DStv subscriber numbers: Select, Compact growth beat Premium

Naspers released its annual results for the year ending March 2012 today (27 June 2012), reporting that DStv has received 492,667 new subscribers in South Africa. DStv added 191,766 in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Naspers report, this represents 14% growth in South Africa, the majority of which came from cheaper bouquets.

Of the 492,667 new South African subscribers that signed up between March 2011 and March 2012, 3% opted for the Premium bouquet, 27% chose Compact, and 40% went with a Select package.

DStv’s Personal Video Recording (PVR) service saw 37% growth, Naspers reported.

As of March 2012, 39% of the DStv subscriber base was on the Premium bouquet, 35% on Compact, and 26% on other packages.

DStv subscriber mix - March 2012
DStv subscriber mix: March 2012

When compared to the previous year’s statistics this paints an interesting picture, especially in light of survey findings recently released by the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF).

Earlier this month the SAARF reported that according to its Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS) the number of households on a DStv Compact subscription had surpassed DStv Premium.

The stats from Naspers show that Premium is still in the lead, but it should be noted that the company’s annual report reflects its subscriber distribution as of March 2012. SAARF’s stats were presented as the January to June 2012 TAMS update.

Decoder subsidies, BoxOffice, programming costs

In addition to DStv’s subscriber numbers, Naspers also reported that advertising growth was 18% year-on-year, and that there was an increased investment in decoder subsides.

It also indicated in its presentation to investors that the DStv BoxOffice movie rental service was off to a good start with 40% of PVRs registered. In September 2011 Naspers reported that 26% of PVRs had registered within 3 months of the launch of the service.

Programming costs for the previous financial year increased to over R6 billion from just under R5,5 billion.

DStv subscriber and programming costs growth - March 2012
DStv subscriber and programming costs growth: March 2012

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DStv subscriber numbers: Select, Compact growth beat Premium