DStv To Vigourously Fight Back Against Netflix

Naspers announced in August that it had created a new video unit for over-the-top content services called Connected Video.

The Connected Video unit will manage the Showmax and DStv Now services in South Africa and will be in charge of the development of new OTT services for the MultiChoice group.

The launch of this new video unit is a strong move to fight back against Netflix, which has taken over the market and affected the audience numbers of MultiChoice’s DStv Premium.

Niclas Ekdahl is the CEO of the Connected Video unit. He has a little more than 19 years of executive leadership experience in the audio-visual services industry. Ekdahl previously headed up the pay-TV channel division for Viasat Broadcasting in London. He also worked for Nuvu, a video-on-demand service introduced by Ericsson in 2015.

South Africa's MyBroadband spoke to Ekdahl to find out more about Connected Video’s plans.

In the interview, Ekdahl declared that he does not foresee a situation where Connected Video would be competing against existing MultiChoice products as long as they were making money for the mothership and also increasing its customer base.

He said that Connected Video’s priorities for the coming year centred around adding new customers and retaining the existing customers by providing more compelling shows to keep them entertained; therefore, plans are in place to improve the overall consumer journey in terms of simplifying the sign up process, enhancing content and adding new features to the package.

Connected Video wants to understand how people use their services to assist if there are knowledge gaps regarding functionality.

In response to being asked if he wasn’t worried about Connected Video being accused of being a clone of Netflix, Ekdahl said that even though there’s a lot that Connected Video could learn from Netflix in terms of simplifying content discovery, the goal isn’t to be a replica of Netflix. His team would rather focus on Netflix’s shortcomings and make sure that their product offer gives the viewer an experience that is even better than what is offered by Netflix.

Connected Video plans to provide its services all across the African continent because their research has shown that there is an excellent opportunity for paid OTT services in Africa.


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