Media Redefined: Aggregation alert!

by Martin MacGregor. The recent MultiChoice announcement that Netflix and Amazon Prime would soon be available to DStv subscribers surprised the market. It shouldn’t have.

Media Future: DStv Explora

The new DStv Explora decoder is about to deliver on the unmet promise of previous versions, but leaves the have-nots even further behind, writes Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee).

The dithering of successive administrations at the Department of Communications has deferred the digital dreams of South Africa’s TV viewing public. The migration to digital terrestrial TV (DTTV), originally set for 2011, still has no due date. The Department has yet to issue tenders for set-top boxes needed by 5-million households to convert digital signals into an analogue feed for their old TV sets.

It was something of an irony, then, that a major announcement was made last week of a new set-top box. Sadly for the 5-million, the box had nothing to do with DTTV. For them, the dream remains deferred.

How to save TopTV: let customers pick packages of channels at various prices

by Gill Moodie (@GrubstreetSA) Don’t be afraid of competition in the market, say the business handbooks, but rather assess you rivals’ strengths and weaknesses. Everyone does this in business plans and it helps new entries in the market or smaller players to spot the gaps and opportunities.

But what do you do when you’re playing in a market that is utterly dominated by one big player – as On Digital Media’s TopTV that was rescued recently in a complex takeover deal by China’s digital pay-TV company StarTimes – found with Naspers’ DStv Multichoice?

Did TopTV ever actually stand a chance?

DStv was already so entrenched in the local market – and across Africa too. It had nailed down that absolutely essential – and enormously expensive – element of pay-TV: local and international sports rights.

And it had the ability (and savvy) to counter the new entry’s threat by putting money into a big marketing drive for a cheaper bouquet, the Compact, to sign up lower-LSM subscribers that were TopTV’s target market.

Brand Journeys: MWeb – not quite ‘just like that’

For many people MWEB is still the big black box, which it launched in 1997, the same year the business was established by MIH Limited (a Naspers company). The big black box, in case you don’t get it, was a box, and black, and offered wary South Africans everything they needed to connect to the Internet via dial-up modem, with the payoff line “Just like that” (I still hear the finger snap in the background).

The commercial Internet was new, exciting, and big business was getting in on the act. The first dot com bubble had yet to burst and MWEB was spending large swathes of money buying up rival ISPs before its 1998 listing on the JSE.

Today it is a friendly consumer brand wholly owned by Naspers. Its pay-off line has changed to Connect & You Can to reflect the growing acceptance and integration of the Internet into daily lives. It serves a user base of over 300 000 subscribers (which is not that much higher than figures available for 2005 – although it has had success in converting many of those to ADSL) of whom more than 200 000 sits on ADSL. They consume 4.5 petabytes (4,500,000,000,000,000 bytes) of bandwidth per month.

Turner Broadcasting System sees growth in African pay-TV market

Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), a Time Warner Company, delivers a number of news and entertainment pay television brands to African audiences through partnerships with MultiChoice (DStv) and On Digital Media’s (ODM) TopTV. Its channels are also available on some smaller platforms across Africa.

Tiger in the ecommerce henhouse

by Herman Manson. Kim Reid, diplomatically perhaps, doesn’t care what the competition of his online retail venture,, is up to. The ecommerce market in South Africa is so nascent that it makes more sense to focus on successfully implementing your own strategy and building your own business, rather than fretting about what other players are doing, he says.

With a pat on the head, all is well again at Ogilvy

Last week it came to light that Ogilvy Johannesburg submitted ads created for EATN’s South African broadcast partner, Multichoice, to numerous trade publications and blogs as well as having entered it into numerous international ad awards in spite of it never receiving approval from client. In the meantime it has been awarded a silver Clio and was finalist at the One Show Awards en New York. One of the ads reportedly just ran in the latest issue of Migrate – the official Loerie Awards magazine.

In his original comment to MarkLives Graham Pfuhl, Marketing and Sales Director at Multichoice, stated that the campaign in question was in fact rejected outright by Multichoice, and confirmed “no History Channel ads can be published without the prior authorization of AETN.”

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist