The stats from the latest Establishment Survey put total TV viewing for all adults at 89.7%. Viewing on a TV set is sitting at 86.7%, while streaming is currently at almost 10%, which equates to 3.8 million of the total TV market of 34.7 million. The fact that there are currently over 14 million pay-TV viewers indicates that consumers are willing to pay for what they want, and this inevitably extends to streaming.
The slow shift away from linear TV might not have an immediate, or significant, impact on TV as a platform, but the evolution to VOD is most definitely impacting viewer behaviour. South Africans are now spoilt for choice with the entertainment menu consisting of DSTV, Netflix, Showmax, Google Play, iTunes, and now DEOD, (Digital Entertainment on Demand).
DEOD is the first, fully converged on-demand, pay-per-view, and linear Internet TV service in South Africa. With the launch of DEOD by Discover Digital at the end of May, 'television' viewing has become that much more fragmented and, more importantly, allows audiences to tailor make their packages based on their individual needs.
DEOD offers subscribers access to the world’s largest content aggregators and gives access to premium content from most of the major studios, including ABC Studios, Disney, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, BBC, MGM, Lionsgate, Fremantle, and Endemol.
They offer various subscription packages to suit an individual’s needs, from R49 per month for a news package to a premium package offering a combination of news, sport, and on-demand viewing for R189.
What will appeal to many is the fact that they offer sports packages. This means that those who desperately cling to expensive DSTV subscriptions to watch the odd football or rugby game now have other options available when it comes to viewing sports. DEOD also offers movie rentals, much like DSTV’s Box Office, and charge R30 for a new release and as little as R18 for the older movies.
You no longer have to pay for content you don’t want or stick to TV guides telling you when to watch or channel surf past all the repeats. You can watch what you want, when you want, where you want, and you never have to sit through another TV ad again.
While the bulk of South Africans still watch linear TV, it’s only a matter of time until we see the full impact of VOD on marketers and where they choose to shift their advertising budgets.
The prohibitive cost of data in the country is a major factor limiting the uptake of streaming in the mass market, but those who can afford pay-TV may start looking at streaming options offering more flexible and tailor-made viewing, thus further impacting the reach levels of pay-TV channels.
Adding to this is the fact that most TV viewing happens in the evenings, leaving little time for advertisers to reach their market without taking into account the additional TV fragmentation. It is thus imperative that advertisers follow the consumer journey, in order to increase number of contacts across multiple touchpoints throughout the day.
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