One of the biggest social media stories last week was of Tanzania’s Millard Afrael Ayo, who has become the first African journalist or media personality channel to hit one billion YouTube views. Indeed, he deserves our congratulations. His YouTube channel goes by his real name Millard Ayo. Yes, his website and social media handle as well. In this feat, he has been able to hit more views than some of the mainstream media houses in Africa.
Musicians like Diamond Platnumz, Ali Kiba and other African heavyweight entertainment maestros are the ones that easily attract most views in the YouTube and other social media channels.
But Millard has carved a niche for himself as one of the most trusted sources of news in Tanzania.
If you want to check if any news released via social media is true or false, many people make reference to Millardayo handles.
Millard Ayo, a prominent radio and TV personality has been able to use the power of social media to create huge followers and fan base but more importantly he has established himself as a very credible media personality. This has been without using scandals that a number of musicians have deliberately been causing to bolster their fan bases, instead of their work per se.
We have millions of people using YouTube in Tanzania and giving their parent companies leverage in advertising.
Anyone from anywhere in the world using YouTube and other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are able to advertise and reach out to Tanzanians and other non-Tanzanians across nations using those platforms.
The net effects have been a reduction in advertising revenue for the African and global media, which has been eaten up by the said platforms, which are mostly based at the famous Silicon Valley, which mirrors American high-technology economic sector.
On the other hand, a platform like YouTube has given content generators like Millard Ayo a chance to earn money, if their work is able to attract many viewers.
For instance, for Millard Ayo, reaching a billion views, he has earned some money from YouTube. In turn, YouTube makes money by showing adverts when people watch posted videos. We have Tanzanian artistes too showing their content on YouTube and making money.
I hope our young generation can borrow a leaf or two from Millard Ayo by creating a niche and market it to the world. It would be very great to see Tanzania’s sectors like tourism hitting 1 billion views for their content.
Some sources have it that to earn for example $100 per day from YouTube one would need about 50,000 views per day. This is not so easy.
The vast majority of users are not able to gain such huge traction. Sources indicate that earning money from YouTube depends on your content because related adverts can easily be directed to your channel. Additionally, one can earn good money if the content attracts viewers from primarily developed nations like the US, UK, European nations etc.
It is the same for many online platforms-Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Not many people are capable of reaching a point of making an income with them.
The vast majority are passive users, who get information and are entertained. Maybe we can say life is like that. Even in football and other games, the majority are spectators.
If one can’t make money from social media, one can use it to gain knowledge and other important information as well as entertainment. Unfortunately, a good number of users have become completely addicted to it. We can decide whether we use all those platforms for good or bad influence. The choice is in our hands and this is something we have to teach our youth to make the right choices in the use of the social media.
Saumu Jumanne is an Assistant Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)