Hi, I'm Chude Jideonwo, cofounder of RED Media Africa. Ask Me Anything!


#1

Hello Radar community. This is Chude Jideonwo. I’m the cofounder and Managing Partner of Red Media Africa. The good guys at Tech Cabal have asked me to say stuff like “in my over 15-year career, I’ve run a successful full media business with footprints across three continents. 15 countries in Africa bla bla bla” but I am just excited Joe Biden made Hillary Clinton president yesterday! :grinning: Look forward to joining you guys this evening for an amazing conversation. Ask me anything! :slight_smile:


#2

The thread will be open by 4pm. So, you can drop ALL your question then.
Chude will start answering them by 5pm.


#4

Can now post your questions for Chude. Have fun!


#5

Hi, thanks for taking time out. I would like to ask what you think was your greatest asset in getting where you are today?


#6

What was Red Media Africa like in the beginning? How were you handling the uncertainties as they came along?


#7

Hi CJ, Thanks for taking the time out for this. My question is how did you come about the decision to build a media footprint targeted at African youths? Was it an easy decision, did you have to trade off other opportunities?


#9

Chude at the beginning of Red Media Africa, how to did get capital to run the profitable comapny/brand of today.


#10

Sir @Chude

First of all, you know how much I love, admire and look up to you. :smile:

And now, my questions.

####One
I’m sorry, but I’m going to ask the question that is on everyone’s mind right now. How do we make enough money off digital and new media to acquire a house on a certain Island?

####Two
My second and fake question is to the issue of how one builds sustainable AND high quality media businesses that generate local content in an age where pretty much everyone has the ability to create media. It seems to be a real chicken and egg question, and while we are of course happy for aunty Linda whom I love like there’s no tomorrow, but being an outlier is not a scalable business model that the rest of us can follow is it?

####Three
Lastly, we can see that Nigerian traditional media outfits, television, print and radio, are doing all they can to get around the curve. Some are having more success than others. If you had to go all in on any one of them, which would you bet on?


#11

Hello @Chude

Some of your writers have been accused of plagiarism a few times, how do you deal with this? Are there checks put in place to avoid this?


#12

Hello @Chude

  1. what was your strongest conviction to stop working for anyone and focus on your own business
  2. Do you think partnership has more advantages than sole proprietorship?
  3. How do you maintain a great company culture as against what is generally obtainable in Nigeria

#13

Hello @Chude Do you feel Red Media is at where it’s supposed to be right now? If no, what is your dream for it?


#14

Bros @Chude I hail o.

There’s been a pretty interesting discussion about Aunty Linda’s success and the fact that her rise to Banana Island makes her a unicorn among her blogger brethren. My question though is not about replicating her success.

I have a concern: it seems there’s no real “strategy” behind online advertising campaigns. Advertisers are more concerned with pageviews than with target audience or audience engagement when considering websites to advertise on. Although, to be more specific, the ad agencies are the ones responsible for this behaviour. Once they find a website that does the pageview numbers, they’ll put their ads, neglecting the other relevant metrics like user engagement etc.

My question is, this is 2015; why is this still prevalent and what can/should be done to correct it?


#15

Hello Oga @Chude. Good day Radar family.

Honestly, I heard about Red Media Africa for the first time last weekend when one of the organisers of the 3rd Lagos Half Marathon (and friend of yours) suggested that your company could help with branding & publicity. So I did a research and was amazed by the achievement of your company. Well done.

Back to the AMA. This is my question:
What role can a media company like yours play in portraying Nigeria in positive lights and telling the Nigerian story from the Nigerian perspective? Personally, I am tired of seeing so folks at the CNN or BCC or Aljazeera trying to be the mouthpiece of African countries to the outside world? Can media companies come together to establish a conglomerate which will take on the giants like CNN and become the reference point for African stories?

Thank you.

PS: Please how can I contact you regarding the 3rd Lagos Half Marathon. Thank you.


#16

FB, twitter etc what’s your advice in running online ads at a minimal cost with a great ROI?


#17

Hi @Chude, thanks for coming on here. I am a BIG fan.

Whereas you did not intend to share, we are interested in knowing more about your 15-year experience in the media business. I have always wondered these:

1: When did you realize creating a media company was what you wanted to do?
2: You’ve been at this for 15 years (you started at age 15). You wrote your first book at age 13 (Wow!). How did you develop that interest at such young age? What specific exposures/experiences/infrastructure helped you?
3: You’ve had such admirable successes. Have you had times when you thought about quitting? How did you slog through those times?
4: Have you ever failed at anything? What?


#18

Hey it’s relentlessness really. And I know it sounds touch-freely and abstract but it isn’t. It’s the ability to never take no and to go beyond what I hear to what I want to do. I have heard plenty of NOs, especially when you are a made in Nigeria product without the built-in advantages some have eg legacy education, access to funds, access to


#19

It was a mad house! I envy people like Bankole who now have a clear sense of vision also because of the trajectories of business in Nigeria. You must remember this was 2004 when we began to think about this? People didn’t understand what we meant by ‘content’, the ubiquity of the youth market wasn’t obvious to spenders and clients and investors, entrepreneurship especially with media, tech and the creative sectors wasn yet mainstreamed. So we basically had to feel through what we needed to do. And be flexible about who where. We had to take the opportunities as they came and then see what works, what attracts audiences and what doesn’t. And we have continuously evolved along those lines, and then now we finally have the confidence to be definite ie this is what we WILL do, and this we will NOT do.


#20

Not an easy decision at all. Many times, team members keep second guessing it! But it’s a simple idea, and it’s also touchy-freely. What makes our heart sing? We are more joyful when our strategies target and excite young people. We came into the business because of that demographic. And when you are excited about your vision - there is more engagement, more innovation, better service delivery, a string of value add. People perform optimally when the mission animates. So yes we have had to, from the base of it, trade off, and be ready for the consequences of that decision. But if you want too build a mean, optimal operation, then trade offs are non-negotiable, so you can focus.


#21

Sweat and social capital. It’s a long story but if you see the documentary of our story on @ynaijaTV on YouTube you get an idea. Basically, and literally, we started with zero in capital. What we did was we tapped into the massive networks that I and my partners had built over five years in the media and we built massive media platforms that could absorb and retain media barter arrangements. Everything for our first brand, The Future Awards, in 2006 was done based on barter.


#22

@chude Are you secretly Cheta? Because I can never tell you two apart. :joy:

Okay, jokes.

If you had to pick only one of Red’s divisions to work on / focus on (ynaija, statecraft, etc) which would it be and why?