DStv on-demand video plans

There are DStv subscribers that hardly use the pay-TV broadcaster’s linear service anymore, favouring the transactional video-on-demand (VOD) and Catch-up services instead.

This is according to Aletta Alberts, head of content at MultiChoice, who was part of a panel discussion during a recent Discovery Networks event held in Johannesburg.

Alberts went on to explain that “people are watching 140%”, meaning that they are watching more content on their TVs in combination with their connected devices than when viewing was limited to only television sets.

Given the popularity of on-demand video and the statement that some subscribers hardly use their linear service anymore, we asked Alberts if DStv is considering a VOD-only service for users that don’t want to subscribe to satellite broadcast services, or something similar to the season passes iTunes offers for TV series.

Aletta Alberts
Aletta Alberts

Alberts said that they don’t have such a service on the cards yet, but that they are planning on launching a “connected box” DStv decoder in Q1 2013.

A MultiChoice spokesperson offered more details on the topic, saying that they “realise that the appetite for video on demand services in SA is quite large” and that they are in the process of investigating other video-on-demand offerings that they could provide to a wider base of Internet users in SA.

Alberts also emphasised that subscribers aren’t abandoning linear viewing in favour of “time-shifted” on-demand content.

Subscribers still watch linear sport content and sometimes tune in for the latest episode of a show they watched on DStv Catch-up that they don’t want to wait for, Alberts said.

“It’s like the one thing is driving the other.”

Kasia Kieli, president and managing director for Discovery Networks for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa affirmed Alberts’ view that on-demand and regular linear viewing are complementary.

“Over the last 10 years the time spent in front of TV screens has increased,” she said.

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DStv on-demand video plans