Co-Founder and CEO of Ckrowd Inc/ Ckrowd Africa Tech, Kayode Adebayo, is focused on harnessing the diverse technology, skills and knowledge of African content creators to play a crucial role in promoting and exporting the African brand. Here he explains how the firm can deliver a full spectrum of lifecycle support in the drive for a stronger African perspective.
EduPulse Magazine’s Tapiwa Collen Chimwauro (TCC) speaks to Ckrowd Inc’s CEO Kayode Adebayo (KA).
TCC: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the operations of the Ckrowd Platform.
KA: My name is Kayode Adebayo, I am a co-founder and CEO at Ckrowd Inc/ Ckrowd Africa Tech. I run most of the Business and Communication strategy of the Ckrowd Product. I have always been passionate about the economics of African arts and culture, given its unlimited and (yet untapped) potential to change lives and bring positive economic deliveries to a country’s economy. As an entrepreneur, I am a strong believer in taking risks to build platforms that bring creative industry entrepreneurs together to achieve worthy economic and social impact.
TCC: What was your motive in introducing the Ckrowd Platform?
KA: Ckrowd was born because we wanted to connect people across the African continent and of African descent from all over the world. Our vision is to provide them all with an appropriate technology space where they could get as much Information, Education and Entertainment from and about Africa, via the usage of a well-organised and easy to navigate platform. We are great believers in the African narrative and for it to be told from an African perspective and consumed by Africans.
TCC: How does the Crowd Platform operate?
KA: The platform operates like an arena. A huge venue that sits in the cloud, where digital live and on-demand video content that informs, educate and entertain Africans are gated by the platform on behalf of the content creators. In order to be granted access to these video contents, there will be a fee to be paid.
They will be charged through:
· Pay per view.
The Ckrowd platform allows content creators to market and sells their exclusive merchandise through its e-commerce layer, then, creators can pay a small fee to use for their dedicated marketing engine to advertise their content or products to a database that presently reaches more than 30million Nigerians via WhatsApp, Text Messaging and Emails.
TCC: Which form of media content does the platform allow content creators to upload?
KA: Content creators are allowed and encouraged to upload live and short video content. This type of content, include different verticals and focuses on Information, Education and Entertainment. The technology is a hybrid of Ed-Tech, Info-Tech, Media-Tech. As I previously stated, Ckrowd is a digital event arena and can host, stream and distribute most short and live video content while we serve as gatekeepers to collect revenue on behalf of the creators.
TCC: How does the content creator benefit from the service offered by the platform?
KA: African and Afro-Diasporan content creators are made aware and informed that the technology of Ckrowd has been designed with them in mind and this design is expected to generate their profit, from the multiple revenue opportunities that the platform presents and even earn foreign exchange. The technology offers content creators the freedom of having content in multiple formats and monetising most of their content (e.g., Live Video Content, Live but Short Video Content, Single On-Demand and Short Video Content, Multiple On-Demand Video Content). They are also able to sell product extensions of their brands (such as merchandise) to their exclusive global and local audiences. The Ckrowd’s technology indeed provides large flexibility about content strategy and provides creators with the opportunity to earn multiple revenue streams.
TCC: Does the platform have any impact on the quality of African Media Content?
KA: We are very keen on emphasising the visual quality of content, seeing that our technology possesses built-in quality control features. Certain content that might be deemed as low in quality is not accepted on the platform, because the in-built technology will not accept it. The quality in storytelling, structure and other pivotal elements are also very important to Ckrowd . Be it content in Education, Entertainment, Information, the Ckrowd Content Control team is laden with the task of always making sure it can be distributed to our audiences in all markets.
TCC: Which criteria do you use in Selecting Content that is uploaded on the platform?
KA: Ckrowd primarily holds and distributes only short videos (1min – 25mins) and Live Content. The technology allows full feature films; however, creators would need to edit and deliver their content in short video formats that are easily consumable. Our business model has also confirmed that this is a very commercially profitable format, as each edited short version of the full film can generate revenue separately. Creators can end up generating more revenue from 4 parts (15min each) of a 60mins film, as each part can be retailed separately, than what the 60mins film can generate if distributed as full footage 60mins film.
TCC: Do you acknowledge copyrights or source credibility when publishing African media content on the platform?
KA: Copyright is a paramount aspect of our business. We are in the business of helping African Creators own and control their intellectual property by taking control of their businesses. A platform like Ckrowd is made available to support them in being independent, whilst still being very successful as video content creators. Everyone involved in the creative process is acknowledged. We have a good and strong relationship with Publishing Companies that are positioned to help creators collect their royalties from their distributed content, through Ckrowd.
TCC: Explain the nature of digital technology used by the Ckrowd platform to promote African Content.
KA: The technology is designed as a video content marketplace with a storage infrastructure that allows it to operate as a streaming platform, complete with access restriction features, either on pay per view basis or for subscription access. The platform also comes with geo-positioning, geo-pricing and content distribution network technology to allow consumers to stream content faster, regardless of your location around the globe.
TCC: Most African Content creators are considerably affected by the digital divide. Does the Ckrowd platform have any policy or framework that addresses the issue?
KA: The Ckrowd platform recognises the algorithm differentials that put the African Creators at a disadvantage in digital earnings from the western platforms. These western technologies were not necessarily fully conceived for and with African users in mind, as so many parameters in the two geographical divides are different. As per so many things, for many of these western platforms, Africa represented an alternative plan to drive growth. However, not much thought seemed to have been put into rewarding African creatives fairly, given the different and unique challenges that they face in their creative processes, which are totally different from users in western countries. Ckrowd was created to give the African Creators control of their commercial processes. With Ckrowd, the creator can build a whole business model around the video products, complete with the production plan, marketing and publicity plan, revenue projects and profit. Ckrowd can be used to execute all the marketing, distribution and sales aspects of these plans.
TCC: With the work of the Ckrowd platform, which form of improvement do you foresee in the next five years in the creation and dissemination of Africa Content?
KA: The African market globally (In the Continent and Diaspora) will be proud and enthusiast of the work of African creators. Therefore, they will be willing to pay and consume more African content. The strong desire of the African Diaspora to connect and reconnect with Africa and Africans will also drive more consumption of African Content in the next 10years. For a continent of 1.5billion people, more than 3000 tribes and 54 countries, the possibilities of content around our cultural expressions, traditions, lifestyle, geography, stories etc are endless.
TCC: Apart from monetary benefits, what else can African content creators benefit from the Ckrowd Platform?
KA: Through Ckrowd, creators will be supporting and providing an opening window to all people of African descent all over the world. They will be helping them to understand more about their roots, traditions and informal and formal habits, folklore and culture (gastronomy included), which truly shows the many commonalities shared across different Afro-Diasporan, Afro-descent communities with the African continent. They will be showcasing African individuals and the Continent to the global community in a fresh way and new light, not always stuck in antiquated stereotypes. African creators will be giving them a sense of belonging, helping them understand themselves better. Helping people of African Descent around the world, feel connected to a bigger sense of purpose as they fully embrace their multi-layered identity and reconnect with their roots.
TCC: That sounds great. So what advice can you give to aspiring African content creators wishing to get recognition and to be well established in the media industry?
KA: We would tell them that their culture is the most priced asset they have and that there is a ready demand for that culture when expressed in information, education and entertainment. They just need to continue to experiment, improve their business knowledge, take control of their craft, then come to Ckrowd. This is because Ckrowd has the resources to help them monetise access to their content, then, very modestly priced marketing resources to help them reach a huge audience that will pay to access them as creators or their unique content sitting on Ckrowd.
TCC: Alright, is there any other information that you wish to share with African content creators concerning the Ckrowd platform?
KA: Yes, I would like to let everyone know that if monetisation of your video content is what you want, Ckrowd is your first point of call. Your return on investment on that video is delivered faster with Ckrowd, and you also receive a higher share of your content income on Ckrowd. Creators get 70% of the income as the platform only charges 30%.
TCC: Wesome. How do content creators get in touch with you to submit their content and make inquiries or follow up?
KA: They can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and also engage with us on all our social media handles (Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram) @ckrowdafrica. We have incredible trained, knowledgeable and passionate people behind those handles and emails to connect, offer guidance, knowledge and advice on what to do to become part of the Ckrowd family and start earning your due revenues for your creativity.
Kayode urged African content creators to take advantage of the digital blueprint that is offered by the Ckrowd platform in exporting and marketing their media content. He also highlighted that the Ckrowd initiative help in improving the consumption of African media content by bringing together content creators and their targeted audience.