- 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.
Glo Enriches Customers’ Experience With Glo Café
In line with its commitment to delivering value, National Telecommunications Company, Globacom has unveiled Glo café, a self-care application that offers customers a convenient self-service channel to manage their accounts.
Globacom, in a statement in Lagos, said that the newly repackaged app was designed to unify Glo services under one platform, thus empowering Glo subscribers to manage their mobile accounts hassle-free.
“It is a one-stop entertainment shop with unfettered access to a plethora of content covering video, music, sports, comedy, celebrity news and gist. The Glo Café is available for FREE on Web, Google Play Store and Apple App Store”. Glo said.
The company explained that its extensive research into the needs of customers, their understanding and requirements for a simple and time-efficient platform offering customer support underscored the need for the development of the app.
It added that “The launch of Glo Café is part of our efforts to deliver the best customer experience in the digital space and empower customers with a convenient, non-intrusive and 24/7 available channel of support. The self-care app is a simple, secure and convenient way for Glo mobile customers to access a whole host of functionalities- buying, sharing and gifting of data, borrowing credit and data, recharging any Glo account and paying postpaid bills, accessing Value Added Services (VAS), among other things”.
Glo customers will also have access to a world-class gaming portfolio, and easy access to customer support – including direct contact to call center executives, raising service-related requests, chatting with agents, etc, in addition to entertainment content including top-rated music, videos, comedy and sports.
Adebola Sanni: FinTech, Solution to Africa’s Financial Inclusion Problems
Financial inclusion and provision of sustainable energy is at a turning point in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria. With a population of over 200 million, about 50 per cent of the total population live in rural areas, and only 39 per cent of those living in rural communities have access to electricity. This is in addition to over 40 per cent of the entire population who are financially excluded or underserved.
However, the proliferation of digital financial services in Nigeria – powered largely by growth in fin-tech companies – has catalysed an unparalleled increase in the current number of people with access to formal financial services, while further opening up opportunities to address power supply challenges across rural communities; a major feat instrumental towards achieving the broad Sustainable Development Goal 7. With over 200 fin-tech companies in operation within its borders, Africa’s largest economy has found a way to target and capture over 40 per cent of its financially excluded or underserved population.
In a conversation with Adebola Sanni, co-founder, Infibranches Technologies and the Group Head, Business Development & Partnerships at Swifta Systems and Services, she highlighted the growing awareness of the transformative power of fin-tech and how if properly harnessed can help address both problems of financial inclusion and the more pressing sustainability challenges in the area of affordable and reliable power supply needed to drive the growth of local economies.
“Fintech has increasingly provided innovative ways to address existing gaps in the availability, accessibility and use of finance particularly among the unbanked population. By leveraging the proliferation of technology, agent banking and mobile money solutions now offer affordable, instant, and reliable transactions, savings, credit across rural communities where no bank had ever established a branch. Similarly, about 75 million Nigerians who mostly fall within the financially underserved or excluded demography live without reliable electricity access as the existing electrical grid serves largely the country’s urban population.”
“We understand how pivotal the provision of sustainable power is to driving growth of local economies in rural communities and by extension the need to boost financial services penetration across these communities. These are both enablers for catalysing positive transformation and driving sustainable economic progress across the country.”
Adebola, a leading business strategist and technology consultant also said, “To address these challenges, we believe distributed energy solutions that leverage digital payments will open up opportunities to reach the underserved market at low cost.”
We partnered NGOs, including Shell Foundation, USAID, to extend agent networks together with off grid energy providers in 2019 where we set up about 200 agent locations across Nigeria, identifying communities across the rural and peri-urban regions with needs for both power and financial services. We also partnered renewable energy companies such as Green Light Planet (Sun King), D.Light Solar, Sosai, PAS BBoxx, Konexa to set up payment points necessary to expand access to highly subsidized power for such communities.
“This solution provides affordable home solar systems to rural communities with an affordable and convenient payment structure where beneficiaries pay as low as N500 (less than $2 dollar a month) which allows for people to pay off the cost in a year to fully own the solar equipment.”
Till date, over 400,000 people have been impacted across 22 States and 108 local government areas in Nigeria through various initiatives supporting energy access especially in rural areas. The addition of the ‘Solar Power Naija project’ by the Federal government initiative under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and managed by REA, for off-grid communities, will further expand energy access to 25 million individuals through the provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) or connection to a mini grid. This is a good initiative to help expand energy access faster.
One of the success stories underpinning how providing innovative energy solutions can transform communities is the Havenhills mini-grid project in Kigbe community located in Kwali Local Government Area Council, Abuja. Before executing the project, the Kigbe community with geographical limitations had no electricity as they were completely off-grid. The project upon completion delivered a 20KW solar enabled mini-grid through 3km 3-phases and 1-phase grid lines to 145 homes, enabling them to power basic electrical appliances such as light bulbs, fans and TVs. The project also supports 5 local businesses including a barbing salon, grocery store and viewing center.
As part of creating sustainable economic empowerment, Adebola Sanni, who has strong passion for financial inclusion and energy access, has facilitated the implementation of a pioneer digital infrastructure that supports micro insurance, pension and savings providers and the first API infrastructure that aggregates renewable energy products and services making them accessible to any payment service providers, banks and other financial and non-financial institutions.
She is vastly experienced in driving growth, creating market focused products and providing innovative solutions to businesses in Financial Technology, eCommerce, Telco and Private/Publics sectors as well creating partnership opportunities for growth.
Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value Drops 13 Percent in Q1 2021 Despite Lockdown
Jumia, Africa’s leading online marketplace, recorded a 13 percent decline in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from €189.6 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to €165.0 million in the first quarter of 2021.
This was despite Amazon, Alibaba and other global e-commerce companies posting high GMV due to the surge in online orders because of ongoing movement restrictions in most nations.
Annual Active Consumers rose by 6.9 percent to 6.9 million in the quarter under review, up from 6.4 million in the same quarter of 2020, the leading e-commerce stated in its financial statements.
Orders grew by 3 percent year on year to 6.6 million from 6.4 million posted in the corresponding quarter of 2021.
Gross profit expanded by 10.9 percent from €18.4 million in Q1 2020 to €20.4 million in Q1 2021. While gross profit after fulfillment expense rose by 149.5 percent to €6.2 million, up from €2.5 million achieved in Q1 2021.
Sales and advertising expense moderated to €8.1 million in the quarter under review, representing a decline of 9.1 percent from €8.9 million posted in Q1 2020.
Technology and content expense stood at €6.9 million in Q1 2021, below €7.2 million in Q1 2020. G&A expense, excluding SBC improved from €24.4 million decline posted in Q1 2020 to €20.3 million decline in Q1 2021.
Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) also improved by 24.2 percent to a €27 million decline in Q1 2021 from €35.6 million.
Similarly, operating loss improved by 23 percent from €43.7 million posted in Q1 2020 to €33.7 million in Q1 2021.
Commenting on the company’s performance Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Jumia, said “Our first quarter results reflect solid progress towards profitability. The drivers remain consistent: selective and disciplined usage growth, gradual monetization and continued cost discipline. The first quarter of 2021 was the sixth consecutive quarter of positive gross profit after fulfillment expense, which reached €6.2 million, more than doubling year-over-year, while Adjusted EBITDA loss contracted by 24% year-over-year, reaching €27.0 million”.
“Our strategy to increase our exposure to everyday product categories continues to yield positive results, enhancing the relevance of our marketplace for consumers. We are making further inroads in payment and fintech with 37% of Orders in the first quarter of 2021 completed using JumiaPay. Last but not least, we have raised over $570 million over the past six months, strengthening our balance sheet and increasing our strategic flexibility.
“We are confident we have all the right ingredients to continue to build a growing business across both our e-commerce and fintech activities.”
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