Rethinking Business Models and Revenue Streams in The Digital Age, Lessons From The Swichi Project.
This article is a recap of the lessons learned and dissemination platform for tools developed during the Swichi Project. Swichi is a program that helps Small-Medium Media Houses (SMMH) rethink their business models and create alternative revenue streams in the digital age.
In the past eight months, Sahara Ventures has been working with DW Akademie, Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF), and grassroots media houses to support Small and Medium Media Houses (SMMH) develop a strategy to navigate challenges brought by digital transformation by rethinking their business models. Swichi Project adopted a user-centric design approach to defining challenges facing SMMH, co-creating solutions and developing tools that can be adopted to address challenges facing SMMH on digital transformation.
From the program, four tools were co-designed and validated with the SMMH for the digitalization of the media houses. The tools include; Challenge Definition Tool and Digital Transformation and Business Remodelling Tool. SMMH used the tools to define and map technology-related challenges facing their businesses only daily basis. The Challenge Definition Tool focuses on defining the challenges and revisiting the problem statements; the Digital Transformation Tool concentrates on aligning the core organization strategy with the needed digital strategy. The Use Case Tool was used to capture practical cases and evidence on how SMMH uses a digital system to redefine their overall business strategy to incorporate technology and digital innovations. The last tool is the Solution Tool which highlights potential solutions to their challenges. All the tools are available for download on the Swichi Project website.
Digital Transformation Toolkit has changed our outlook regarding business, we’ve now started exploring the new digital market and we already see the revenue creation possibilities, we got a digital marketing client who runs their ads with our online platforms. We’ve also started an online blog that’s growing at a high rate and has the potential to increase our revenue. — Afya Radio, Mwanza, Tanzania
Swichi Project deployed the tools with 12 grassroots media houses in Tanzania through co-creation sessions with the strategy and technical teams of the SMMH. The process was a unique learning experience for the Swichi Project team and media houses. All the media houses confirmed they face the disruption brought by digital transformation and are struggling to adopt technology strategically within their organizations. The everyday use of digital tools in the SMMH is to share information on social media pages, and most media houses struggle to use digital platforms beyond that. Few media houses adopted web 2.0 platforms to mobilize communities of listeners and encourage royalty to shows hosted on the radio and TV stations.
The Digital Transformation Toolkit had helped us significantly by increasing ease of access to new audiences and listeners through online platforms compared to when digital transformation was not a major priority. Smile FM, Manyara Region - Tanzania
Understanding the importance of digital transformation from SMMH, Sahara Ventures, DW Akademie, and Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) published a Do-It-Yourself (DIY Toolkit) for Media Houses. The toolkit is documented in PDF form and available in an interactive platform for the strategy and technical teams of SMMH to go through designing their digital strategy. Media houses can access more details about the project on the Swichi Project website.