HStv set to hit market

HEART & SOUL Broadcasting Services (HStv), an Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) subsidiary, is set to hit the market with a bang as scouting for talent and preparation of exciting programming are almost done.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Granted a digital broadcasting licence in September, the online radio station says it’s all systems go with its “rich and diversified programming.”

HStv is central to AMH’s growth and diversification into digital broadcasting, according to its chief executive and AMH chief operating officer, Kangai Maukazuva.

Appetite for the radio station was phenomenal with at least 65 countries across the globe linking up during the trial run, he said.

“In the past months we have been busy looking for the best talent and getting rich programming for our diversified audience. We have managed to get the best and the results we are getting in the trial run are encouraging,” Maukazuva said.

Besides the programming and human capital planning, the radio station has invested its time assessing technology opportunities to capture a global audience in line with its broader digital strategy.

HStv is the latest investment venture by media mogul Trevor Ncube, who is also the chairperson of AMH — the largest independent media house in Zimbabwe.

AMH are publishers of Zimbabwe’s largest independent daily NewsDay and weeklies Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard.

HStv is positioning itself as a disruptive “Over-the-Top” (OTT) broadcasting player, strategically positioned to accelerate the migration of audiences from traditional television and radio to multi-screen, data-enabled digital channels.

“We are going to be offering our services through Facebook, YouTube, Heart and Soul website and through a mobile application targeting a diverse market of individual consumers with mobile or online radio appetite, TV and [Video on demand] VoD channels on their multi-screen digital devices through exciting content. We will reach consumers through open web and app technologies,” Maukazuva said.

The broadcasting services hope to ride on an increased internet penetration in Zimbabwe which has reached 7,2 million subscriptions, according to a recent Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) report.

The report said almost 98% of these use mobile technologies (3G/HSDP/LTE), an indicator that the market has matured for data-enabled services, including the consumption of video enabled digital content.

Heart & Soul targets the 7,2 million active subscribers using 3G and faster internet access technologies as well as Diaspora and international audience.

The station has hosted prominent business leaders and politicians such as Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga, economist and politician Eddie Cross, independent Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, among others.

Influential South Africans such as life coach Sashin Govender and musician Casper Nyovest have also featured on the station.