Ster-Kinekor to join South African online video bloodbath

Entertainment content and PlayStation distributor Ster-Kinekor will announce its strategy for online content before Christmas 2014.

That’s the word from CEO of Ster-Kinekor Entertainment Mario Dos Santos in an interview with MyBroadband at rAge 2014.

“We would be remiss, considering our content licenses that we hold, if we didn’t do that,” Dos Santos said.

Ster-Kinekor is the distributor for Sony PlayStation in South Africa, and earlier in the interview Dos Santos was asked about Sony’s own Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited media streaming services.

He said that launching the services has proved challenging because of licensing and rights-related issues.

“Historically, Sony has never had an office in this territory for their content businesses, so these rights are a little bit tricky to manage and I guess that’s the hold-back,” Dos Santos said.

However, there is some hope for South Africa when it comes to Sony’s Video and Music Unlimited services, Dos Santos said.

“At some point those services will be available in this territory too.”

Dos Santos said that his personal view is that the South African market for on-demand content is very limited, and that there will be a “content bloodbath” which will see one or two players emerging as dominant.

“In the next 18 months there will probably be 10 or so players, but from what we’ve seen — even from our content distribution business — is… I foresee only one or two players surviving,” Dos Santos said.

Currently in South Africa there are a number of on-demand video players, two of which launched recently:

  1. DStv offers on-demand content both online and to subscribers of its satellite pay-TV packages via BoxOffice.
  2. Apple’s iTunes lets you rent or buy movies in South Africa and then watch them by streaming or downloading them via the iTunes application.
  3. Vidi has launched a Netflix-like subscription service which incorporates transactional services (i.e. movie rentals) seen in iTunes and BoxOffice.
  4. Altech has launched the Node, which also offers subscription and transactional video on demand services, but over satellite rather than the Internet.

“This market is unfortunately too small to support a whole host of services,” Dos Santos said.

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Ster-Kinekor to join South African online video bloodbath