Connected video

OPERATIONS

Usage metrics (% YoY growth)
  • Monthly active users
     
     
    +39%
  • Play events
     
     
    +85%
  • Average viewing time
     
     
    +18%


OUR OPERATING PERFORMANCE

Our connected video division is responsible for building and operating online digital video services for the group under DStv Now and Showmax.

DStv Now is a free mobile companion product for DStv subscribers, and Showmax is a paid subscription VOD service offered to everyone. It is offered as a value-added service to DStv Premium subscribers and at a discount to other DStv subscribers (Compact and Compact Plus). Both connected services are available on a wide variety of platforms such as smartphones/smart mobile devices, computers/laptops, gaming consoles, smart TVs and the DStv Explora decoder.

Our strong content identity, focused on addressing local interests and cultural preferences, is what sets us apart from our competitors in the OTT market. We prioritise data privacy as a matter of material concern and regularly monitor our compliance with data privacy legislation such as the General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) in how we handle customer data.

During FY20, our connected video services continued growing across all three major metrics – unique active users, play events and average viewing time. We also achieved strong growth in subscribers paying for Showmax, benefiting from targeted marketing campaigns and supported by our quality content slate, which now boasts 50% local content. The Rugby World Cup recorded unprecedented usage of the DStv Now service, reaching more than 500 000 unique users during the final match and accounting for 4TB of data consumed per minute.

The COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa drove a 50% spike in active users and a doubling of play events. The ramping up of activity we witnessed this year, even before the COVID-19 uptick, gives us confidence that we are well positioned to capture future growth opportunities in the market. The cost of data and access to connectivity impact the rate of widespread adoption of streaming services in a number of our markets across Africa.

This year we prioritised the rollout of Showmax into the Rest of Africa, launching in Nigeria with locally relevant content and payment methods that resonate with the target audience. In addition, we launched a mobile-only version of the Showmax product in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, with mobile now accounting for 20% of new Showmax subscribers. We experimented with a trial of sport highlights, live sport games and magazine and sport shows on Showmax to understand consumer usage and appetite. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we leveraged this technology to add live news and educational content onto the platform to help our consumers stay informed.

On the technical front, we concluded the DStv Now 2.0 rollout during the year, which saw significant improvements in usability and the user experience of customers. This triggered an improvement in average app store ratings to 4.4 stars compared to 2.2 in previous years. DStv Now was declared Ghana’s favourite entertainment application for the second consecutive year at the annual MOBEX Africa Awards. Showmax saw a significant enhancement to its Kids section, with the inclusion of curated content for specific age groups, child profiles and parental control functionality.

We believe we have the right assets to succeed and for connected video services to become a meaningful aspect of our business over time.