DStv recently announced its plans to become a “one-stop-shop” where customers pay a single bill and get access to all streaming content – including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
In its recent financial report, it said it had signed deals with Netflix and Amazon to integrate both of these services into its Explora decoder.
MultiChoice CFO Tim Jacobs said these agreements are part of a new streaming platform MultiChoice would launch that would include content from international players.
“What we are trying to do is to provide an amount of simplicity, choice, and convenience to subscribers – they can come to one place and can get access to all of this different content,” said Jacobs.
To find out how this bundled package could work, MyBroadband spoke to broadcast media commentators about their expectations.
Africa Analysis’ Nozi Dikgale said she imagines this service would be positioned as an aggregator, much like a media hub.
“Bearing in mind that the features of the agreement and how the product will look like is not available in the public domain, one would expect that DStv Explora is going to be used as a platform that aggregates content from parties involved in the partnership and expanding content library in STBs (Set-top boxes),” Dikgale said.
“DStv customers will be able to enjoy a collection of TV shows, films, (available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in addition to original content) and live sport (Amazon Prime Video – English Premier League) with greater flexibility and enhanced viewing quality,” she speculated.
Director at Media Monitoring Africa William Bird said that while predicting how streaming services would be integrated into the DStv product is difficult, he expects it would be included as part of a full bundle that includes DStv Premium.
“I’m also guessing they will have to offer some kind of combined discount so that people will see the benefit, rather than sticking with separate Netflix and Amazon accounts,” said Bird.
He said it would be interesting to see what would happen to a number of the big series that DStv currently broadcasts.
“Currently DStv has an agreement where they get them first,” he explained.
“It also isn’t clear if we will only have access to the same Netflix libraries as currently available to South Africans or if it would be the full library. That would be a more compelling offer.”
What it could cost
Bird said that while he is unsure how pricing would work, his best guess is that DStv would consider an opening special for the full package that is similarly priced to the current version of DStv Premium.
This is because the number of premium subscribers continues to decline, he said.
Dikgale agreed that DStv has probably considered the price sensitivity of local consumers.
“I would imagine the platform would be priced around bundling DStv streaming with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, perhaps at a discounted rate,” said Dikgale.
“Or perhaps the platform can be made available where DStv subscribers have an option of adding these VoD services on their DStv bill as and when they use them.”
A third possible pricing option that Dikgale identified is a pricing model that would cater to different consumer segments.
“Those customers who want premium content will pay a set price to perhaps gain access to full content and for some, depending on price point allocated, they will gain access to a select content library,” said Dikgale.
She said that this model could be supported by adverts on cheaper packages.
Expected customer response
Dikgale expects that customers will be interested in a product that lets them access content with the convenience and flexibility of a single platform.
“Another advantage that I think DStv has is the fact that it already has a billing aggregation system that would allow DStv subscribers to add Netflix and Amazon to their existing DStv subscription plans,” Dikgale added.
“This could also see DStv reducing churn rate and the success of the streaming service will drive revenue streams for all parties concerned.”
Bird believes that if DStv gets its pricing right, the public is likely to respond positively.
“If you can get Netflix and Amazon and Showmax and DStv, you have the biggest platforms in one solution,” said Bird.
“I think that will be appealing.”
“For the giants Netflix and Amazon, DStv offers real scale and a footprint into Africa,” he added.
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