Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Yet another bad rebrand for M-Net's set of Africa Magic channels on DStv in South Africa and across Africa as it can't bother to actually communicate what's happening.

M-Net Africa is slapping another series of new logos and on-air looks on its set of Africa Magic channels on MultiChoice's DStv, although the unannounced rebrand will probably continue to make very little difference without an actual "rebrand" and improvement of the bad content.

In the four years since April 2012 when M-Net launched the set of Africa Magic channels, the poorly compiled channel set meant to bring more local content to Africa's viewers have seen numerous ongoing "rebrandings", renamings, channel chops and changes and a confusing mix of never-ending alterations.

Now there's yet another (new) one.

From today, 1 November, Africa Magic is looking different yet again - just two years, no wait one year - since the last "rebrand" with channels being cut and channel names being changed, while the content essentially stays the same.

In 2014 TVwithThinus noted how confusing and haphazardly Africa Magic introduced its rebrand and in 2 years clearly nothing's changed. The Africa Magic rebrand is once again not being communicated properly.

It's hard to keep up with the ever-changing Africa Magic channels' look - already a bad thing from a viewer perspective who has already a hard time keeping up with brand logos.

It's made worse by M-Net, DStv and Africa Magic not even communicating the basic changes to the media and to viewers.

It's interesting to see how dismissive MultiChoice and M-Net are of Africa Magic - particularly in South Africa. The latest lack of issuing the rebranding announcement to media is a good case in point.

It's also ironic given that movies on Africa Magic regularly tops the list of most watched content on all of DStv - in South Africa.

Films from Africa Magic made the most watched list on DStv in South Africa during August and again during September - a very big achievement.

It also means that Africans and South Africans are watching Africa Magic - a lot of them: Mother and Child (306 009 viewers in South Africa, 26th most watched on DStv) in August and Home of Tears (319 518 viewers in South Africa, 28th most watched on DStv) in September.
After seeing yet another iteration of Africa Magic, I reached out with a media enquiry to try and find out what is happening and why Africa Magic on DStv is suddenly looking different from today.

Is it really that hard to tell the press and viewers beforehand or on the day that the way something looks - your actual product - is going to be looking differently so that they would know and are informed?

Africa Magic in its latest "rebrand" now has the new tagline "entertainment loved by Africa" and the basic Africa Magic logo now looks like the image at the top, adapted for each of the differently named Africa Magic channels on DStv.

M-Net says "the rebranding is in furtherance of Africa Magic's development strategy and follows the redefinition of the Africa Magic channels in 2014 and the launch of Africa Magic Igbo in 2015".

"MultiChoice is proud to offer our subscribers the best in African entertainment on our Africa Magic channels," says John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria's managing director in a press release.

"Our viewers on DStv can continue to enjoy the best movies, drama series and reality shows on the Africa Magic channels all with an exciting new look and feel".

MultiChoice says M-Net's latest rebranding of Africa Magic "marks another highlight in the brand's evolution from one channel in 2003 to 8 channels offering entertainment content across different genres".

When channel logos become available, this report will update with those. Also note that some channels have slightly different channel numbers in South Africa on DStv than from the rest of Africa:

Africa Magic Showcase (DStv 151)
Home to original shows like Tinsel, Hush, The Voice Nigeria and with an emphasis on premium African content, from blockbuster movies to series.

Africa Magic Epic (DStv 152)
Movies from across Africa.

Africa Magic Urban (DStv 153)
Content drawn from "real life, real stories" and based on contemporary tales told in modern settings.

Africa Magic Family (DStv 154)
"Stars and stories"

"Africa Magic is undoubtedly the home of entertainment in Africa and our viewers have come to expect the best content out of the continent, from drama series and movies to telenovelas, magazine and reality shows," says Wangi Mba Uzoukwu, M-Net West Africa director.

"Our new logo and channel design speak truly to the channels' audiences and unique offerings, and we are truly excited to bring viewers the new face of the Africa Magic brand".