Viu, a Singapore-based video streaming service that operates in 22 countries, is officially entering the South African market. The company has a launch event planned for 28 February, but has already partnered with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to officially license local content and make is available to South Africans.
This over-the-top (OTT) video service owned by PCCW Media and Vuclip, adds to the growing list of video-on-demand (VOD) services available to South Africa, which includes Showmax, Netflix, Kwezi, Cell C’s Black and DEOD. The service is already up and running locally, and users can sign up through the Viu website and app (available on iOS and Android) and get a 30-day trial.
Through the partnership with the SABC, Viu has exclusive digital rights to two SABC titles, Uzalo and Skeem Saam. Until Viu officially launches locally, the two shows will still be available to stream on YouTube. After 28 February 2019, however, Viu will have exclusive screening rights.
Is local lekker enough?
They’ll also have licensing rights on 18 shows from the SABC catalogue, which includes The Docket, Yizo Yizo, Single Galz, Taryn and Sharon, Ngempela, The Sober Companion, When We Were Black, and Emoyeni.
“The SABC is proud to have partnered with Viu SA on this exciting new initiative. As a broadcaster, it is imperative that we continuously move with the times and ensure that our programmes are available through VOD platforms,” says Madoda Mxakwe, SABC’s group chief executive officer.
After the 30-day trial, Via costs R70/month. Showmax (which also offers a lot of local content) and the lowest-tier Netflix subscription both cost R100, so Viu could have a tough time convincing those users already committed to a streaming platform to add another to their basket.
Obviously Viu’s big play is the catalogue of local fare on offer, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’ll be a big enough draw card to woo cash-strapped South Africans.