DStv Premium now more expensive than 25Mbps fibre with Netflix and Amazon Prime

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DStv Premium now more expensive than 25Mbps fibre with Netflix and Amazon Prime

MultiChoice is rapidly losing DStv Premium subscribers because of the increased availability of fast and affordable broadband access in South Africa.

Last month, MultiChoice warned that providers like Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+ pose an existential competitive threat to its DStv offering.

The pay-TV provider said broadband access in South Africa is so widespread that DStv subscribers are switching to services like Netflix on a massive scale.

MultiChoice said it has seen a sharp decline in DStv Premium subscriptions because of increased competition from streaming services.

The migration of premium subscribers did not stop MultiChoice from hiking its DStv prices this year.

MultiChoice announced DStv price increases across its product range, including its DStv Premium service.

The DStv price increases came at a time when broadband in South Africa is becoming faster and more affordable.

Openserve recently announced it will upgrade speeds and cut prices on its fibre and copper network on 1 April – the same time DStv prices increase.

Some Internet service providers have already announced that these wholesale price cuts will be passed on to subscribers.

What this means is that South Africans can now get an uncapped 25Mbps fibre connection from an ISP like Afrihost for R597 per month.

Even if you add Netflix (R139) and Amazon Prime Video (R91) subscriptions, and it is still cheaper than a DStv Premium subscription which will cost R829 from April.

The table below provides an overview of how the total cost of ownership compares between DStv and a broadband connection with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video from 1 April 2021.

Broadband and Streaming versus DStv Premium
Service Broadband and Streaming DStv Premium
25Mbps uncapped fibre R597
Netflix subscription R139
Amazon Prime Video subscription R91
Total Monthly Price R827 R829

Despite the challenges posed by increased broadband penetration and affordable streaming services, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela remains upbeat about their prospects.

His main weapon to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime video in South Africa is hyper-local content, including TV series, movies, and sport.

Mawela told CNN they have invested heavily in local content across Africa and are planning to make it a much bigger part of their catalogue over the next few years.

“Each year we spend over R2 billion investing in local content productions across Africa and our plan is to increase our local content composition from 38% to 45% in the next two years,” Mawela said.

So confident is Mawela in their hyper-local strategy that he thinks they can grow their subscriber base from 20 million to 50 million over the next few years.

Part of this growth will come from streaming services, and here he is planning to challenge Netflix in the streaming market.

He said their subscribers are “used to how we tell our stories” which will help to keep them competitive and take on the likes of Netflix.

While Netflix will produce some local content, Mawela is confident that they can beat the US streaming services by offering a much wider range of hyper-local content.

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