We don’t often consult fortune-tellers, but when we do, the future isn’t always peachy. At least, that’s the case for Multichoice. According to a new report by television intelligence firm Digital TV Research, DStv will lose half a million subscribers and R3 billion in revenue in South Africa by 2027.
The Africa Pay TV report, published this week, details the expected future of television services in the continent over the coming years. While Multichoice’s market share will continue to grow in most of Africa, South Africa presents a different scenario.
DStv’s fortune is clear
South Africa will have about 9.2 million Pay-TV subscribers by 2027. DStv will reportedly account for a whopping 8.4 million of that – so it will remain the go-to pay-TV offering in the country. As of September 2021, DStv reported 8.9 million South African subscribers in its interim financial report, which means it’ll lose 500,000 subscribers come 2027 if the figures are accurate.
It’s believed that the pandemic helped bolster DStv over the past year. The company saw an overall increase of about 200,000 subscribers between March 2021 and September 2021. The service is losing Premium subscribers in droves, but making up a lot of those in the lower-end segments.
Although the broadcaster has bled high-end Premium package users over the past few years, its total subscriber count has risen due to increased uptake in the low-end and mid-market segments. People still want to watch TV in South Africa. They just want to pay less.
This is likely why there’s an expected exodus to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Multichoice has its own offering in the form of Showmax, which has proven to be popular in the country. But there’s also the imminent launch of Disney+ in South Africa. This may yank some licensed Disney content from Multichoice’s platforms, which means they’ll only have to rerun a handful of films on a daily basis [/s].