Netflix’s Effect On South African Content

Due to Netflix’s rapid growth in South Africa, MyBroadband recently had discussions with various experts about whether the global streaming giant could overtake DStv in terms of popularity in South Africa.

They also highlighted that Netflix is more affordable than DStv, which makes it a significant threat to the pay-TV operator.
Netflix has greatly benefited from uncapped internet becoming more widely available and affordable in South Africa.

The MD of World Wide Worx Arthur Goldstuck commented that Netflix poses a particularly significant threat to DStv’s Premium subscriber base.

William Bird, the Director at Media Monitoring Africa, told MyBroadband that the SABC’s financial crisis had placed the weight of local content creation firmly on DStv’s shoulders.

Bird said that the SABC’s current financial woes had made DStv’s position even more critical, because if their bottom line is down, then their support of local content goes down as well, according to Bird.
He added that even though there would be positives involved should Netflix get involved in South Africa’s local content creation; these would come hand-in-hand with undesirable side effects.

Bird said that the upside would be that the country’s local content people would have to produce high-quality content in order to compete with global markets, but the side effect would be that content would then have to be positioned for global rather than local markets.
Bird speculated that in the near future DStv might even consider entering into a partnership with Netflix for the sake of content.

Regardless of whether this happens, Bird said that with South Africa’s high data costs and DStv’s penetration on the continent, it would not be an easy win for Netflix or similar competitors.

 The Director of the South African National Editors’ Forum, Kate Skinner, said that it would be most useful if the government clarified its position on audio-visual content and OTT services.

She added that in her opinion, the country needs an overall policy that deals with the SABC, local commercial media players and the role of international players including Netflix.

Credit: This article originated from


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