Despite DStv Premium coming under pressure from Netflix and a tough economic environment, MultiChoice continues to add hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
This is according to Naspers’ financial results for the six months to 30 September 2018, which detail the “video entertainment” division of the business and includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, and Showmax Africa.
The company grew it total subscriber base to 13.9 million in the period, which is a 14% increase over the year before.
South African users make up 7.2 million of this number, after 285,000 subscribers were added in H1 of Naspers’ 2019 financial year.
This growth was in the mass-market, which consists of the packages such as DStv Access that are cheaper than DStv Premium.
The results also noted that subscriber retention was “underpinned by rising PVR penetration”.
Black Friday 2018 sales reported echoed these sentiments, with Takealot reporting that the DStv Explora 2 decoder was one of the best-selling items on the day.
The image below shows the net subscriber additions for MultiChoice in South Africa.
An increase in “mass-market” users while DStv Premium continues to suffer does not come without consequences, however.
Naspers stated that due to the change in customer mix, ARPU (average revenue per user) in the country dropped from R347 to R335.
“The focus of the SA business remains retaining premium subscribers while driving subscriber growth in the mid and mass-market tiers,” added Naspers.
MultiChoice has previously stated that DStv Premium has been hit by the launch of Netflix in South Africa, thanks to its large content library at a relatively cheap price.
The image below shows the drop in ARPU, and increase in PVR penetration.
DStv Family and Access growing well
MultiChoice told MyBroadband that its aim is to give customers value through its range of DStv packages, and it was excited that more customers are discovering the great entertainment on DStv.
“The growth in our value packages like DStv Access and Family is closely linked to the popularity of our locally produced comedies, soapies, and dramas. These are also the packages chosen by customers who are discovering pay television for the first time,” said MultiChoice.
DStv Access is R99 per month, while DStv Family is R249 per month.
In terms of strong decoder sales, it said the Explora decoder offers customers a “significantly enhanced viewing and entertainment experience”.
“We continue to offer a range of value for money deals on our Exploras, some including installation, to assist customers to get DStv.”