Netflix is giving Multichoice South Africa, stiff competition with its subscriber base increasing, latest figures released by the company have revealed.
Multichoice Namibia refused to divulge figures when asked how Netflix had impacted on its business in Namibia.
In the year ending March 2018, Multichoice South Africa lost 41,000 subscribers. The previous year, it lost 100,000 subscribers.
Netflix has so far attracted 400,000 subscribers in South Africa while DStv has 7.2 million customers.
Levana Cloete, Corporate Affairs Manager at Multichoice Namibia, told the Windhoek Observer that despite the impact of over-the-top (OTT) offerings like Netflix, Pay TV is holding its own.
“OTT offerings are sometimes a substitute and sometimes a complement to linear broadcasting. Linear television still has the advantage of great family viewing value as well as live sport and news, which make up significant value to customers.”
Without giving exact figures, Cloete said statistics show that despite the proliferation of OTT services on the market, Multichoice Namibia is seeing a bigger segment of viewing still happening on pay television and free to air (FTA).
“The challenge for OTT in Africa is cost and accessibility; viewers can’t watch long-play streaming video over a mobile network because of the expense. There is a window of opportunity in most territories that will take time to penetrate.”
OTT is currently not regulated in Namibia because it’s online and in many countries there is an increase in regulation such as payment of tax and classification of content.
Multichoice has introduced its own of over-the-top (OTT) offerings, Showmax and DStv Now.
DStv Now is ‘TV Everywhere’ with live and catch-up content on the go and Showmax is a standalone SVOD service that draws on the content strength of the group to provide a line-up of movies, series, animation and much more.
Showmax is an online subscription video on demand service which launched in August 2015.
“We are getting a positive response from our customers in Namibia, particularly on our DStv Now offering as our DStv customers get to watch the latest sports and TV shows on their smartphones, tablets or laptops anytime and anywhere they want,” Cloete said.
She said the data challenge will determine the speed of uptake as the majority of data connectivity across Africa is mobile-based, and the cost of that mobile data is in many cases still prohibitive.
“This will improve over time, as fibre and other solutions like fixed Long Term Evolution (LTE), which delivers the fastest connection for a mobile internet experience, become more prevalent.”