Remember when cable tv was a luxury only the rich could afford? Thankfully fierce competition in the market has made those dark days a thing of the past. Pay TV and the many companies who provide Nigerians these services have indulged our craving for all kind of video content, covering our favourite shows and sporting events and offering us bouquets that are tailored specifically for the depth of our pockets.
A natural side effect of this kind of proliferation of content plus the entrance of the even more flexible streaming platforms, is that Pay TV has been forced to get creative with keeping its customers and its market share. According to a recent survey published by Nigerian Entertainment Today (The NET.ng), survey user data in 27 states across the country, not only is Pay TV still a forced to be reckoned with in Nigerian media, long time players Multichoice is still ways ahead of their competition.
DSTV split its pay TV options into DSTV, its premium offering and GOTV, a lightweight cheaper alternative to expand its market reach, it seems to be a play that has yielded significant results and helped the company win much of its customer base. According to the survey, 52% of the surveyed population watched some television programming of some kind during the holiday. A cumulative 81% of the survey group also preferred DSTV’s offerings over that of their competitors.
There are a couple of developments that could have influenced this. DSTV has invested significantly in its Africa Magic franchise, creating language specific channels with original content geared towards appealing to specific audience groups. But 47% of the survey group were swayed by the diverse offerings of foreign film and TV shows DSTV and GOTV offer across their subscription packages. When you factor in the exclusive licenses Multichoice has to broadcast many beloved sporting events then a fuller picture starts to emerge.
What does this mean for Pay TV in Nigeria?
That’s hard to answer in the age of streaming. Streaming services are cheaper and on-demand in a way Pay TV is not. DSTV already has a foot in the game with ‘Showmax’, their streaming service experiment but it might not be enough to break the tidal wave of independent streaming content that is coming in 2020.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.