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MultiChoice Group, the parent company of Africa-focused entertainment brands like DStv and GOtv, has signed agreements with Netflix and Amazon to integrate their services onto the new DStv Explora decoder.

The Group’s FY20 Annual Results also state that it “launched field trials of DStv Streaming product,” DStv Now.

DStv now is a free app for DStv customers that permits them to observe live TV, see the complete DStv guide, and luxuriate in Catch Up content using devices starting from iOS and Android-based tablets and smartphones to desktop and laptop computers.

The agreement with Netflix and Amazon comes as a surprise, considering the plan was to launch DStv Now as a standalone service at the top of March 2020 after concluding external testing.

These deals add up from a customer retention perspective because it means DStv’s customers can remain on the platform while accessing the content of rivals to its streaming service.

But then one must question the merits of maintaining a streaming service while partnering with rivals of an equivalent service to supply subscription video on demand (SVoD) content on a special platform.

It should even be noted that after DStv Now launched in 2014, Showmax, a web SVoD service, was launched in 2015 and integrated into Explora.DStv

Though Netflix doesn’t reveal its subscriber numbers for non-US countries, reports online show that Netflix probably had 50,000 subscribers in Nigeria as of Q2, 2019. This supported Nigeria not making the highest 50 and Luxembourg, occupying the 50th spot, having 52,151 subscribers; South Africa, the sole African country within the top 50, ranked 41st with 152,588 subscribers.

Expectedly, the number of Nigerian subscribers will certainly have increased. And with Amazon Prime being a less costly streaming option, it stands to reason that it’s its justifiable share of subscribers.

Nevertheless, MultiChoice’s moves appear to be positioning the corporate well for customer retention and also acquisition.

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It remains to be seen, however, what the costing and plans are going to be once the SVoD platforms’ content begins to air on DStv’s Explora.

For now, though, the MultiChoice Group looks set to possess DStv Now and Showmax, also as Netflix and Amazon Prime as its SVoD offerings. This deal will bring about growth in terms of viewership for all the brands involved exorcist DStv. However, there are still questions as to whether it’s a merger or acquisition in progress.


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