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SemaBOX wants to help African podcasters monetize their podcasts with a new distribution platform

Highlights
  • Through WAZO, SemaBOX will enable Kenyan and African podcasters to earn directly from plays and advertising revenue.
  • WAZO will initially be available free of charge to all listeners through the Wazo ONE plan from July 17, 2023.
  • The monetization of Kenyan content will begin immediately, while the monetization for Ugandan and South African creators will follow in Q3 of 2023.

Over the last couple of years, podcasting in Africa has been on the rise. Despite this growth, the industry continues to face a number of challenges such as the lack of investment and of course monetization for the creators. 

At the same time, the number of podcast consumers continues to increase. According to the Reuters Digital News Report, South Africa and Kenya recorded that around 40% of the highly educated people are monthly podcast users.  

Spotify and Apple Podcasts have always been the preferred podcast listening platforms for most Africans. In fact, Spotify last year unveiled a new initiative to support burgeoning podcasters through the new $100,000 Africa Podcast Fund initiative.  Then there’s Afripods, another African-focused platform for podcasters that was founded in 2017. A 2022 report actually found out that Afripods was also among the most used apps for podcasts in Africa. 

Now, SemaBOX, a Kenyan podcast incubation studio wants to take these three headon with a new podcast distribution platform known as WAZO.

According to SemaBOX, WAZO will enable Kenyan and African podcasters to earn directly from plays and advertising revenue. WAZO, which means “Thought” in Kiswahili, will initially be available free of charge to all listeners through the Wazo ONE plan from July 17, 2023. The monetization of Kenyan content will begin immediately, while the monetization for Ugandan and South African creators will follow in Q3 of 2023.

“We are truly excited that we can finally bring this online. Our goal has always been to help podcasters earn revenue, and we are confident that WAZO will be the tool that can unlock this effectively. We also hope that by introducing monetization right from the start, the rest of the podcast industry will follow. These wonderful creators are making world-class content, and it’s about time they started to benefit from this.” – Dan Aceda, Founder, CEO SemaBOX.

WAZO will offer a brand-new revenue stream for podcasters, while also providing advertisers with an aggregated audience of over 39 million listeners across the SemaBOX creator network. Advertisers will now have a one-stop shop to reach the Kenyan podcast audience in a highly effective way. This is especially beneficial for creators as the major Western platforms do not currently offer monetization to Kenyan creators.

WAZO will also aggregate data about Kenyan podcasts and Kenyan podcasters more directly. This will enable podcasters to get the necessary information to grow their product and improve their delivery. In addition, WAZO will also enable advertisers to make more informed investment decisions. 

WAZO was formally launched at a creator event on July 17th, 2023, and will be immediately available globally on the web the same day. IOS and Android apps will be released shortly after. The creation of the platform has been supported by Baraza Media Lab and Africa No Filter.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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