If you can’t beat them, join them. MultiChoice, Africa’s biggest pay-TV group, is currently holding talks with American media-services provider, production and streaming company Netflix and Amazon that will soon let users access these streaming services from their DSTV set-top boxes.
Before, the firm had introduced Showmax to tackle the foreign streaming services but now with the shift in strategy, a partnership is the next best thing after trying to compete with such players failed.
MutiChoice says adding streaming services will give pay-TV group a head start when online viewing takes off on the continent. Although CEO Calvo Mawela, in a presentation on Thursday, did not name the partners or give further details of the partnerships, the company’s results presentation laid bare the deals with Netflix and Amazon.
The streaming services might be coming soon to MultiChoice’s new DStv Explora decoder subscribers. the decoder will be the first to get the “shelf space” capability and come with a carousel user interface display incorporating icon tiles for the Netflix and Amazon Prime Video video streamers as DStv morphs into a pay-TV super-aggregator and a content “one-stop-shop” that will carry even more such third-party services in future.
DSTV is looking to simplify access to these streaming services. “People will go for where content is available. With the proliferation of all of these OTT’s, there are people who want to get access to this content and if we are a one-stop-shop where they can get all these services we’ll be positioned very well in the market for us to gain customers out there.” Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO, stated.
“It is where we see the opportunity to continue our aggregator journey. We broadcast and stream our own compelling local and international sports content and also make third-party streaming services available on our platform. All of this is to be found on a single platform, with a single bill that provides convenience and choice to our customers through a one-stop-shop.” Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice Group chairperson added.
In terms of how customers will sign up and use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, MultiChoice didn’t provide any details. MultiChoice will most likely get revenue in the form of commission for DStv subscribers who sign up and make use of these OTT services through MultiChoice.
According to News24 “Through creating a DStv-Netflix, DStv-Amazon or DStv-Netflix-Amazon package with the streamers – either being included for free initially or at a discounted promotional price, as part of an incentive to restore value to DStv Premium or to drive sampling and uptake – MultiChoice will be able to offer subscribers DStv and video streamers in a combined package at a cheaper price than if someone paid for DStv separately and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video separately.”
Netflix, and Amazon declined to answer Reuters when questioned on the partnerships.