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Why African Content Providers Should Be Excited

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naspers

Showmax and Chill?

Africa’s most valued company by market value, Naspers Ltd, is in an aggressive expansion drive to bring exclusive African content to North America, Europe and Australia.

The 3 continents have largely been considered as exclusive NetflixAmazon and Hulu territory. The 3 video on demand (VOD) streaming services have dominance in the three continents.

Naspers Ltd’s video on demand (VOD) streaming service, Showmax, currently streams exclusive African content. With Naspers’ success with their pay-tv subsidiaries and products including Dstv, Supersport and Multichoice across the Africa content, it’s just a matter of time before East African content providers will have yet another platform to sell their art.

This will be on top of avenues of content-buying outlets such as Zuku and Dstv – a subsidiary of Naspers.

Showmax currently streams exclusive Afrikaan content. East Africa’s original production on Naspers’ pay-tv Dstv Maisha Magic channel includes Make or Break on Don’t Mess With Kansiime and Kona – a soap drama series.

Naspers’ Showmax also carries content from BBC and Time Warner making it a direct competitor of Netflix in the 3 continents which carry the same.

Although Naspers strategic plan is to target 15 million subscribers in the 3 markets according to Bloomberg, subscribers to the services will be paying a premium and the market might be larger than the estimated target, as Business Insider alludes.

This could potentially be the first time that an African company is aggressively marketing African-made products at a global scale, and not the reverse.

Business Insider concludes that ‘…Naspers bet is that the Africa diaspora in these continents, numbering 30 million, will be willing to pay a premium for Africa content that is unavailable in the other streaming services. That is the differentiator. The African diaspora numbers around 30 million worldwide, according to Quartz.

In the past one year there has been restructuring of top IT firms with mergers and acquisitions. The word on Silicon Valley is; ‘…streaming is the future.’

Apple acquired Beats for US $ 3 billion for majorly their Beats streaming service; Google revamped their music streaming service – YouTube, and then Tidal happened.

Naspers’ long-term strategy also includes another landmark global deal by closing a deal with Samsung that would see Samsung’s future smart TVs come with installed Showmax app.

Samsung controls a third of the world global smart TV market. That’s 60 million audiences, for exclusive African content providers if the platform and right marketing strategy is provided.

Naspers Ltd is currently the most valued stock in Africa with a market value of over US $ 60 billion. Naspers is also among the Top 10 biggest internet service companies in the world.

By KEVIN AMARU

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