How DStv competes against Netflix and Disney+

MultiChoice’s CEO, Calvo Mawela, believes DStv is well-positioned to continue to grow in the online video streaming market and will remain competitive with the likes of Netflix and Disney+.

During an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Mawela explained that the company’s investment in local content and its super aggregation strategy would help it maintain this position and grow further.

“We have gained a 3% market share from our competitors in the online space, and we think we are well-positioned for us to continue to grow,” he said.

“You’ll have seen in our results that we have registered a 68% year-on-year increase in paying subscribers on Showmax.”

He explained that this resulted from the investments it had made in local content producers, adding that MultiChoice is the home of local content in South Africa.

Mawela also explained that it includes the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in its offerings as part of its super aggregation strategy.

“We have our super aggregation strategy where we have included the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime,” he said.

He added that DStv just launched a bundled package with Disney+, saying that the numbers MultiChoice has seen are encouraging.

Mawela said that DStv’s super aggregation strategy is already starting to benefit the broadcaster and its subscribers.

“What we have also seen is that, through this aggregation strategy, people use our platform to access these various services depending on the content they want to watch at any particular point in time,”

He added that people love the convenience of using one remote to switch between all these different platforms.

DStv subscribers can sign up for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with the Explora Ultra decoder.

Mawela also explained that MultiChoice focused on Nigeria and Kenya as part of its growth strategy this financial year.

“We are focussing on Nigeria and Kenya in this financial year and are doubling down as well on local content,” he said.

“We believe that we have the formula to bring local content that resonates very well in our markets.”

Mawela previously said that MultiChoice had built a firm foundation of its own content, giving it an advantage over international streaming services, which cannot offer such a range of local content.

“The competition will happen, but we will see some overlap between the services,” Mawela stated.

“Of the content we have pursued ourselves, we are the best in sport and the home of local content in local languages.”

“No matter how fluent people are, they still want to hear the languages that they are able to speak on a day-to-day basis,” Mawela added.

DStv’s streaming limit

Mawela also said that MultiChoice was investigating a way to allow more simultaneous streams per household, even though he believes their financial results show it was the correct decision.

This comes after DStv imposed a limit of one concurrent stream on live TV and its Catch Up service.

MultiChoice’s annual results revealed that although DStv struggled to gain subscribers, Connected Video users on the DStv app and Showmax showed strong growth.

The number of Showmax subscribers on paid packages increased 68% over the last year, and monthly online users increased by 28%.

“It supports the view that we have made the correct decision to limit concurrent streaming because people were abusing the system,” Mawela said.

However, it’s important to note that DStv’s streaming limit doesn’t apply to Showmax, which continues to allow two simultaneous streams.

Now read: Big sports streaming battle is about to begin

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How DStv competes against Netflix and Disney+