- 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.
Flutterwave, 9PSB Partner to Boost Growth of Inclusive Financial Services in Nigeria
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company and Nigeria’s very first payment service bank, 9PSB on Monday entered into a partnership agreement that will help facilitate seamless financial services for Nigerians.
In a joint statement issued by both companies, the partnership seeks to create a seamless payment ecosystem by aggregating and simplifying transactions for banking agents, merchants, and consumers.
The partnership will also support the drive for economic growth through empowerment of the SME sector, entrepreneurs in FinTech and other industries, as well as contribute to the transformation of the informal sector to formal.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, held at the 9PSB head office in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac remarked that the collaboration between 9PSB and Flutterwave represents an important milestone in making banking services accessible to all.
According to her, the partnership supports both companies’ commitment to expand accessibility and serve as last-mile delivery of solutions to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved. She said, “9PSB, being focused on the presence in unserved, rural, and remote areas, has a unique business model that provides Agent Banking as a Service to our partners to drive financial inclusion. Expanding on our promise to deliver relevant products, with this partnership, our existing agents, partners, and customers will have a single point of entry to enjoy various products and services provided by Flutterwave.”
With this partnership, Flutterwave and 9PSB are jointly launching a suite of products to enable other corporate entities, FinTech, technology and other industries to take advantage of the robust end-to-end system available for payments, collections, and transactions for both the banked and financially excluded Nigerians.
Commenting on the choice of 9PSB as its settlement bank, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola noted that both companies share the same vision and are committed to one goal of powering seamless financial services. “At Flutterwave, we believe in an ecosystem of shared value that transforms and impacts society. We are showcasing the power of strategic partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration in advancing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem,” he said.
A paper published by the CBN—Financial Inclusion in Nigeria; Issues and Challenges, admits that there is global consensus on the importance of financial inclusion due to its key role in bringing integrity and stability into an economy’s financial system as well as its role in fighting poverty in a sustainable manner. The partnership between 9PSB and Flutterwave keys into various calls for interconnectivity and interoperability amongst stakeholders in the financial sector in accelerating the country’s financial inclusion drive to create prosperity and grow the economy.
HealthPlus Launches Digital ePharmacy and Access To Doctors
HealthPlus Limited, the largest and fastest-growing pharmacy chain across West Africa is set to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry with the launch of Nigeria’s first ever e-Pharmacy. Nigerians can also now access a doctor or pharmacist instantly at a click.
Through the digitization of the Pharmacy and retail services, HealthPlus will now be transformed into a fully automated one-stop shop for Pharmacy Services Telemedicine Services Laboratory Services and, Beauty Consultation Services.
From the fully automated and interactive website, Nigerians can now access all the pharmacy services and consult a doctor right from the comfort of their homes or a click from their mobile phones.
According to Chidi Okoro, Chief Transformation Officer of HealthPlus Nigeria Limited, “we noticed a significant surge in online Pharmacy orders, and many customers organically resort to purchasing medicines online and getting them delivered at home. It is now considered not just the more convenient option, but the safer option as well.”
HealthPlus’ first-ever ePharmacy is in response to this shift and give Nigerians quicker access to the country’s best pharmaceutical care,
HealthPlus’ ePharmacy aims to deliver a user-friendly, all-inclusive online experience, that provides access to professional health care services using any device. HealthPlus ePharmacy is truly a ‘one-stop shop’ experience for health care services including telemedicine and laboratory services in partnership with healthcare providers such as MeCure.
In explaining the specialist nature of the ePharmacy platform, Chief Transformation Officer, Chidi Okoro also remarked that “our intention is to become the leading point of care for medicine use review, prescriptions management and pharmacist consultation services, by providing seamless end to end user experience. We will also be constantly updating our content with helpful information, articles, blogs, newsletters and company announcements.”
Amongst the new features, such as the “Speak To A Pharmacist” chat button on the site, the ePharmacy platform is interactive and gives better access to foster improved communication with our patients and customers. ‘
Afsane Jetha, CEO of Alta Semper Capital LLP, HealthPlus’s private equity investment partner, believes that this is another great stride in improving healthcare delivery in Nigeria by providing access to high-quality yet affordable medical and beauty supplies through a new and innovative platform. “We remain strongly committed to supporting the company strategically and financially in the years to come,” he assured.
YouTube To Generate Over $280 Million From US Premium Subscribers In 2021
YouTube Premium is starting to generate sustainable revenues from its paid ad-free subscription services. It took more than six years since relaunch to see significant growth.
A recent report projects that with an estimated 23.6 million unique users by the end of 2021, revenues are expected to climb to $282.96 million in the US alone, representing an impressive +18% Year-Over-Year (YoY) growth.
Premium subscriptions are projected to top 25 million unique users by the end of next year, exceeding $300 million in revenues. By the end of 2024, totalling $334.52 million with nearly 28 million sign-ups. The projected revenues are expected to keep a steady growth after 2023.
Video streaming services are gaining popularity, growth accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic
In addition to promising growth in the US, YouTube Premium services reached 50 million subscribers globally since September, beating an important milestone. YouTube Premium’s recent success can be attributed to both Covid-related, as well as non-Covid-related factors.
The global video streaming market is expected to expand at a 21% growth rate between 2021 and 2028 – highly driven by the increase in smartphone and internet usage. Live-streaming, music streaming, the adoption of cloud-based solutions could all be contributing factors.
The HelpCenter app’s co-founder Ernestas Petkevicius commented on the continuous growth of YouTube Premium:
“YouTube is playing in its own category. I do not see any competition for user-generated content which is now the main driver of tutoring, know-how, and news/comments. YouTube has lots of quality content and an army of creators who rely on the platform as their main source of income. Music services and ad-free mode are only an extra catalyst for revenue growth. YouTube has no competitors when it comes to these services, therefore, the revenue numbers potentially could be much bigger.”
In terms of market shares, 39% of the video streaming market is found to be driven by the US and Canada, which would explain the US-driven revenue growth of 18% Year-over-Year (YoY). What is more, subscription-model accounted for 43% revenue share of the total video streaming services in 2020.
Music streaming is another possible factor for revenue growth from premium sign-ups. Music streaming market in isolation is expected to reach a good 9.8% growth between 2021 and 2027.
And even though video streaming was popular prior to the pandemic, the extreme acceleration in growth has been due to the COVID-19 crisis. As many countries declared nationwide lockdowns, people stayed home more, thus increasing the use of digital services like social media, as well as online video streaming. Consumer engagement on social media video sharing platforms like YouTube grew significantly.
Whether this growth is driven by the all-encompassing features (ad-free videos, YouTube TV, music streaming for $11.99), changes in the consumer behavior, or technological advancements, revenues from YouTube Premium subscriptions in the US are expected to keep growing at a steady rate.
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