The Nigeria Media Innovation Program (NAMIP) convened a strategy workshop between January 29th and 31st, 2024, at the Johnwood Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. The event brought together 56 participants from 25 cohort organizations, including media experts, NAMIP’s Advisory Committee, the NAMIP team, and guests like Nolwazi Tulsini from Amplify South Africa and Bilal Randeree, (then) MDIF’s Regional Director for Africa & MENA. The workshop aimed to address common capacity gaps within beneficiary organizations and enhance revenue streams, featuring reflective sessions, agenda setting, and two concurrent workshops focusing on business development in publications and podcasting for media revenue.

The event commenced with opening remarks from Dara Ajala, NAMIP Program Manager, emphasizing the importance of profitability and sustainability in media organizations. Deji Adekunle, NAMIP Program Director, provided insights into NAMIP’s strategic vision and goals, highlighting the program’s commitment to investing in evidence-based strategies for success.

Participants’ Reflections

Representatives from various media organizations shared insights from their participation in the NAMIP program. Haruna Mohammed Salisu of Wikkitimes expressed gratitude, noting that “NAMIP helped Wikkitimes understand revenue generation.” Abdullatteef Abubakar Jos, Editor-in-Chief of Solace Base, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the program’s role in broadening their understanding of revenue strategies.

The interactive session with the Advisory Committee with both Prof. Sulieman Yar’Adua and Motunrayo Alaka present, augmented by insights from Bilal Randeree, provided a platform for meaningful discussions. Their feedback enriched the dialogue, offering valuable perspectives on navigating challenges and seizing opportunities in the media landscape.

Professor Yar’Adua’s cautionary advice regarding commercialization resonated with participants, emphasizing the delicate balance between revenue generation and upholding journalistic integrity. Motunrayo Alaka’s emphasis on knowledge sharing highlighted the importance of collaboration within the media ecosystem.

The participants’ reflections underscored the transformative impact of NAMIP in fostering innovation and continuous learning within the Nigerian media landscape. Their diverse experiences serve as a testament to the program’s efficacy in equipping media organizations with the tools needed to thrive in a dynamic environment.

Over the next two days, the attendees participated in two workshops from experts in the fields of revenue generation for media and podcasting.

Workshop One: Cultivating Success in Publications

Led by Ivor Price, co-founder of Food for Mzansi Group, the workshop focused on illuminating the path to success in publications. Price introduced attendees to the Southern Cross framework, which has been instrumental in the success of leading publishers. Through interactive sessions and practical activities, participants gained insights into strategies for growing paying audiences, harnessing user data, and employing design-thinking approaches to enhance product development and audience engagement.

A notable highlight of the workshop was the group exercises where participants collaborated to create innovative products using the Southern Cross framework. Wale Lawal, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Republic, shared insights into adapting to changing audience preferences, showcasing his group’s creation of a revamped digital platform catering to younger demographics. Additionally, a case study presented by Ivor Price delved into the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of audience events, offering valuable insights into revenue funnels and practical implementation strategies.

Workshop Two: Podcasting for Media Revenue

Simultaneously, Workshop Two, facilitated by AQStudios, provided participants with a comprehensive overview of podcasting as a revenue-generating avenue for media organizations. Covering techniques, formats, story development, scripting, recording, editing, and various hosting platforms, the workshop equipped attendees with the necessary skills to produce professional podcasts.

An insightful aspect of the workshop was the peer learning session at the outset, where facilitators gauged the participants’ existing knowledge levels and identified gaps to tailor the session accordingly. Participants, including representatives from organizations such as TechPoint and Chicoco, engaged in discussions exploring podcast revenue pathways, business models, and marketing strategies. The session emphasized the importance of leveraging podcasts to grow reach, attract advertisers, and diversify income streams through avenues such as merchandising, paid group listening, and community outreach.

Immediate Outcomes and Next Steps

The workshops yielded immediate outcomes, with participants gaining practical skills and actionable insights to implement within their organizations. Organizations like The Republic wasted no time in initiating implementation, while others, such as Women Radio, Omalicha FM, and Farming Farmers Farm, began discussions on leveraging NAMIP support to adopt workshop recommendations.

Looking ahead, NAMIP is committed to providing follow-up sessions and ongoing support to ensure the effective implementation of workshop learnings. Planned product and funding workshops in March and April will further support participants in executing their newfound strategies and driving revenue growth.