An Explainer on a Game Changer: MultiChoice's Integration of Netflix and Amazon, DStv Streaming


Sunday, June 28, 2020   /  01:27 AM / By News  / Header Image Credit: Ecographics 


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  • The new DStv Explora decoder will have a carousel function where you will be able to access various streaming services in one place.
  • These services, which appears to include the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, will sit next to MultiChoice's own existing products like Showmax.
  • The idea is that viewers can sign up for various service in one place and only have one bill - making it much more convenient and possibly even cheaper.
  • This follows operating models used in America, the United Kingdom, Europe and elsewhere - but DStv is yet to confirm the finer details. 


The Background


South Africa-based pay TV operator MultiChoice recently agreed to add Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to its TV offering, integrating their services into its Explora decoder. The pay TV operator has also launched field trials of its own DStv streaming product.


"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."


MultiChoice said that its own DStv streaming offering would launch later this year.


The company already provides a streaming offering, Showmax, which is also available on Explora and can be seen as a competitor with Netflix and Amazon to some extent, and the move to integrate the latter represents a significant shift in strategy. Showmax recently began trialling streaming sports.


MultiChoice operator posted solid results for the year ending March 31. It added 900,000 90-day active subscribers to its service year-on-year, representing growth of 5%. The additions took the operator's overall base to 19.5 million, split between 8.4 million in its home market and 11.1 million in the rest of Africa. Subscriber growth in South Africa was up 0.5 million or 6%, while the rest of Africa was up by 0.4 million or 4%.


Revenue was up 3% to ZAR51.4 billion (2.7 billion Euros) and included ZAR42.8 billion in subscription revenue which increased 4% year-on-year. The company said its top-line growth had been hit by relatively modest subscriber growth due to rising pressure on consumers, a decision not to increase prices of its premium package in South Africa, which led to revenue growth of only 1% in that market, and the fact that last year's growth benefitted from specific once-off events. Thanks to cost containment it achieved a 14% increase in trading profit to ZAR8.0 billion, up 29% on a like-for-like basis, with ZAR1.4 billion in cost savings and a ZAR1.8 billion organic reduction in losses in the rest of Africa contributing to the uplift.


MultiChoice said it expected the coronavirus pandemic to have a negative effect on the economies of the countries it serves, with an unknown net impact on its financials for the coming year. 


Credit: DigitalTVEurope 


An Explainer


MultiChoice's new DStv Explora decoder will be the first that will have the "shelf space" capability and come with a carousel user interface display incorporating icon tiles for the Netflix and Amazon Prime Video video streamers as DStv morphs into a pay-TV super-aggregator and a content "one-stop shop" that will carry even more such third-party services in future. 


Besides the launch of DStv Streaming, MultiChoice's "dishless DStv" digital streaming version of its current service that won't require the use of a satellite disk or installation, MultiChoice also plans to push a new DStv Explora decoder to market later this year that will be its first to carry and make over-the-top (OTT) services available to DStv subscribers in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa in the form of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.


Since publishing the information as part of their latest 2019/2020 financial results, Multichoice has removed the Netflix and Amazon Prime logos (possibly due to on-going negotiations and other red tape) from the slides that are available to the public. (Because the information was already released publicly on DStv's own website we're including this information for full transparency. Scroll to see the before and after).


Read more on Contents, Investors, Payments Here 


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The post MultiChoice wants to be a 'one-stop shop' - Let us explain that Netflix and Amazon news by Thinus Ferreira first appeared in Channel24 on Friday, June 12, 2020. 


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