Amber takes digital stake in Nationwide
From left: Dushyant Savadia, founder and CEO of the Amber Group, shakes hands with CEO and executive producer of NNN Cliff Hughes to officially mark the start of a partnership with both companies, following a press briefing held at Amber's offices on Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston yesterday. Looking on is Michael McNaughton (standing, left), managing director of the Amber Group, and Joan Forrest Henry, general manager at NNN. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Technology firm the Amber Group has struck a partnership with Nationwide News Network (NNN) to bring new technologies and innovations to the media outlet as it pushes to transform and digitise the local media landscape.

Speaking at a press briefing held at his company's offices in Kingston on Thursday, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Amber Group Dushyant Savadia said the move marks the first major partnership his company is undertaking with a broadcast media enterprise and will see the roll-out of a full suite of ultra-advanced mobile apps and cutting-edge production output on radio and digital TV channels.

Labelled as one of the largest technology conglomerates in the Caribbean, Amber operates in approximately 30 countries across the globe and has built over 900 applications for hundreds of companies.

"We chose NNN because it has a phenomenal evolution; it's been a great player in the media landscape, which over the years has delivered excellent content. In matching this, we will bring the technology aspect, hence with our current investment we aim to revolutionalise the space with technology so that users can consume news and other great content. Through this partnership, one single technology will bring radio, TV and news all in one single application," Savadia said.

"This partnership is truly a revolution in media and will create several firsts with technology driving the future as Amber and Nationwide chart new courses in Jamaica and overseas. The application will connect businesses and consumers better, making advertising easier — allowing full digital onboarding for advertisements on radio, online news and digital TV. An immediate value for advertisers is that placement will be less expensive and more accessible to the entire market. For customers, they will also get benefits such as increased targeted content based on their interest with loyalty rewards. The more stories they read/watch and discuss online, the more points they get which they can redeem for deals and discounts from participating businesses. The technology will also open up new channels for contributors to submit geo-tagged stories and videos," he further stated.

Tight-lipped about the level of investment or the stake it holds in the partnership, Savadia said he was, however, very excited about the venture.

"Investment is not a one-time thing as technology tends to be a continuous evolution and Amber will never stop innovating. There is no cap to our investment, the cap can only come when the customers say they've had enough and even then we won't stop. As a result, we will continue to innovate and to build. We do have significant stake in NNN as of now, but in going forward it will be more about the contributions," Savadia said in response to queries from the Jamaica Observer.

Welcoming the partnership, CEO and executive producer of NNN Cliff Hughes said that the soon-to-be-ready application ushers in the start of a new era for the radio station, allowing it to offer much more to its local and global consumers.

"It's the same NNN but with a new vibration and diverse range of experiences for [our consumers]. We will continue to break new broadcast media barriers, explore new frontiers as we deliver the best to our listeners, viewers and consumers. Through this partnership with Amber, the transformation of the enterprise will be faster, stronger and technologically nimble," he commented.

Described as being a complicated yet user-friendly product, the app comprises some 69 features built around algorithms powered by artificial intelligence and user behaviour sensors.

"We're absolutely committed to getting this into the market as fast as possible. An application of this size is very big work, but we are hoping to have it ready in the shortest space of time. It has been in the works for a long time now and we are close to completing it. I'm sure that by the next [three to six] months, we will start to see some amazing stuff coming out including our digital TV," he also told journalists during the briefing.

Kellaray Miles

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