Vodacom Video Play could be bigger than Netflix in South Africa

Vodacom’s Video Play streaming service has seen impressive growth, and it could now have more users than Netflix in South Africa.

The mobile network published its limited annual results for the year ended 31 March 2019 today, which showed that the adoption of its Video Play platform has been strong.

Video Play now boasts a total of 869,000 active users.

“Our platform strategy, designed to stimulate reasons to consume data, is gaining momentum,” the company said in a statement.

Vodacom added that its My Muze music platform is also gaining customers, and it has also launched a gaming platform named PlayInc.

Netflix and Video Play

Netflix does not publish its subscriber numbers for South Africa, but MultiChoice previously provided estimates of the streaming platform’s slice of the local market.

MultiChoice said it believed that Netflix had between 300,000 and 400,000 subscribers in South Africa in 2018.

According to data from Statista, Netflix is projected to have around 232,000 subscribers in South Africa in 2019 – considerably lower than MultiChoice’s estimate.

If these estimates are accurate, it would mean that Vodacom’s Video Play could have more active users than Netflix.

It must be noted that Vodacom does not explicitly define the term “active users” in its results statement.

Video Play offers a different service model to Netflix, allowing users to purchase individual shows on a once-off basis in addition to offering a daily, monthly, or weekly subscription.

DStv and Showmax

Like Netflix, Showmax does not disclose its local subscriber numbers.

MultiChoice previously showed in an investor presentation that its satellite television product paired with its online offerings were considerably more prevalent in South Africa than Netflix.

It made the claim that it was the leading entertainment platform by comparing its subscriber numbers – which currently stand at 13.9 million across the continent – against those of StarTimes, Canal Plus Afrique, and Netflix.

The company also said that around 9% of its user base in South Africa is streaming content through Showmax and DStv Now.

Based on the latest subscriber numbers for South Africa, this means that Showmax and DStv Now have around 595,000 users in South Africa.

The graph below shows MultiChoice’s estimate of Netflix’s subscriber base compared to its 13.9 million users across Africa.

DStv vs Netflix

Now read: DStv Now – Improvements to web and mobile apps

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Vodacom Video Play could be bigger than Netflix in South Africa