In the coming days, Nigerian most popular entertainment, and one of the pioneering indigenous entertainment media franchise, HipTv, celebrates five years on cable TV. HipTv, one of the brainchild of media mogul, Ayo Animashaun, was launched originally in July 2007 as a 30-minute programme on terrestrial television for the promotion of her sister Hip Hop World Magazine. However, owing to her widely popular and original contents, the then growing programme escalated fully into a television station, and in November 2013, they launched on cable television. First, they debuted on Multichoice owned DSTV, on channel 324, on the same day Spice Tv did. More recently, they have taken up prominent airspace on GOTV- channel 74.
Speaking on the epoch-making feat, Smooth Promotions CEO, Mr. Ayo Animashaun, had opined that the original idea behind putting HipTv on cable was so that he could put the Nigerian entertainment industry on the map, and also create a platform ‘…where our voices would be heard’.
‘What we want to do as a journalist and an entrepreneur is let our voice be heard. When our voice is heard on the street, we are happy. When our voice is heard in our cities, we are happy, how much more when we become the voice of the continent. We are happy Africans will be watching HipTV all over the continent’, Mr. Ayo had said. And true to his words, HipTv has become, unarguably, Nigeria’s voice on the continent. From covering A-list events across the country to organizing yearly award ceremonies to recognize and appreciate the efforts that Nigerian artistes, in the country and in diaspora, have put into their art in the year in review.
Since the channel launched on DSTV, HipTv has continually generated original indigenous contents to not only attract and arrest the attention of her audience but also manage to hold on to their attention span long enough to create a chain of loyal subscribers. This is coming at a time where the Nigeria entertainment media scene has been saturated by foreign media contents. Indigenous stations have taken to the erroneously preconceived idea that the only thing that would sell in the Nigerian entertainment world is news reportage on foreign events. This exactly is what competing indigenous television media such as Sound City thrived on. However, Ayo Animashaun and his HipTv crew came with ‘a break from the norm’, and started to generate and produce solely indigenous contents, much to the delight of teeming audience who found it unique and refreshing.
‘African news is our forte… I don’t live in New York, I don’t live in London. Even though I have met Jay Z, Akon, Beyonce and other superstars, but they are not the ones we want to report. Americans will report Americans. Europeans will report Europeans. So let us report ourselves. Nigerians should not report Americans. Am not saying we shouldn’t report them at all, but we at HipTV are reporting African for Africans. So we owe ourselves and generations to build ourselves, report our stars, push them out and make them bigger and celebrate them. We would be seriously concentrating on African stars, of course, we won’t let go the international stars, but it will be a ratio of 15% to 20% or 30% to global entertainment news’, Ayo Animashaun had explicitly stated to Premium Times, when quizzed on HipTv’s indigenous news reportage to foreign news.
They have indeed proven to be a break from the norm. Not only have they created a platform for the growth of the indigenous entertainers, they have also contributed their quota in making the Nigerian music industry what it is at the moment. Nigerian artistes, such as Wizkid, Davido, Olamide and Burna boy, that has gained international prominence, owe a huge chunk of their success to HipTv. Round the clock, HipTv consistently airs songs by local artists on international airspace. Whilst other indigenous entertainment media outfits have chosen to concentrate on promoting foreign acts more than they do local acts, HipTv has thrived in doing the quite the opposite.
Her HipTv News is 90% focused on reportage of events in and around Nigeria. Her Street Hop program, an offshoot of Smooth Promotions online radio, is widely acclaimed as one of the stands out programs on Multichoice Gotv and DSTV. On the program, the typical day to day activity of a Nigerian celebrity is brought before the lens and examined. He or She talks about what life was like for him/her before fame came, and also answer some more salient questions concerning his rise to fame. This gives the audience a sense of belonging, as they can, directly or indirectly, relate with said celebrity. In terms of pure entertainment, HipTv has Star Struck. Next Rated is a programme that features music videos of upcoming indigenous musical talents, while Trending plays songs by Nigerian artists that are currently making waves. There are also Lyrics On the Go, Top Notch and HipTv Special.
In HipTv Specials, indigenous events are covered, edited and broadcast to the general public so those who could not attend for one reason or the other would not feel left out. Comedy shows, Music concerts etc are example of the kind of events on Hiptv specials.
With this plethora of indigenous content, HipTv in her five years of being on cable television, has not only carved a niche for itself as a media franchise set out to put Nigeria on the map, but it has also taken a step further by doing what her competitors would not dare do, dealing in solely indigenous content. Well and truly a break from the norm.
On the occasion of her fifth year anniversary on cable television, we at Naijmobile wish Hiptv well. Keep holding us spellbound.