DStv Streama launch plans announced

MultiChoice has announced that its TV streaming box, the DStv Streama, will launch by 30 September 2022.

“Due to the ongoing global silicon chip shortage, the DStv Streama launch has been delayed and is now expected to launch in the first half of the next financial year,” MultiChoice said in its annual results on Thursday.

The company had announced the results for its financial year ended 31 March 2022.

While MultiChoice’s results for South Africa were flat, it reported that growth in its Connected Video users outpaced the market.

“Paying Showmax subscribers were up 68% YoY, whilst overall monthly online users of the group’s connected video services increased 28% year-on-year,” MultiChoice reported.

“A major driver has been the focus to localise by expanding local payment channels and enabling local billing in various markets,” it said.

“In addition, local content was stronger than ever with titles like Devilsdorp, the Real Housewives franchise, and The Wife.”

It added that Showmax Pro offered subscribers the Tokyo Olympics, Euro 2020, and every English Premier League game.

MultiChoice first announced the DStv Streama media box in August 2020.

It promised a cohesive interface that helps South African viewers navigate all the different streaming services offered in the country, including Netflix and YouTube.

In September 2021, MultiChoice confirmed the Streama was delayed, but not cancelled.

MultiChoice South Africa CEO Nyiko Shiburi told MyBroadband in November that Streama’s development was on-track, although they had delayed it for several reasons.

Shiburi said that the global chip shortage did play a role, as they had to rethink which chipset to use.

However, MultiChoice also delayed the Streama to ensure it could hold its own against the best in the world from day one.

The DStv Streama will be competing against Apple TV, various Android-based media boxes, and free software-based alternatives like Plex and Google TV.

“This box has to be really top class,” Shiburi said.

“You’re entering a market where there’s already so many media devices out there. You want to make sure that when this product goes out, it’s top-notch.”

Shiburi did not directly answer questions about pricing at the time.

However, he implied that the Streama would need to launch at a lower price point than the Apple TV, which currently costs anything between R2,999 and R3,999.

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DStv Streama launch plans announced