up tutorials or even cheeky tips, the channel owners are making an impact in countries where connectivity is high and allows netizens to make low-cost productions.
“If your content is good and people like it, they will share it,” said Jared MOLKO, head of partnerships in South Africa, according to the site techcentral.co.za.
In 2012, the visits on Google’s site coming from South Africans grew by 80%, while the video uploads grew by 30%. In one year, the revenues of South African YouTube partners went up by 60%.
One of the most notorious video maker on the South African web-scene Peter CILLIERS, is a fitness expert. Although he originally began uploading his videos for accountability to lose weight, he is now at the head of a company that generates up to $8,000 a month in 2012, just with the money generated from the advertisement placed on his videos.
Depending on the contracts, Google allocates a percentage of the money generated produced by these entrepreneurs who have understood the great opportunity that came with a bigger African presence on the web.
In West Africa, channels of the sort are slow to come about; this is both as much Google’s fault as it is that of those in front of the camera. It is still rather difficult to create a Partner channel that would enable significant revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Internet penetration remains low despite the widespread of 3G in many countries on the continent and thus makes it difficult for projects such as Senegal’s Journal Télévisé Rappé or Ivory Coast’s Situation Soyé to hit the million views needed to generate the thousands of dollars that these web producers deserve.