I don’t think anyone can say with confidence that they have seen this coming. Perhaps it was there at the back of our collective minds; I am talking to those of us who care about television. That there is no way, mhum let me correct my self here before I err – that there was no way that DStv would compete with Naspers Showmax. After all the two can easily trace their ancestry to a common ancestor, Naspers. On 13 June 2016 the two platforms came out in public to announce their union∇
This union was inevitably from the day Showmax was born. Perhaps from a humanoid perspective, since we have draped the present fable in a marriage theme, Showmax can be seen as a young maiden who has stood the test of time in a tumultuous warzone of attention seekers despite entering the fry at the closing stages of a blood letting war. It was seen as a counter punch to the advent of NETFLIX in South Africa and for some reason because of the global success of the American Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) and answer to the high cost of DStv subscription.
Today Altech’s Node is a distant memory; yes that plush SVOD that was pitched at the upper class and spoke jargon to the lower class. It never really took off because it mimicked DStv decoder devoid of public broadcaster channel offering and SuperSport. Its moment of existence left an indomitable clue as to how the problem of broadband costs could be circumvented as far as OTT (Over The Top) services could be rolled out is concerned in a ‘developing country’. We will come back to that clue just now.
Times media’s VIDI fumbled with exhaustion as it tried alluring to shake its weave suggestively at possible suitors. It was gone at the blink of an eye as few people complemented it but never really blessed it with loyalty. Now from that epoch only MTN’S Front Row rebranded VU survives and there is a good reason for its survival. Although there are other competitors who have stepped into this stealth warfare i.e. OntapTV and of course NETFLIX which I mentioned a paragraph away, the present jot does not concerned itself with them.
»Altech’s Node’s moment of existence left an indomitable clue as to how the problem of broadband costs could be circumvented as far as OTT (Over The Top) services could be rolled out is concerned in a ‘developing country’«.
Let’s get to the point. Just a few lines away I have hinted that there is a good reason why MTN VU has survived thus far. The answer lies in its offering of their content streaming cost free as long as the subscriber is on the MTN cellular network. This is a novelty in a country wherein broadband costs can hit one’s pocket really hard.
Now the marriage of Showmax and DStv is the embracing of the clue left behind by Altech’s Node; that is to push content directly unto the decoder giving the subscriber access to large volume of library content towards bingehood of the highest order. Perhaps the legitimate child here will be a platform that does away with internet costs by pushing content directly into the decoder for peace of mind access and viewing until broadband costs in this country are brought down to their knees. As I said elsewhere in one of not so prophetic writings that I have ever indulged you in that child can be Called ShowMax Delux.
perhaps the reader would find the work ‘ShowMaxDelux is Naspers Leapfrog‘ interesting companion read to the present piece.
This article is dedicated to my brother Martin Matikana Makgosa
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2016