Tuesday, January 18

‘Free’ streaming service debuts on SA, partners with MTN


eMedia Holdings has launched a free streaming platform, eVOD (e-Video on Demand), in a three-year partnership with mobile telecommunications partner MTN.

The eVOD app will allow audiences to stream exclusive and locally produced shows and movies on Android and Apple devices at their own convenience and will offer a mix of free and paid content at the discretion of viewers.

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The latest statistics reveal that the penetration of smart mobile devices in South Africa is currently 95%. According to Statista, about 22 million people are smartphone users, representing a third of the country’s population. This number is projected to grow by more than five million by 2023.

Market penetration

“Although the market is very busy, almost all of these services are focused on paid subscriptions,” says Jason Lobel, Senior Manager of Over-the-Top Video at MTN South Africa. “As such, the overall penetration of video streaming services remains low when considering the number of active smartphones on the market.”

“EVOD is well positioned to capture this market by offering both a substantial free tier and a premium content offering at an affordable subscription price.”

EMedia’s exclusive partnership with MTN will allow 32 million MTN users and other network subscribers to watch never-before-seen dramas and movies on any device, at any time. Additionally, MTN customers who subscribe to eVOD will get 4GB of free data every month to allow them to stream their favorite movies and dramas. eMedia Group says that this offer is extended to all MTN customers in the free and subscription models of eVOD until January 31, 2022.

The eVOD subscription model is as follows:

  • R5 per day, paid with MTN airtime;
  • R15 per week, paid with MTN airtime or credit card; or
  • R99 per month, paid with MTN airtime, a credit card or via the App Store.

“Entertainment and display have evolved with video-on-demand offerings and we are proud to partner with eMedia Investments to bring this exciting service to our market,” says Ernst Fonternel, chief digital officer for MTN SA.

“We share the same belief that everyone deserves the benefit of connectivity and entertainment of their choice. Our network and digital capabilities will ensure that South Africans can watch exclusive content their way, whenever they want. ”

Advances on Advances

In addition to the exclusive content offering from eVOD, the app offers a new feature that allows viewers to “fast-forward” and watch episodes of local shows, such as Durban Gen, Imbewu, House of Zwide, and Two Women, in advance.

“The fast-forward feature will provide an exclusive seven-day window for new series before they are broadcast on television. This means that eVOD subscribers can watch new episodes of their favorite novels seven days before the eTV broadcast, ”says Lobel.

Unlike subscription-only services like Netflix and Showmax, eVOD is the first streaming service in South Africa to allow audiences to stream without paying a monthly subscription fee and as such is not considered a competitor to streaming platforms. known and widely used. .

“There is significant room for growth, especially in the first mobile segment,” says Lobel.

“We believe that free services will outperform subscription-only services in terms of long-term user adoption,” he adds.

“This is based on lessons learned from similar services launched in the rest of the world, as well as traffic trends on MTN’s own network.”

“Approximately 500,000 MTN users stream Netflix content each month. While this is a considerable number, it is small compared to YouTube’s, [which has] more than 14 million MTN customers stream videos from their platform each month. ”

Khalik Sherrif, CEO of eMedia Investments, says: “At eMedia we continually strive to add value to our loyal viewers with variety and variety of content.

“Over the years, eMedia has constantly evolved its offering, from a single channel to a full satellite service, with 24-hour news and now a free ‘Over The Top’ platform. eVOD is a game changer for us and our viewers, and we can now offer audiences access to exclusive viewing content wherever and whenever they want it. ”

eVOD is available for download on your website and it can also be downloaded from Google Play (Android) and iStore (Apple). MTN customers can download the phone app for free.

Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.


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