Pan-African fibre-based network service provider Workonline Communications is set to launch Africa’s first media exchange platform, which it believes will revolutionise the African media industry.

The Africa Media Exchange (AMX) allows broadcasters, content distribution networks (CDNs) and content producers to plug in and exchange information and content, quickly and easily. AMX allows those who join the exchange to contribute content and exchange it with others who wish to receive it, transforming it into the format of their choice in the process.

AMX is being launched from within Teraco’s neutral colocation data centre, which will house the exchange. Workonline Communications will provide the necessary network technology, innovation and expertise required for the exchange of media, as well as the connectivity between the content providers and content distributors.

“The exchange essentially simplifies the media and broadcast industry. For content distributors, it will mean considerable cost reductions, time efficiencies and improved reliability. It opens far more channels for the exchange of content, and provides choice and flexibility compared to the traditional broadcast channels,” explains Edward Lawrence, Workonline Communications Business Development Director.

“For content originators and producers, particularly pan-African content networks, the exchange provides a platform for their content to reach a far broader, global audience, through the most apt channels. Additionally, for the end consumer, it means a far large availability of content at a better cost.”

Lawrence explains that with traditional broadcast and media workflows, content is stored and recorded in one format, is rarely transcoded, is stored and distributed by the broadcaster and is not shared. Traditionally, original media content (such as live event coverage) is transmitted to a single broadcaster over a private network, resulting in static, one-way communication. This also results in skewed analysis and understanding of the target audience, with sample-based analysis of the viewership. Additionally, content is viewed on a single device – the television.

However, the exchange provides a modernised approach to the broadcast and media workflow. “AMX provides the possibility of centralised management of the entire workflow. Media content is transmitted to multiple broadcasters, either over public or private networks. It can be transmitted or stored in multiple formats, and by multiple CDN’s, over various broadcast distribution methods, and simultaneously shared. The content can be distributed over high speed triple play copper, fibre or wireless networks via IPTV and OTT platform to varying devices,” he explains.

The exchange will launch this month. Workonline Communications is engaged with several large CDNs in the Far East, Europe and the Americas who are interested in being part of the exchange.

In conclusion Lawrence notes, “Being a first for Africa, AMX will revolutionise the media industry. We are truly excited about the launch of this project and look forward to the opportunities it is going to present for local CDNs and content originators.”