The rise of online streaming service in South Africa

TelOne granted Video On Demand broadcasting license in Zimbabwe

July 10, 2018 • Online & Social, Southern Africa, Top Stories

The rise of online streaming service in South Africa.

Majority of the South Africans currently prefer the ability to watch their favourite programs and movies on their TV, Smartphones or Tablets from wherever and whenever they want. This has caused the rise of streaming services in South Africa which offers the flexibility and comfort that cannot be offered by traditional TV services. Online streaming is cheaper and more convenient than your usual cable TV as you can watch the programs of your choice at any time you wish.

Netflix was launched in the year 2016 in South Africa following which many other online streaming services also entered the market. You can gain access to the South African video library by subscribing to the Netflix SA service. MultiChoice, the dominant TV operator in South Africa has been hit hard by the rise of Netflix and other online streaming services.

According to a recent survey by AC Nielson, 63% of South Africans watch their favourite programs through any streaming services and 79% do it at least once in a week. The rising appetite for online streaming services among the citizens of SA has created opportunities for local content providers like MultiChoice to enter the streaming market. According to Statista, it is estimated that the number of Netflix subscriptions in South Africa is likely to double in the next 2 years.

The Netflix’s standard subscription rate is $11.99 per month in South Africa which has led to its rising popularity against the premium subscription of DStv, offers by Multichoice which costs up to $79 per month for All-Access package. Netflix is estimated to have more than 500,000 subscribers in Africa alone and witnessed a 25% increase in its subscriber base during the last year.

But one thing you should remember is that Netflix imposes geo-restrictions and maintains a different video library for each location. As a subscriber living in South Africa, you might not be able to watch the American TV shows and other media content meant for the US audience. Due to copyright restrictions in each jurisdiction, Netflix maintains a different library for each country and the US content will be blocked in other locations. Using VPN software is the ideal solution If you are looking for ways on how you can watch American Netflix outside the US? Online streaming services have thousands of unique contents, people loves to watch it but some of the content is only exclusive for some region. You need a VPN to watch these exclusive contents.

According to Justin Hewelt, global marketing directory of PayMedia, a popular PayTV in South Africa, the low prices offered by the online streaming services has gained the attraction of South Africans. Also, you don’t require any special device or tool for streaming your favourite content and all you need is a high-speed internet connection.

The entry of two most popular online streaming services namely Amazon Prime and Netflix to the South African market in 2016 has created a stiff competition for local PayTV market player MultiChoice. It has caused a significant drop in their DStv premium subscribers and they find it hard to compete against online content from YouTube, Google Videos and other streaming services. It has been reported by the CEO of MultiChoice, Calvo Mawela that they have lost more than 100,000 DStv subscribers after the launch of Netflix and Amazon in the year 2016 in South Africa.

To overcome this situation and fight back with the competitors, MultiChoice also is planning to launch their standalone streaming service. They already have ShowMax which is their on-demand service and along with that, they have started a brand new online streaming service named DStvNow which allows existing subscribers to watch their favourite shows and live stream channels on demand. They also have their original shows which could gain some attention from the local audience. Netflix has not yet started to produce any local shows in the South African market.

MultiChoice plans to offer streaming-only packages and the DStv application can be accessed from an iOS or Android phone as well as from your web browsers and you can view the content online anytime. It is very clear that the future of TV and entertainment in South Africa lies in the hands of online streaming services as the PayTV market is dwindling slowly. Most of the South African customers prefer to use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, ShowMax, Iflix, Kwese Play etc. nowadays due to the flexibility, low cost, convenience and variety of media content.

Staff Writer


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