The Media Blog: Did you know that some StarTimes subscribers pay only N17 a day?

On August 1, iROKO chief executive, Jason Njoku shocked those who pay attention when he announced (it’s an impressive Jason trick to always announce big things with such striking – and distracting – narratives they blunt the effect): subscription to iROKO TV in Nigeria is now basically N100 a week.

iROKO’s subscriptions reportedly doubled within a month. That is, in one month, pricing at what some would call a ridiculously low point enabled the company increase its subscription garnered over 2-3 years in just one month.

This made us curious as to what other TV player that’s directly targeting the mass market at the lower end of the income tree – StarTimes (we’ve written a lot about them in the last week, which should tell you something about how much you also must pay attention to them).

The Chinese-owned StarTimes came into the market and shook the market so hard with its competitive pricing that it forced DStv to create an entirely new business.

Not even when HiTV acquired all those football rights did DStv take any threat that seriously. GoTV is similarly priced for the mass market. And for all of Glo’s initial gra gra, when it eventually entered the Nigerian market, the best it did was per-second billing.

But if Jason can be accused of ridiculous pricing, then StarTimes is certainly the king of price disruption.

It has three bouquets. One of them is the Nova bouquet, and that’s the lowest of the spectrum.

For N500 a month, you have access to a bouquet of 15 channels on StarTimes, which is essentially N17 per day.

N17 per day. Not surprising for a company based in Mushin. But that’s the kind of gangster moves that makes grown men cry.

And perhaps it’s a lesson to all the coterie of Nigerian content creators who insist on an unnecessary thing called ‘premium’ and decide that pricing above the minimum wage is the only option to build a fundamentally profitable business.

If we dey cry, make we dey see road.

PS: StarTimes and iROKO, we will be sending in our invoices for this plug. Thank you very much. 


PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, op-eds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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