Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Founder Of iROKOtv Calls Rok Acquisition “Largest Media Deal In West African History”

Jason Njoku’s iROKOtv is one of the most successful African tech companies and even fewer companies on the African content to get Video on Demand right. Recently, ROK Studio, which made content for iROKOtv was acquired by Canal+ for an undisclosed fee. The deal is obviously a huge deal and Njoku shared that it’s the […]

African VOD service ShowMax partners Vodacom SA, launches low-cost bouquet with local content focus

ShowMax, the Video on Demand (VOD) service that’s owned by DStv’s parent company Naspers, has launched a new lower-priced service available exclusively to subscribers on South African mobile network Vodacom. It’s called ShowMax Select and it offers subscribers unlimited access to a catalogue of TV shows, movies, kids shows, and documentaries more (than 10,000 TV show […]

Is DStv cheaper than online streaming in Zimbabwe? – Here’s why that cost comparison isn’t so simple.

Is DStv cheaper than online streaming? – Here’s why that cost comparison isn’t that simple.

Strive Masiyiwa “didn’t seem to grasp” Iroko’s VOD vision, says Nigerian startup founder, Njoku

In an article dedicated to demonstrating that it’s taking Africa’s richest people too long to grasp the opportunity of investing in internet ventures, Nigerian Video on Demand (VOD) entrepreneur Jason Njoku says Strive Masiyiwa didn’t seem to understand their VOD business when he spoke to him last year. Jason Njoku founded and leads what is now one of Africa’s largest VOD companies. Called […]

Econet’s DStv competitor Kwesé TV now available in Zimbabwe

Kwesé TV, the pay-TV service and DStv competitor from the telecoms company Econet is now available in Zimbabwe.

It’s not just DStv, here are some of the other major African pay TV services

The market might be dominated by MultiChoice but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. In fact, as the market leader has lost some subscribers in the past year, that change also suggests that subscribers have alternatives.

Netflix open to offline viewing as it responds to realities of broadband outside US

Netflix, the American VOD (Video On Demand) service that has made its mark as global internet TV option is “keeping an open mind” to the possibility of introducing offline access for its content.

CEO of iROKOtv “Africa’s Netflix” shares thoughts on Netflix entering the continent

Jason Njoku, the larger than life personality behind iROKOtv, recently shared his own perspective on what Netflix in Africa really means for iROKOtv. Part of his blog post touched on how iROKOtv isn’t going to whither away because Netflix is in Africa.

iROKO & CANAL+ GROUP partner to introduce mobile TV to French speaking Africa

iROKOtv, the Nigerian subscription Video on Demand (sVOD) service that only recently launched a global content distribution arm, has announced that is has entered into a multi-million Euro deal with the CANAL + GROUP, the largest French pay TV provider which has a leading focus on Francophone Africa.

Opportunities for internet providers as Naspers eyes bigger VOD market

As the proprietor of the largest pay TV service in Sub-Saharan Africa through Multichoice, this huge focus on VOD is reflective of what the future holds and how the company needs to adapt to the next wave of video entertainment. Naspers is out to ensure that it doesn’t lose its firm hold on the market by betting on the next big thing through Showmax.

MTN’s $5,2 billion problem, City of Harare Online, iROKO Global, Liquid in VOD

We discuss the MTN $5,2 billion penalty in this episode of the podcast, while also touching on other highlights in tech this week like iROKO Global’s launch, the City of Harare doing business online and Liquid Telecom buying a stake in a VOD company.

Advantages of B2B model for VOD startups more apparent as iROKO goes Global

In a sense, that is what content curators chasing the iROKO model might have to consider as well. The real revenues that warrant praise for a growing demand for African content are yet to be realised from a subscription based model in our environment.

ONTAPtv VOD service launch in SA displays strategy built for the rest of Africa

As much as a strategy used by ONTAPtv has been earmarked for the South African market, it has a fit in the rest of Africa. In Zimbabwe, that sort of approach could work, assuming that the VOD provider is willing to identify and craft the right sort of partnerships with public WiFI service providers.

As MTN zero-rates data for VOD here’s why other providers might follow suit

It was recently reported that MTN South Africa, the mobile network operator, zero-rated data for MTN FrontRow. This is the operator’s Video On Demand (VOD) service. This has implications on what might work for VOD services in Africa aligned to broadband providers.

Showmax to enable Game of Thrones downloads for African market

A report from Bloomberg cites a source who shared plans by Showmax to enable downloading of its content which includes movies and highly popular series like Game of Thrones. This is supposed to be a way of addressing the challenges the African market has with the high cost of internet and the sparse distribution of fixed internet solutions.

Death of Wabona gives glimpse of jungle called the African VOD market

The news that Wabona, an African content Video On Demand service shut down was a low moment for African tech and media startups. a number of aspects related to their model have stood out as weaknesses for a while now. Theirs represent most of the challenges in setting up a Pan-African VOD service. However, in the lessons, there are some opportunities that could also emerge for Wabona or other VOD services.

African VOD service Wabona shutting down

One of Africa’s video on demand (VOD) services, Wabona, has just announced that it is shutting down. In a statement that has been circulated to its stakeholders and shared on Facebook, the team behind Wabona has pointed out how they will be closing shop in the next few days.

(April Fools) DStv reduces bouquet prices as MultiChoice buckles under pressure

If you make the right amount of noise your cries just might be heard. Well, that’s the lesson from MultiChoice anyway. The media giant has reduced the prices of its DStv bouquets across all African markets. With effect from the 1st of May 2015, the prices of all DStv packages will be drastically reduced. Some packages […]

Forget Netflix, ZBC is launching Web TV

The digital migration deadline is less than 3 months away and while there are a lot of issues around what that will mean for local content creation and broadcasting, the unanimous agreement is that it is a very positive step that will help local broadcasting to at least catch up with modern trends. One of […]

As Channel O closes, the opportunity for good quality local content is highlighted

Nothing lasts forever, especially on TV. Who would have thought that something that had become a permanent feature of sorts, Channel O Africa, would be calling it a day at the end of this month. For us in Southern Africa, this doesn’t concern us directly. What’s being cut off is the feed for the rest […]

If Netflix is coming to Zimbabwe, this is its real competition, and it’s not DStv

Zimbabweans love great television and movies. How else would you explain the way DVDs have become a permanent part of street-side vendor tapestry? Other than vegetables and rush-hour basic commodities, these DVDs only have to compete with WhatsApp vendors and phone repair services for more attention. It actually shows how big a potential market exists […]

Can Aflix compete in Africa’s (now cut throat) VOD Space? Here’s what we know

  Recently, Video On Demand has been making some moves across the continent and you would think it’s the next big thing in Africa after the Telecoms revolution. In just a space of two weeks, South Africa went from zero to two legal VOD competitors to MultiChoice’s Box Office. First was Vidi, a streaming VOD […]

The Alibaba success story: 5 lessons for African startups from Jack Ma

Last Friday Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 Billion through a successful initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. This gave the tech startup a market capitalisation of $230 billion, a value that exceeded giants like Facebook, eBay and Amazon. For anyone tracking this Chinese internet business this looks like the final […]

Rocket Internet to raise almost $1billion in IPO for expansion

Rocket Internet, the German company builder and incubator recently confirmed that it would be launching an Initial Public Offering (IPO) later this year on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Rocket Internet, which focuses on emerging markets and has a significant footprint in Africa  has already established a presence in the Zimbabwean tech space through online real […]

Startup TV Yangu wants Africa to tell its own story through video

We all love great video content. It has an even greater impact if it’s got local relevance. Because of this appetite more and more local content creators are churning out productions but they face the challenge of limited online places where all this content can be consumed. TV Yangu, a local video on demand service […]

Rocket Internet is bad for the African tech startup ecosystem, says Njoku

Jason Njoku, the Nigerian co-founder of iROKO Partners, speaks his mind. Often enough and candid enough he has enough people criticising him, especially in Nigeria itself. Take this piece he wrote in January this year for example in which he decries the lack of local internet company champions in Nigeria, a problem which, he said, had created ample space for the likes of […]

Latest Techzim podcast: Econet results, smartphone penetration, iROKO TV

Here is our latest Techzim Podcast were we discussed the Econet Financial results, Steward Bank losses, iRoko TV, Rocket Internet and many more. We really got into a heated debated on the 10% smartphone penetration figures released by Econet. We generally agreed that the 10% figure is flawed but it still begged the question, what […]

Is JAM TV the future of TV?

At the recent JumpStart Challenge event Collin Franco, Utande’s CTO quoted an interesting stat, based on research that he had conducted about a year ago. He stated that 98% of Zimbabwe’s Internet traffic was from outside Zimbabwe. The paucity of ‘local content’ online is not unique to Zimbabwe. Ory Okolloh has noted before that of […]