Black, Cell C’s answer to streaming services like Netflix and (more local) Showmax will shut down on 31 December 2019. The streaming service sent an SMS to current customers saying that after a ‘review of our product portfolio’, it’ll suspend the service.
Speaking to TechCentral, the company said, “Following a review of the company’s product portfolio and decision to redirect expenditure to revenue-generating initiatives, Cell C can confirm that it will decommission its streaming content service, Black, on 31 December 2019.”
Dark times ahead
It sounds like the service won’t allow any new users to sign up from now on, which makes sense. Already a customer? Don’t sweat, yo. Existing customers will receive a voucher for three months’ free access to the Showmax streaming service.
This comes at a time where streaming has become the new norm, and competition is intense. To compete with international services, local providers need to invest in original content — something Showmax has been doing in order to make its product more locally relevant. But making original content costs money — something Cell C can’t afford to throw around at the moment.
Cell C has invested well over R1 billion in Black, according to TechCentral. But the suspension of its streaming service comes at a time where the company is facing dire financial straits. So, ultimately, this is a good move for the mobile operator. Let’s all focus on what we do best, ‘kay?