- Mixed Grill for Multichoice Subscribers
MultiChoice has announced that it will lower monthly DStv subscription fees from today in several African countries where the DStv prices were out of line with the average and will add a temporary Harry Potter pop-up channel from M-Net.
DStv will also add several TV channels to lower-tiered bouquets in several African countries and make more soccer viewing available on SuperSport channels given to its lower-tiered offerings, to boost the content offering for cheaper DStv packages and to add content value.
Several countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi and others will see a significant reduction in monthly DStv subscription fees from today. But curiously its home country, South Africa as well as Nigeria which are also its two biggest markets, are excluded from this gesture.
The DStv price reduction comes as tough economic conditions facing consumers and greater competition in the pay-TV market from rivals such as StarTimes, EcoNet, Zuku and others, have seen the pan-African pay-TV operator decide to lower prices to try and stem the tide of MultiChoice Africa customers cancelling subscriptions.
In Nigeria DStv prices are not lowered but some new local channels such as ROK are being added and several channels previously only accessible to DStv Premium subscribers are being opened to lower packages to add bigger content value to cheaper subscription options.
There are indications that hundreds of thousands of the subscribers of the pay TV firm might not renew their monthly subscription if they are exempted from the fee reduction because, as they argued, what is sauce for the geese is also sauce for the gander. The firm is alleged to be making an average of about N8 billion from its over 4 million subscribers every month in Nigeria and about N80 billion as turnover per year.
MultiChoice Africa Chief Executive Officer Tim Jacobs, said the dollar rate is affecting the pay TV subscription rates. “Over the years, our currencies have devalued, sometimes there has been volatility then they strengthen but, generally speaking. Our currencies have devalued as a continent against the US dollar,” he said.
In Uganda, it announced about 15 per cent cut in subscription fees, in a move to entice more customers amid weak economic realities.
“We are facing hard economic times not just as a company but also our customers,” MultiChoice Uganda Public Relations and Communications Manager, Ms Tina Wamala, said.
“This significant price drop, coupled with the major boost in entertainment value across all DStv bouquets demonstrates our commitment to ensuring DStv customers receive the best possible access to great entertainment and outstanding value,” its General Manager, Charles Hamya,, explained in a statement.
Under the reduction regime, DStv Premium in Malawi is down to K55,600 from K61,100, Compact Plus is at K35,700 from K42,000, Compact is at K22,300 from K23,800 while Family is reduced to K12,700 from K16,700.
To add more value, DStv Premium has been added with eight HD channels including latest and exclusive first run movies, drama, comedy and sport.
“MultiChoice’s priority is to put customers at the heart of our business and that is why the whole of this year, despite the economic challenges the country is facing, we did not increase our subscription prices.
“It’s been 20 years that we have been doing business in Malawi and we strive to do business differently and that is why tonight’s press briefing is named ‘Business Unusual’,” its Marketing Manager, Chimwemwe Nyirenda said during a press briefing at Atmosphere Restaurant in Blantyre.
Its General Manager, Stephen Knight, said the significant price drop, coupled with major boost in entertainment value across all DStv bouquets, demonstrates commitment to ensuring DStv customers receive the best possible access to great entertainment and outstanding value.
“These changes are not only a defining moment in our MultiChoice story, but also a defining moment in the African Entertainment landscape and we are proud to be pushing hard as we can to delight every television entertainment fan in Africa,” Knight said.
A source who claimed anonymity said the company decided to slash fees in the countries after it observed that about 40 per cent of its subscribers had refused to renew their subscriptions due to economic recession that has been biting harder in those countries.
“The stiff DStv price hikes put subscribers under pressure in those countries and we have lost about 300,000 subscribers in the countries in one year as people could no longer afford the service or no longer saw it as valuable enough. When reviewing our packages and prices in each country, we take into account local dynamics such as inflation, content costs, foreign exchange rates, local taxes and overheads required for each business.
“To compensate Nigerian viewers, we will introduce more amazing channels to the existing entertaining programmes. We have also embarked on an aggressive marketing and follow up innovation to ensure most of our subscribers do not abandon their bouquets. We call subscribers a few days to the expiration of their subscriptions to remind them about the reasons they should not miss out of the global village,” said the source.
New TV channels such as Eva+, a sister channel to the telenovela channel Eva, will be added to DStv with several channels that will be upgraded to high definition (HD) quality similar to South Africa.
While DStv Premium subscribers across the continent including South Africa can watch the new pop-up M-Net channel M-Net Movies BlockParty on DStv channel 109, MultiChoice in a statement says DStv subscribers can also “look forward to more exciting pop-up channels in the coming months like the M-Net Movies Harry Potter pop-up channel which will run from 4 to 14 November”.
The Harry Potter pop-up channel will show all of the Harry Potter movies before the debut in theatres of the first movie of the new spin-off film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that is scheduled for a worldwide release on November 18.
South Africa, Nigeria
MultiChoice in South Africa says South African and Nigerian DStv subscribers won’t see a price reduction and that the price of DStv Premium in South Africa compared favourably with the pricing in other African countries.
“We review the DStv prices once a year when we do our business planning – our prices for next year will be announced before April 1, 2017.
“When reviewing our packages and pricing in each country, we take into account local dynamics such as inflation, content costs, foreign exchange rates, local taxes and overheads required for each business.
“We’ve done a lot of research into what pay-TV costs in other parts of the world, and we believe that DStv offers good value for money in the countries in which it operates.
“In South Africa, we’ve implemented a number of cost-saving options for our customers – those who pay annually receive one month free, and our Price Lock packages enable customers to freeze their package price for two years,” MultiChoice South Africa said.
Fee increase for Nigeria coming
Instead of a reduction, the General Manager, Sales and Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Maputo, has warned that subscription fees may go up if the foreign exchange (forex) problem facing the country is not addressed. He spoke in Lagos while unveiling new content upgrade on all DStv bouquets.
Maputo said currently, DStv is trying as much as possible to avoid any price increase but instead concentrating on upgrading its contents across all bouquets.
However, he said if government fails to curtail the forex crisis which has made it more expensive for the company to buy foreign content, especially English premiership among others, it might be forced to consider price increase.
“Most of the content we buy such as EPL and others from abroad are dominated in pounds, dollars. So, we are not only operating in the market but also responding to the market. At this stage, we are trying as much as we can to avoid any price increase but if there is nothing done to curtail the forex issues, we might be forced to increase (our subscription fees),” he warned.
Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup
Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.
Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.
In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.
Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.
Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.
Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.
E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion
The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.
Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%
Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:
“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”
Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.
To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.
Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales
Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.
Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.
China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap
Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.
According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.
Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.
However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.
Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.
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