A year ago, Multichoice was losing its prized premium subscriber base to rival streaming services by the bucket load. Fast forward a year and it seems Africa’s largest pay TV operator has managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat by signing deals with US streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime to provide content on its DStv platform. In one fell swoop the South African based company has manged to solve its biggest complaint from weary subscribers, content.
“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,” said CEO Calvo Mawela.
“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 opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.”
The deal provides mutual benefit for both parties, Netflix gets a delivery mechanism for its content via multichoice’s extensive reach into the African continent. Multichoice gets much needed fresh content allowing the company to hold on to premium subscribers, further cementing its place is the premier pay-TV provider in Africa.
While Netflix content has proven popular on the continent, internet connectivity has always been an issue, as a result streaming hasn’t exactly taken off. While cellphone penetration is massive on the continent, broadband penetration still lags behind, at 39 % it is well below the 62.9% world average.
The complexity of the African market means the relationship with Multichoice will give the US streaming giant a strong entry point into African living rooms.
Multichoice’s inclusion of international streaming services on its platform is a move that emulates what global players in the sector are doing. Pay-TV operators have latched onto the “super aggregator” model of doing business, which allows them to bundle a variety of content in one convenient place for subscribers.
MultiChoice has shown a 5% increase in subscriber growth in its 2019/2020 financial year, taking its total pay-TV subscriber base to 19.5 million households.