Gauteng Business News

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motoring: R60million Massiv Investment Marks Turning Of Tide in Taxis


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IDC acquires equity in innovative taxi broadcast channel, redefining domestic commuting

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has acquired equity in the innovative taxi television channel, redefining the domestic commuting in South Africa. Taxi media owner Massiv TV and the IDC today announced a R 60 million equity transaction by the Corporation. The deal will see the IDC acquire 24% of Massiv TV with a further percentage interest banked for an empowerment suitor. Massiv TV retains 51% of the business. The capital injection will be channelled to fund further growth in the business.

Managing Director Tiff Willemse says that the investment lays the foundation for a significant increase in the number of taxis already online with Massiv TV. “Presently we have in excess of 200 new generation taxis fitted with the channel while soon another 2000 will come into operation, to reach 8000 by 2011.” He says that current viewership figures average 200 000 commuters per week, increasing to well over 2 million by the third quarter this year. It is estimated that 15 million South Africans travel by taxi daily.

Head of Media and Motion Pictures unit at the IDC Mr. Basil Ford said IDC was particularly excited about this transaction because it contributes to the general upliftment of the taxi industry in the country which is the main mode of transport for millions of people in South Africa. “This investment is in line with the IDC’s funding mandate of promoting entrepreneurship and supporting opportunities not addressed by the market thereby increasing sectoral diversity in the economy and creating employment opportunities” he concluded.

Massiv TV was launched at the Loeries in July last year, providing packaged information and entertainment shows to commuters. Programming is delivered in two 2 hour loops, providing fresh content daily to a captive audience of commuters, giving brands measurable viewership through sophisticated tracking technology.”

He says that the company aims to achieve a minimum 2% market share in terms of overall domestic advertising spend within the next 5 years. Direct access to customers in a consistent viewership universe is priceless and, he believes, an affordable way to cut through the clutter and communicate effectively with consumers.

Willemse says the Massiv TV business model resonates with Government’s taxi recapitalisation programme where presently more than 1000 new generation taxis are replacing ageing fleets every month; most of which will ultimately be fitted with Massiv TV facilities as rollouts accelerate. “It (Massiv TV) is also a source of ancillary revenue for taxi owners,” says Willemse. “We are actively partnering with the taxi industry and facilitate growth while enhancing the commuter experience. We believe the tide is turning for the taxi industry as it becomes an increasingly significant player in the formal economy.”

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