Viu Streaming Service Fights YouTube Over South African Shows

The streaming service Viu is at war with YouTube over the platform broadcasting the same South African shows which it also offers.

Viu was rolled out in South Africa earlier this year, offering programming which is available to watch free of charge, with adverts shown during the shows, while users are requested to sign in and subscribe to Viu’s Premium plan to watch exclusive content.

Viu South Africa has also collaborated with Etv and the SABC to host all its online content on the platform – including episodes from favourite shows such as Imbewu: The Seed, Uzalo and Skeem Saam.

These shows were previously broadcast on YouTube, but have now been removed from Etv and the SABC’s official channels and moved over to Viu.
However, there are still various “unlicensed” YouTube channels which continue to upload and air full episodes of popular SABC and Etv shows.

In a conversation with MyBroadband, the Marketing Manager of Viu South Africa, Neo Lekgabo confirmed that Viu was working hard to track down and get rid of unlicensed shows from YouTube.

He said that Viu has a dedicated team that tracks all the pirate channels that pop up daily on YouTube.
Lekgabo added that the transfer of content from YouTube to its platform has been well-received by viewers.
He said that once people realised that all those programs are still free on Viu and that Viu provides a better user experience in that it offers complete seasons of the shows.

Viu’s “freemium” payment model is quickly becoming popular in South Africa due to the high demand for local content.

Lekgabo said that Viu plans to continue to offer local premium content and collaborating with producers and broadcasters to tell South African stories that the majority of SA’s people can access for free.

He added that Viu would also continue to offer premium content to niche audiences including Pakistani, Bollywood titles, and Pan-African shows.

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