DStv explains why it runs ads before streams

MultiChoice says it runs pre-roll ads on DStv Stream as it enables it to secure more favourable rights deals with content partners and distribution channels.

Several streaming services in South Africa, including DStv Stream and Amazon Prime Video, run pre-roll ads before playing content, while others like Netflix and Disney+ don’t.

Pre-roll ads are short promotional videos that play before a streaming viewer can watch the content they selected. The length of these videos varies, and some platforms show skippable pre-roll ads.

MyBroadband asked the respective services the reason behind their running and not running pre-roll ads.

DStv said running pre-roll ads allows it to offer higher-quality content to its customers.

“Pre-roll advertising allows us to secure more favourable rights deals with our content partners and distribution networks. This enables us to provide our viewers with the highest-quality content available,” it said.

It explained that by letting growing and established brands run pre-roll ads on its platform, MultiChoice can negotiate more favourable rights deals for exclusive content.

“We offer the capability to help growing and established brands achieve greater awareness of their products and services among our extensive user base,” it said.

MultiChoice added that it has big plans for the DStv Stream service in 2024, including new features and partnerships, which it will announce in due course.

Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video did not answer our questions by publication.

Notably, most of Amazon Prime Video’s pre-roll ads promote its own original streaming content, rather than other brands’ products.

According to Indeed, pre-roll ads offer a range of benefits for advertisers, by guaranteeing views and engaging viewers.

Since they play before a user’s desired content, they have a far greater chance of being seen by more people than post-roll ads, which appear after the content has played through.

While Netflix and Disney+ don’t run any ads on their platforms in South Africa, they have launched ad-supported plans in various countries.

It remains unclear if these ad-supported plans will reach South Africa.

These plans give viewers access to the platforms’ streaming content at a reduced price but require them to watch ads in between.

Disney+ launched its ad-supported plan in the US in late 2022. In November 2023, it expanded the offering to several European countries and Canada.

The ad-supported tier aims to boost subscribers by offering more affordable subscriptions and boost revenue by signing on new customers and from the advertisements themselves.

“The strong momentum of our ad-supported plans in the US demonstrates the importance of providing consumers with choice, flexibility and value,” said Joe Earley, direct-to-consumer president at Disney Entertainment.

Subscribers get access to all the Disney+ benefits, including access to originals and the entire library, the ability to create profiles and stream concurrently, and high-quality video streaming.

Netflix introduced its ad-supported plan in the US and 11 other countries in November 2022.

Subscribers to the plan are subjected to four to five minutes of advertising per hour and get a lower video quality than its higher-priced tiers at 720p.

At the time of the launch, Netflix noted that some of its content wouldn’t be available on the ad-supported plans as it didn’t have the right to show it with commercials.

It launched a feature in early 2024 that rewards ad-supported viewers with ad-free episodes for binge-watching its content.

It currently doesn’t offer any ad-supported plans in South Africa.

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DStv explains why it runs ads before streams