TV on the go: The future of TV in Africa

Zion Divaris

The rapid advances in digital technology in Africa have created new opportunities to innovate on TV content delivery. Digital disruption seen in mobile devices is changing the way Africans access TV content. As a result, people are consuming more news and more entertainment than ever before.

This is according to Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe who adds that while this digital trend will continue in the future, it is content along with these new delivery channels that will continue to drive the industry forward.

“Only the producers of the most relevant and resonant content will survive this new digital age in Africa. Delivery mechanisms and the technology viewers use to access their favourite content will continue to evolve, and tomorrow there will new platforms we haven’t even begun to think of yet that will broadcast entertainment. But the one constant, the one aspect of this modern media landscape that will not change, is content. For viewers place greater value on what they are watching than simply the channel they use to watch on,” explains Dziva

MultiChoice is tapping into this theory by continuing to focus on telling Africa’s stories, as well as bringing stories from across the globe to Africa, but within the context of current technology. It’s with this in mind that the company has launched DStv Now .

DStv Now allows DStv customers to watch the latest sports and TV shows on their smartphone, tablet or laptop via the DStv website and the free DStv Now app for Android and iOS devices.

The specific content accessible on DStv Now is linked to customers’ existing DStv packages, with viewers being able to livestream some of the best DStv channels, use CatchUp to stream or download the latest episodes of their favourite shows, and binge-watch entire TV seasons.

With DStv Now, two different streams can be simultaneously viewed on separate devices. This means a single DStv account can be used, for example, to watch TV via a decoder in the lounge, a movie on a tablet via DStv Now in the bedroom, and sport on another smart TV also via DStv Now.

Another innovative feature of this offering is that the second device connected to DStv Now doesn’t have to belong to the DStv account holder. This means children who are away from home can still enjoy the family’s DStv subscription, as well as other family or friends who have been given access to that particular account.

“This is all part of our push to tell the right story, at the right time to the right person. African consumers want the best in local and international TV content, which we have always offered. But they also want to access that content when and how they wish. DStv Now allows us to facilitate exactly that, and make the full scope of our satellite TV offering available on every type of digital device that is available on the continent today,” adds Dziva

DStv Now joins MultiChoice’s regular DStv service – the company’s internet-based, subscription video-on-demand service with a catalogue of more than 30 000 TV show episodes and movies – to provide DStv customers with unmatched flexibility in accessing premium local and international content on their TV sets, and online on their PCs, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Although DStv Now was originally designed for mobile devices, customer demand to access DStv Now via smart TVs and media players has seen MultiChoice recently introduce three new DStv Now apps for lean-back viewing on big screen TVs. These apps make it possible for DStv subscribers to turn any TV in their house into an easy-to-use DStv hub without the need for a decoder.

The new apps are available for Samsung smart TVs (selected models from 2015 onwards); Apple TV (fourth generation and newer); and media players running Android TV (Google certified devices only). Further apps are expected to be added in the future for additional smart TV brands.

“These new developments further our objectives of delivering the best value to our customers, and making great content more accessible to African audiences. They also allow us to reshape our business to respond to our customers’ needs – in this case, the desire for cutting-edge TV technology,” says Dziva “We are always looking for new ways to engage our viewers, given that there are more choices than ever, more free content than ever, and our customers are becoming more and more accustomed to receiving personalised content that talks to their specific requirements, often seemingly for free.”

DStv Now represents the next frontier of TV. It raises the standard of satellite TV in Africa by enhancing the viewing experience for viewers across the continent. This ensures that audiences remain entertained, and that their lives are further enriched through this entertainment.