DStv will add Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to its platforms, in a shift of strategy that has seen its parent firm, MultiChoice, ink partnership deals with the giant movie streaming services.
Netflix poses a growing competitive threat to MultiChoice and its own streaming service, Showmax, and the partnership move marks a shift in MultiChoice’s strategy from trying to compete with such players to working with them instead.
The parent company of DStv and GOtv has been facing competition from movie streaming service and internet providers such as Zuku and Safaricom that have enabled the access to Youtube by viewers.
The Africa wide deals with Netflix and Amazon were included in the company’s results presentation on its website.
“Whilst we are excited about the recently signed partnership agreements with two major SVOD players, MultiChoice Group will be making an official announcement that will provide more detail in the coming weeks,” Philip Wahome, Corporate Affairs Manager MultiChoice Kenya said.
Though Netflix numbers in Africa have not been formally disclosed, it is still nascent in a continent where it has only been available for since January 2016 and where bandwidth costs and speeds could limit its reach.
But it has gathered market share in recently and the widespread expansion of cheaper internet is set to drive its growth in coming years.
MultiChoice reckoned that it has been losing some of its subscribers to over-the-top service providers like Netflix.
Initially it pushed for increased regulation of Netflix in the hope of derailing its market growth.
“We need to start preparing ourselves to make sure… we become the platform of choice for people to consume these services,” MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela, in a presentation on Thursday said, referring to streaming.
“If you are a one-stop-shop where they can get all of this… we position ourselves very well in the market for us to gain customers.”