At the launch of Kwese TV last night in Harare by Econet it was announced that subscribers to Kwese TV will be able to visit any ‘Kwese Free Wi-Fi Zone’ and watch the media service from the comfort of their phones for no additional cost. This will be for a “limited period” only and will only be available to active (paid up) subscribers.
Econet Media Zimbabwe head Dorothy Zimuto stated that the company will be available from as many as 570 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country, presumably, these will be powered by ZOL spots as well as the kombis installed with Wi-Fi.
This is super exciting (for those who are Kwese TV subscribers of course) as viewers will not need to worry about accessing their favourite shows at a fixed location or using their own data. Free is an exciting word and I’m sure subscribers will be pleased to note this and may be seen using the hotspots more often.
Here are some other reasons why I think this is a move in the right direction from Kwese:
- Users will become more accustomed to knowing where Kwese Wi-Fi hotspots are located and how to connect to them. This means that the incentive (free access) should be a strong puller to make viewers go through the learning curve happily.
- Econet sim cards will stay active. One of the steps in logging in to the Wi-Fi hotspot is to enter a one-time-password that is sent to your phone. This would mean that subscribers will have to at least keep their Econet sim card active, something that they may already be doing to access Ecocash services.
- Being able to access ‘TV on the go’ when one has an active subscription at over 570 different points around the country is a strong reason for someone to pay their $29/month subscription.
- Users will become accustomed to knowing what content is available on Kwese TV and this way will have them making a more informed decision come the end of the month when they need to renew their subscription.
- Kwese recently announced that viewers can have 4 extra devices from where they can watch Kwese using their active subscription. This will aid viewers to sign up for the 4 free extra devices and fully exploit the service.
From the way Kwese has been aggressively pushing their service over the last couple of months, it can be seen that the Strive Masiyiwa-owed business is not resting on their laurels.
Recently they’ve announced that Kwese TV decoder holders can still watch 5 free channels even if they haven’t paid up. They’ve been on a massive onboarding drive offering an enticing initial starter package of $49 as well as the ability for one to use any type of local payment options (well, besides bitcoin for now).
Multichoice should be watching this (if they want to maintain market dominance) as Kwese TV goes bare knuckles in the fight, doing what they can to make sure that subscribers keep Kwese as their default solution for TV entertainment. To their credit, Multichoice still hold the broadcasting rights to the English Premier League at least for another 5 years. Soccer is a major lure for viewers in Africa.