Meet the man who made it possible for you watch Obama and Olympics live

He started off hosting and streaming local audio music for downloads for some of the top producers in Kenya including Calif records and numerous gospel artists.

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A few years ago, most people probably got the majority of their media content from either a tape, VCR, VCD and more recently DVD.

Today, video is become more popular and easier to share especially with the advent of YouTube, increased connectivity and better access to broadband.

Commercial content creators are embracing digital media in a big way and TV stations are already streaming content 24hours on social media sites. The challenge then has moved from quality commercial content streamed to your TV, smartphone or computer to deciphering what service is the best for your needs.

Santos Okottah, founder and CEO of Eziki, the pioneer online Kenyan video streaming company believes this is he way to go.

"More small and medium sized companies are using the service to convert business and communicate to the aspirations of their customers and more so online fans. Media houses are also cognisant of the fact that to remain relevant and break news as it happens, they have to be where the news actually is – which is online. Viral video is without a doubt the best way to do this,”

Santos has been in the video streaming business for five years now.

As the demand for online music service grew and video became popular, he expanded the business to accommodate video streaming.

Initially, the service was only available to PC users on YouTube and a large number of people were not able to access the music videos as they mostly watched them on music shows on the free to air stations.

As internet penetration begun to grow in Kenya, Santos saw an opportunity in 2011 to expand his company Eziki to forefront of video-on-demand, a service which still remains largely untapped and mostly dominated by foreign companies.

Since inception, Santos has designed and programmed his own streaming software and trained his technicians on how to use it.

He has continually adopted it to fit into modern day platforms and can be used on individual company sites and on social media sites such as Facebook Live.

His innovation and expertise has earned him partnerships with leading local media houses, events and award ceremonies.

His recent portfolio consists of streaming for the state broadcaster KBC top live features such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2015 which was headlined by former US President Barrack Obama, the World Trade Organization (WTO) 2016, Rio 2016 Olympics and State House Summit 2016.

Santos has also provided live streaming for the 2015 AITEC Africa’s Broadcast Film and Music Africa Summit, Young Entrepreneurs Expo 2016, 2016 UN Women regional sharefair on gender and resilience under the UN entity for gender equality and empowerment of women, Kenya Fashion Awards 2016, OLX SOMA Awards 2016 and 2016 Edition of Blankets and Wine that was simultaneously live streamed in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda.

“I foresee a scenario not too many years from today where companies will choose to make major announcements such as annual reports announcements, product launches and media briefings using online streaming services," says Santos.

His logic is based on the convenience the platform offers both the sender and the target audience of the message especially the looping feature that allows news to be checked at a later time.

Over the top (OTT) streaming services are already making an entry into the Kenyan market and are upsetting the traditional pay TV model that has existed in Kenya for close to 20 years. With broadband and internet penetration is expected to grow online streaming services such as Eziki may in future also give news networks a run for their money.

Already the digital switch has provided more local stations a platform such as that provided by Eziki to reach millions of people. Santos already hosts 24 hour local free to air radio and TV channels including Lolwe TV, Aviation TV, KBC, Coro FM, Iftiin Radio, Radio Taifa, General Service (KBC) radio, Radio Mambo, Magharibi TV among others on his Eziki platform.

“As advertising revenues move online, more and more companies will begin to see the need for video streaming. Video streams can be branded and dedicated to specific organizations while at the same time can be shared widely across various platforms through a link, especially via instant messaging apps. Sooner rather than later, real time streaming will overtake traditional Pay TV in popularity,” says Santos.

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