How we interact with one another and the events that we attend have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re not going to be gathering together in person anytime soon. Fortunately, technology has played an indispensable role in connecting people and allowing many businesses to pivot their operations to offer their services and products online. To support industries that have been negatively affected by South Africa’s lockdown, a new, easy-to-use and proudly South African online video streaming platform, Send it, has recently launched and is currently free to use.
“Human interaction and connection have had to change. Technology, together with social distancing, has transformed the nature of events and the way we gather together. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still interact with one another,” says James Coetzee, co-founder of Send it. “We need one another now more than ever. South Africans are known for their tenacity and kindness. We want to help support content creators by offering a one-stop-shop technological tool which reaches audiences and provides the option to generate an income through pay-to-view live broadcasts. Any creator is welcome, from musicians and comedians to fitness instructors and event management co-ordinators,” he said.
The platform allows users to create and schedule live video streaming events. These events, such as cooking classes, concerts or online theatre, can be offered to audiences for free or at a cost. “We want to help creators generate income during these uncertain times,” explains Brandon Muller, co-founder of Send it. “We’re aware of the devastating financial impact that COVID-19 has had on many industries, particularly those in events,” he adds.
Both Coetzee and Muller are serial entrepreneurs and have been involved in the eventing space for over eight years. They founded an internet solution company, Quick Connect Wireless, in 2012. The organisation provides fast, affordable and easy-to-use wireless internet to event co-ordinators – helping them provide content-rich, tailor-made connectivity solutions to event attendees. “It was a natural next step to launch Send it when the face of the industry changed so drastically,” explains Muller.
The end-to-end, live streaming platform allows users to create a unique webpage for their online broadcast, choose to charge viewers for access to their stream or grant free access, and then go live at a scheduled time – all for free. When hosting pay-to-view broadcasts, a 5% fee on all ticket purchases made by attendees is charged by the platform to cover credit card processing fees. Send it also allows viewers to engage with the host via live chat. “There are a few other similar platforms out there, but none are South African, and most are either quite costly to set up or are very complicated – often both,” says Muller.
Send it has also built an enterprise solution which allows the delivery of zero-rated, reverse-billed live or on-demand video content to consumers. “This means that corporate enterprises can cover the cost of their end-users’ mobile data to access the content,” explains Muller. “It helps companies give their consumers free access to events or other brand activations via live video conferencing, streaming and even video on demand. The possibilities are endless. We’ll be launching a conferencing solution to this offering soon too,” said Coetzee.