Showmax Want To Work With Telcos To Boost Internet TV Growth In Africa

Naspers, a global entertainment group, is urging telecoms operators in Africa to offer customers unlimited data to help bolster the growth of internet television on the continent.

The group argued that the high cost of data in Africa is hindering the growth of internet TV, despite the fact that the number of internet users in the region has improved.

A report released by Naspers shows that Showmax sees a “healthy Usage” in South Africa, but the business of internet TV in other parts of the region is discouraging.

Richard Boorman, Naspers’ Showmax spokesman, said the what will promote Internet TV will be the provision of unlimited mobile data. He added that the high cost of data is the number one limiting factor for customer growth for Showmax, which launched in South Africa in 2015 and has since expanded to a total of 40 countries on the continent.

Also, Nanjira Sambuli, who heads the World Wide Web Foundation’s advocacy efforts to stimulate equal access to digital and use of the Web, said that internet costs are proven challenges for unlocking the meaningful use of the web in the African continent.

The foundation defines affordable internet as 1GB of data not costing more than 2 percent of one’s monthly income. The reality of this definition was found only five countries. Sambuli said in Africa, “1GB costs an average of 18 percent of monthly income. So, prioritising video-on-demand might not be first on the list of things to do with limited affordability.

To bridge this gap, Showmax is persuading telecoms companies with operations in Africa to start offering unlimited data to their internet users adding that the company was using data from other regions to make the case.

Showmax showed an example of their partnership with T-mobile in Poland, where they offered subscribers contents from Showmax without deducting data from their accounts. This move indicates that the economics of uncapped data can also work in other countries.

Boorman says Africa still has a long way to go as regards mass acceptance of internet TV. We know it is coming and we are getting ready for it.” He says.

Concerning data cost and Internet TV issue in Africa, IROKOtv, a Nigerian platform with a focus on local content, also experienced the challenge of data costs. CEO IROKOtv, Jason Njoku said that they had to go offline and work with their customers to find alternative means to bring them online.

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