Popular PayTV company, Multichoice Group, the parent company of DStv has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with American streaming services, Netflix and Amazon Prime, aimed at offering their streaming services via new decoders.
The move is in a bid to help the satellite TV provider retain its subscriber base that has been struggling in the recent days due to the increase in competition from digital streaming platforms like Netflix, iROKOtv and co.
Though Multichoice has its own streaming service it called Showmax but it has struggled to gain traction due to the dwindling fortunes of its parent service. This is because Netflix and Amazon hit the continent with original and sometimes exclusive foreign content while Showmax is just an extension of Multichoice with largely the same content.
However, all that might be about to change with this new deal which would see Multichoice broadcast Netflix and Amazon contents on its platform.
“We have long been a content aggregator, and this is proof of our aggregator model at work – providing simplicity, choice, and convenience for our customers,” says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO.
“As our industry evolves, we believe that we are well-positioned to benefit from both worlds – a large, growing pay-TV market in Africa, as well as an emerging over-the-top (OTT) opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.”
This information was disclosed in Multichoice’s latest 2019/2020 financial results. The report also revealed that it added an estimated 900,000 DStv and GOtv subscribers over its last financial year. The total number of subscribers to Africa’s biggest pay-TV now stands at 19.5 million.
South Africa, the home-country of Multichoice still has the largest share of DStv and GOtv subscribers with 8.4 million subscribers while the remaining 11.1 million cut across Africa.
Although streaming services seems to be gain some ground in Africa, many thanks to exclusive foreign and local content and slightly improved internet access and quality, much of the continent still needs satellite TV to broadcast contents.
According to a recent study, nearly 44% of the global population without access to the internet are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With more than 1.3 billion people, only about 526 million people are connected to the internet in Africa. This puts the internet penetration rate at about 39%. This means streaming platforms have only 39% of the African population to target.
Factors like exorbitant cost of internet, lack of digital literacy, lack of quality smartphones and dismal poverty rate which would make monthly subscriptions a luxury would drive that target even further down.
Satellite TV, on the other hand, has farther reach and could target an even wider segment of the African population. Thus, Multichoice could help broadcast these original and exclusive content from streaming services to viewers even in the remotest parts of the continent.