Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Howzit MSN destined for Kenya, Nigeria + Press Release

Howzit MSN is planning to make forays into East and West Africa through strategic Kenya and Nigeria.

The portal which is Africa largest with 3.3million unique browsers per month is set for the battle for online and mobile news space in the region with the official launch set for Monday, 1st July 2013.

The two countries have a high internet penetration rate with mobile being a big feature. Kagiso Media which publishes MSN for Microsoft is seeking to provide content that is tailored to needs of locals.

News24 is a good example of South African portal sites that have succeeded in the region having ventured into Kenya in 2011 and last year in Nigeria.

Below is the Press Release

Kagiso’s MSN moves into Kenya and Nigeria with localized content

Howzit MSN, one of Africa’s largest portals with 3.3 million unique browsers per month, is set to launch dedicated versions of its site for Nigeria and Kenya.

Howzit MSN, operated by Kagiso Media in partnership with Microsoft, is the South African version of the popular Microsoft MSN portal. The site plans to expand into East and West Africa to bring users in those markets local news that is tailored to their needs.

The Kenyan and Nigerian MSN portals will be first, with the official launch happening on 1 July.

Initially, these portals will offer dedicated news, entertainment, sports and lifestyle channels as well as property and careers content.

Further channels will be added to the mix as the new portals evolve. The content will be produced and curated by MSN’s African editorial team, led by Kate Hodges, African Editor in Cape Town.

MSN Africa will be placing a heavy emphasis on mobile access to the news and will create mobile versions of the sites that can be accessed from feature phones as well as smartphones. This will allow it to serve continent across multi screens meeting the demand for many people who are getting online for the first time through their phones.

Says Marcus Stephens, GM of Howzit MSN: “There is a growing hunger for localised content across Africa as undersea cables, mobile broadband and falling Internet access costs bring more people online. We aim to address this need with the same formula of locally relevant, easy to digest content that we offer our audience in South Africa.”

“We want to be as local in content, look and feel as possible. The many readers we already have in Nigeria and Kenya are sure to be delighted when they go online on 1 July and are greeted by fully local content rather than the American version of the site they are used to seeing. This is just the start for our business in Africa – we aim to bring more content to this market and to launch in other countries over the next few months.”

About Howzit MSN

Published by Kagiso Media, Howzit MSN is one of the largest web portals in South Africa. The portal is the South African associate of Microsoft’s MSN family of Internet services, which attracts more than 3.14 million unique users around the world each month.

Howzit MSN is South Africa’s leader in providing quality web content to consumers and powerful online advertising solutions to marketers. It attracts a large mainstream audience with its core news service as well as several niche audiences with specialised content. For advertisers, Howzit MSN offers a wide range of ways to target audiences including the howzit.MSN.com homepage, news, sports and lifestyle. This is complemented by globally popular social advertising platform Skype.

About Marcus Stephens

As general manager of MSN & Skype, Microsoft’s Publishing & Advertising & Online assets in sub-Saharan Africa – a division of Kagiso Media – Marcus Stephens overseas the strategic growth and day-to-day running of one of South Africa’s two largest Web portals, Howzit MSN.

Stephens has more than 18 years of experience in advertising and publishing across various media platforms new and old.

During his career, he has guided global brands’ media strategies such as UDV Guinness, Barclays Bank and BAT, while working at media and advertising agencies such as MediaCom and TBWA Hunt Lascaris. Before joining Howzit MSN, Stephens oversaw the repositioning of Avusa’s digital division as head of the commercial unit.

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