Netflix Driving African SVOD Growth

The African continent may be grand in size but remains relatively small when it comes to subscription streaming video. That should change in South Africa and outlying regions thanks to Netflix and other services.

New data from Digital TV Research suggests African SVOD market will top $1 billion in revenue by 2025 — six times the $183 million in revenue generated in 2019. The continent is forecast to reach 9.72 million SVOD subscriptions by 2025, up from 2.68 million at end-2019. South Africa (3.24 million by 2025) will remain No. 1 followed by Nigeria (2.14 million).

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The top six platforms accounted for 86% of SVOD subscribers by end-2019, which should increase to 94% by 2025. Netflix will add 3.6 million subscribers to total 5 million by 2025. Disney+ is not expected to enter the African market until 2022, but will have 1.37 million paying subs by 2025.

“Online video in Sub-Saharan Africa has had a delayed and sluggish start compared to the rest of the world, and its impact continues to be minimal despite several service launches and expansions in recent years,” IHS Markit said in 2018 report, citing infrastructure, regulation and regional language barriers as challenges.

Regional service Showmax will have 1.41 million paying subs by 2025 — with many more receiving it for free as part of their premium satellite TV subscription, according to DTVR. Multichoice has a distribution deal with HBO, which is likely to offset an HBO Max launch.

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“Over the last year, there has been a shift from cheap, local platforms towards the multinational players,” Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement. “This means higher revenues as their prices are higher than local players, but it also keeps subscriber numbers low.”

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