Last week I told you about my mate Dave who used to be an online pirate despite being a DStv Premium subscriber.
Over time, the service DStv Premium offered matched Dave’s viewing needs, until eventually he found that he wasn’t pirating anymore.
My girl Julie is a different story.
Her TV is a glorified computer monitor, connected to a video game console and a media box, with an HDMI port left open for a PC when needed.
As the price of DStv Premium increased with inflation every year, Julie eventually cancelled her subscription.
She said she understands that costs go up and that the weak rand makes buying content more expensive, but her monthly budget couldn’t take the expense.
Julie knows she is in the minority of South Africans who would do this, but when money starts becoming tight, she feels you have to be more selective about your luxury expenses.
She does not watch much live sports, so paying R844 per month (R759 subscription + R85 PVR access) for TV series and movies was too much.
There are also several niche programmes that either don’t make it onto DStv or aren’t licensed for Express from the US.
DStv wasn’t the only medium Julie tried to pay for all the videos she was watching.
Julie said she used Netflix for years, even upgrading to the $9.99 high-definition service.
After years of being able to access Netflix US, being pushed onto the limited South African catalogue while paying the same price was a slap in the face.
Julie said she tried the South African Netflix for a month and then cancelled.
She demothballed her system which automatically scans for the latest episodes of the shows she loves and downloads them for free from a torrent site.
The services she wants to give her money to just aren’t serving her needs, she said.
This article is an opinion piece.