The Boeremafia (read Naspers) is trying to dix its declining DStv Premium decline by developing a standalone DStv streaming service – apparently to take on Netflix.
MultiChoice South Africa CEO Calvo Mawela, which operates Naspers’ DStv service says they have taken significant strides toward offering a streaming-only package, but there are obstacles to overcome, like securing the streaming rights for all the entertainment content they offer on existing (excruciatingly expensive – Ed.) DStv packages.
MultiChoice was able to secure the last of these rights earlier in 2018, making it possible for DStv Now to offer live streaming of every channel included in the DStv Premium package. MyBroadband.co.za reports that despite initiatives like DStv Now and Showmax, MultiChoice has continued to try to ensure it is ready for the evolution of the subscription TV space. Yet, a standalone streaming package is still a work in progress.
The company is waiting for DStv’s digital media division to come up with a full commercial plan for the service, along with an activation date, says Mawela.
Naspers recently released its annual results, which revealed that MultiChoice continued to bleed DStv Premium subscribers. The results echoed statements Mawela made in May, when he said Netflix was eating into their market share.
Mawela said DStv’s subscriber base was growing overall, but the growth was coming from less-profitable, lower-end packages. This is a concern for MultiChoice, and its profits.
For the financial year ended 31 March 2018, MultiChoice saw a 13% overall growth in its DStv subscriber base – from 11.942 million to 13.476 million. However, across Africa, it saw a decline of 41,000 DStv Premium subscribers – from 1.962 million to 1.921 million.
This resulted in a decline in the average revenue per user from R353 per month to R344 per month.