MultiChoice faces tons of competition in the world of streaming, with Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, and Apple TV+ controlling the South African market. Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting to CNBC Africa’s Fifi Peters, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said MultiChoice intends to become the “home of local and sport” to stand a chance against international streaming platforms.
The sudden outburst of cheap(er) streaming services in recent years has persuaded many MultiChoice customers to cancel their DStv accounts. “Once you are disrupted by technology, you must follow suit. If you stay and don’t move with technological changes, you are going to suffer in the end,” he said.
Not much MultiChoice
If all that is true (and it is), how does MultiChoice stand a chance of competing? The answer: Showmax. “Showmax has improved a lot. It is more user-friendly, and the look and feel is much better,” Mawela said. That’s enough to stay in the running, but is it enough to win the race? Probably not.
But the content itself can make a difference if the right money is spent and the content is good. Original content like Reyka – which was nominated for an Emmy – proves that there is some international appeal, at the very least. That seems to be MultiChoice’s way of thinking, too.
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“For us, producing local content is a business imperative. People love to watch themselves and their stories on television. It also helps us to limit our exposure to foreign currency risk. In Africa, we often experience currency depreciation, and we can get an immediate return by producing content in local currencies.”
And it’s worked. Recently, at least. In the last year, Showmax has managed to grow its subscriber base by 50%. Mawela went on to say that competition is welcome and will only enable MultiChoice and Showmax to continue growing. If Showmax continues to offer series like HBO’s The Last of Us (which we reviewed this week), we can’t see it dying so soon.
Source: Daily Investor