We just touched on the challenges that Multichoice faces in its home country of South Africa. Tough economic conditions mean more and more users are starting to look at DStv as a luxury.
When you couple that with load-shedding which means most hours of the day people cannot even enjoy that luxury, it is no wonder that growth has stalled in the country.
Multichoice doesn’t really have control over this. Luckily for them, they do have control over the other problem they are facing – competition.
When it comes to entertainment, we are not really starved for choice. The monopoly that Multichoice once held in that space is being shaken.
Entertainment is not limited to television, we have books, music, gaming and various other things. The more we enjoy those activities, the less we sit down to stare at that large rectangle in the living room.
As if that’s not enough, there is now competition on the television front from streaming services, especially Netflix. Multichoice’s answer to Netflix is called Showmax and has been available for years. Showmax is a compelling product, especially for sports lovers, offering what Netflix cannot.
However, Netflix is still the preferred service for many, some because it just sounds cool to say they use Netflix and some because it is cheaper.
Recently Netflix lowered prices in Africa, further putting pressure on Showmax. The standard Netflix plan now costs $3.99 with the mobile plan a mere $2.99 a month. Showmax costs $7.99 for the standard plan and $2.99 for the mobile one.
If sports do not become part of the conversation, Netflix has the edge there.
Price is not the only consideration for users though. Showmax might be more expensive, but it might be worth it if they have better shows. Showmax is looking to bring the heat on the quality of programming battlefront.
I was already impressed by the HBO deal they struck. I am a huge HBO fan and am glad Showmax can offer that bundled in with a standard plan. HBO Max on its own costs $9.99 in the U.S. but for us here in Africa, we get pretty much all that it has to offer plus Showmax for only $7.99.
Multichoice will be sweetening that Showmax deal even more with their latest partnership with NBC NBCUniversal and Sky. NBC has a streaming service called Peacock and some of the notable shows on there are:
- The Office
- Parks and Recreation
- 30 Rock
These shows will be coming to a Showmax plan near you. So, we’re now talking about Showmax, HBO and Peacock all for the price of one. Multichoice is proud of its super aggregation strategy.
To get Peacock, Multichoice had to give up 30% ownership of Showmax to Comcast which owns NBCUniversal. They see this as a positive too, saying now they will be acquiring content from partners rather than suppliers.
This super aggregation does not end with streaming. On the satellite front, DStv has YouTube Premium, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and even Netflix content all bundled in. Well, not bundled in the Peacock-Showmax kind of way.
DStv’s Explorer Ultra decoder supports third-party streaming services. So, users can access the services we mentioned above from this one decoder. Technically, it’s not that Netflix content is now on DStv for example but that you can make out one payment to DStv that includes access to Netflix.
So, DStv can ride on some of Netflix’s success. Nicely done.
What do you think? Do you still have room for DStv in your life? Does the aggregation of Peacock content onto Showmax move the needle for you? Do let us know in the comments section below.