Tag Archives: Digital TV Research

African OTT revenue ‘to top $2bn by 2027’

Africa: SVoD subscribers by provider (000)

OTT revenues in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to reach US$2bn by 2027, a threefold increase from US$623m in 2021, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

South Africa and Nigeria will together account for 56% of total revenues by 2027, leaving US$896m divided between the other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. SVoD revenues will reach US$1.66bn by 2027, up from US$476m in 2021, said the UK-based research firm.

The company also forecasts 13.72 million SVoD subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa by 2027, up from 4.89 million at end-2021. It said Netflix will account for 47% of the region’s SVoD subscriptions by 2027 with a total of 6.41 million subscribers.

However, with no Amazon Prime countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Prime Video is forecast to grow more modestly from 599,000 paying subscribers in the region for 2021 to 2.18 million by 2027. MultiChoice-owned Showmax, meanwhile, will jump from 804,000 for 2021 to 2.15 million by 2027, Digital TV Research said.

Breaking down the subscription figures further, the data forecasts that Disney+ will have smaller growth due to its late entry into the sub-Saharan Africa OTT market, ending 2022 with 92,000 paying subscribers and rising to 1.34 million by 2027. Apple TV+ will be even more modest, ending last year with 32,000 subs and reaching just 177,000 by 2027.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Disney+ will only have a limited roll-out: South Africa (2022) and Nigeria (2023). We do not think that Paramount+, HBO Max or Peacock will start as standalone platforms in Africa. HBO will continue its distribution deal with Showmax.”

Regarding the French-speaking markets in Africa, Murray added: “Francophone MyCanal started as a free add-on for Canal Plus pay TV subscribers in 2021. In our last forecasts, we expected MyCanal to be a standalone platform. We now do not believe this will happen. This will stifle SVoD growth in the Francophone countries.

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African TV subs set to rise to 57 million

The number of pay TV subscriptions in Africa is set to climb from 39 million in 2021 to 57 million by 2027, according to newly released projections from UK analysis firm Digital TV Research.

However, while the number of subscribers is predicted to grow by 46%, the revenues derived from those subscriptions will rise by only 35%, due to the fact Africa’s three dominant pay TV providers – Multichoice, StarTimes and Canal+ – will reduce their prices as they tussle for supremacy in the region.

According to Digital TV Research, pay TV revenues in Africa will climb to US$6.46bn in 2027, up from US$4.78bn in 2021.

By 2027, South African broadcaster and pay TV provider Multichoice will have 20.8 million subscribers across its DStv and GOtv platforms, said the research firm. Meanwhile, Chinese media company StarTimes, which has a significant presence across sub-Saharan Africa, will grow to 18.4 million, and Vivendi-owned French company Canal+ will climb to 11.2 million subs.

“Few new players are expected. Instead, the three protagonists will battle for supremacy – often by cutting prices,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

While the pay TV sector in Africa is set to grow significantly over the next five years, data from Digital TV Research indicates that OTT will grow at a much faster rate. A report released last year suggested revenue from movies and TV series on OTT platforms in Africa will reach US$1.7bn by 2026, compared with US$392m in 2020. Around US$1.5bn will come from SVoD platforms, said Digital TV Research.

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UNESCO hails Africa’s $20bn potential

The film and audiovisual industry in Africa has the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate US$20bn in revenues per year, a new report claims.

The report, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was conducted between November 2020 and May 2021. It forms part of UNESCO’s commitment to the diversity of cultural expression and to help develop dynamic cultural and creative industries (CCIs) on the continent.

Titled The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth, the report maps the film and audiovisual industry in the 54 states of the African continent, analyses their strengths and weaknesses and offers recommendations for action at the continental, regional and national levels.

The report states: “The economic potential of the film and audiovisual sectors remains largely untapped and is historically and structurally underfunded, underdeveloped and undervalued, generating only US$5bn in annual revenue out of a potential US$20bn, according to the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers.”

Even though cinemas closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, from an infrastructure perspective, the distribution sector underwent profound changes.

“Before the pandemic, new French investments in francophone West Africa, Morocco and Tunisia were expected to triple the number of screens in the region by 2024. Most impressively, Nigeria emerged as a true success story, showing a 200% increase in cinema locations between 2015 and 2020, with the total number of Digital Cinema Initiative-compliant screens reaching 237 in 2020. Home-grown Nollywood films now rival Hollywood blockbusters at the box office.”

Thanks to digital technologies, production has been growing rapidly in Africa in recent years. The broadcast industry is now almost fully liberalised, with over 1,000 private television channels operating across the continent.

This follows the opening up of some of the last markets, such as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire, and the gradual transitioning process from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television.

There is now growth in pay TV, dominated by South Africa’s MultiChoice (with 20.1 million subscribers), China’s StarTimes (7.8 million) and France’s Canal+ (six million).

Technology has given rise to affordable digital film equipment and the ability to distribute and monetise content directly to consumers via online platforms, ranging from YouTube, other social media and Netflix to local mobile video services. This has led to a new economy for African content creators which bypasses traditional gatekeepers.

The report states there are positive signs that countries across the continent are waking up to the potential of their creative industries, and more specifically of film and television.

Moreover, in this tumultuous period, it is becoming increasingly urgent for African governments to establish strong national, regional and continental strategies to take control of their fast-growing creative sectors.

The report highlights four potential blueprints for growth, namely the Nollywood model, the Auteur model, the Service model and the Festival model.

“Particular attention must be paid to addressing current industry trends and challenges in an informed and collective manner. Only in this way can states ensure that their past, present and future creative products are protected, preserved and developed, and that their cultural and commercial value benefits Africa and contributes to its global outreach,” it adds.

The African VoD sector is also growing rapidly, with subscriptions poised to balloon from 3.9 million in 2020 to 13 million in 2025, according to UK-based analyst Digital TV Research.

“Netflix now has about two million subscribers across the continent, while the South African Showmax has some 688,000 direct subscribers. In North Africa (and the Middle East), StarzPlay is another strong contender, with 1.8 million subscribers across the Arab region,” says the UNESCO report.

“In Côte d’Ivoire, VoD services have developed spectacularly recently thanks to the deployment of more than 5,000 kilometers of optical fibre in the territory. Most local operators, such as RTI and mobile operators Orange, MTN and Moov Africa, have also launched their own VoD services.”

It adds that the Nigerian film industry employs over a million people directly or indirectly, having produced some 2,599 films in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, making it the world’s second largest film industry in terms of output after Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood.

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African SVoD subs to triple by 2026

Subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) is predicted to explode in Africa, with the number of people paying for SVoD subscriptions across the continent set to reach 15.06 million by 2026, according to new research.

UK-based Digital TV Research said this figure is almost triple the 5.11 million SVoD subscribers expected at the end of 2021. South Africa and Nigeria will each contribute 2.3 million out of the 10 million new additions and will be the only countries with more than one million subs in 2026.

Simon Murray

Netflix’s subscribers are expected to double to 5.84 million by 2026 and it will still be the continent’s most popular SVoD service. However, its share of the African SVoD market is predicted to fall to 39% by that year as rival services gain popularity.

US-based Netflix will account for 2.6 million (51%) of the continent’s 5.11 million SVoD subscribers by the end of 2021. Second-place Showmax, part of South Africa’s MultiChoice, is expected to hit 861,000 (17%) by the end of this year. Third-place Amazon Prime Video is expected to hit 575,000 (11%) by the end of this year.

Netflix’s subscribers are expected to double to 5.84 million by 2026 and it will still be the continent’s most popular SVoD service. However, its share of the African SVoD market is predicted to fall to 39% by that year as rival services gain popularity.

Late-to-market Disney+, for example, will start in Africa in 2022 and only in an expected 12 countries but is forecast to amass 2.17 million subscribers by 2026. Amazon Prime Video will see subscriptions grow to 1.9 million in 2026 but it will drop behind Disney+ and Showmax (on 2.1 million) in popularity in 2026.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “The selective launch plans from some global platforms work in favour of regional players such as Showmax and MyCanal.”

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African OTT revenues tipped to top $1.7bn

Revenue from OTT platforms in Africa is expected to more than quadruple in the next five years, according to a report by UK-based analysis firm Digital TV Research.

The report, titled Africa OTT TV & Video Forecasts, predicts revenue from movies and TV series on OTT platforms in Africa will reach US$1.7bn by 2026, up from US$392m in 2020.

SVoD platforms will be the main revenue driver by a long way, bringing in US$1.5bn of the total, up from US$299m last year.

Netflix accounted for 57% of Africa’s SVoD subscriptions by end-2020 with almost two million subscribers. This figure is expected to more than triple to 6.3 million by 2026.

Disney+ will not launch in Africa until 2022 but is predicted to attract 3.1 million subscribers by 2026, making it the second-highest performer in terms of subscriptions.

In third place is local player Showmax, which at end-2020 had 668,000 subscribers and is forecast to reach two million by 2026.

Meanwhile, the report predicts Amazon Prime Video will see subscriber numbers increase to 689,000 in the next five years, up from 130,000 at the end of 2020, while Canal+’s local streamer MyCanal, which launches in Africa this year, is expected to have 622,000 subscribers by 2026.

Apple TV+, which launched in Africa late last year, is predicted to experience subscription growth from 9,000 at end-2020 to 136,000 by 2026.

Other SVoD platforms will see their combined subscriptions grow to 1.4 million by 2026 from 716,000 at the end of 2020, according to Digital TV Research.

By nation, South Africa will contribute a third of the region’s OTT revenue by 2026, with Nigeria bringing in a further fifth.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Regional players Showmax and MyCanal have upped their game in face of this added competition. Both of these platforms have sister pay TV companies. However, the SVoD platforms are emerging in their own right.”

This article originally appeared on Content Nigeria sister site C21media.net

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Africa on course for 51m TV subscribers

Pay TV subscriptions in Africa will rise to 51 million in the next five years, according to a report by UK-based analysis firm Digital TV Research.

The report, titled Africa Pay TV Forecasts, predicts that nearly 17 million pay TV subscribers will be added in Africa between 2020 and 2026.

Of the total, Nigeria will account for close to 11 million, with South Africa bringing in nine million.

South Africa-based MultiChoice, which operates sub-Saharan African satellite TV service DStv and smaller pay TV service GOtv, had 15.5 million subscribers across both platforms at the end of 2020.

Simon Murray, Digital TV Research’s principal analyst, expects this figure to rise to 19.7 million by 2026 “with a marked slowdown of satellite TV growth.”

China-based StarTimes and StarSat will experience the most impressive growth, with combined subscriptions in Africa increasing from 10.1 million at the year end to 16.9 million by 2026.

France’s Vivendi, which had 5.4 million subscribers to its Canal + satellite TV platform and EasyTV in Africa by the year end, will see this figure rise to 7.9 million by 2026.

Meanwhile, other pay TV providers in Africa combined will go from three million subscribers at the end of 2020 to 6.3 million by 2026.

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African SVoD subs to quadruple

African SVoD subscriptions are on the rise for services such as Showmax, Netflix and iRoko, according to recently released data.

According to UK-based Digital TV Research, Africa will have 12.96 million SVoD subscriptions by 2025, up from 2.75 million at the end of 2019. South Africa will account for three million by that year, to take its total to 4.3 million, while Nigeria will add 2.1 million to make a total of 2.73 million.

Netflix accounted for 45% of the region’s SVoD subscribers by the end of 2019 and the US company will retain its share by 2025, which was forecast to be 5.7 million subscribers, up from 1.23 million in 2019.

“Local player Showmax will add more than a million paying subscribers, partly due to the launch of its Pro platform and its lower prices for mobile subscribers. It will reach many more homes as a free extension for its pay TV subscribers,” added Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

Global streaming giant Netflix, which has commissioned more locally produced content and shows that depict the cultures and experiences of ordinary Africans, has revealed plans to introduce cheaper mobile-only subscriptions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa in order to strengthen its presence in the country and the region as a whole.

Still in its trial phase, Netflix intends expanding the mobile-only contracts permanently if the trials, which began in South Africa and Egypt, become a success.

It is, however, offering subscribers N1,200 (US$2.65) a month for its mobile-only service, well below the N2,900 it has been charging for its most basic account.

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Sub-Saharan Africa tipped for pay TV surge

The number of pay TV subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa will have increased by 74% between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million, according to Digital TV Research.

Simon Murray

Seventeen million pay TV subscriptions will be added in that time period, with Nigeria tipped to overtake South Africa in 2021 and have the most pay TV subscribers on the continent by 2023, according to the research firm.

However, the company also forecasts that subscriber growth will outstrip revenue progress in Africa. Pay TV revenues are expected to climb by 41% to US$6.64bn by 2023, up by US$2bn on 2017.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Pay TV competition in sub-Saharan Africa is becoming more and more intense, especially given the launch of Kwesé TV in 14 countries during 2017.

“Pay TV operators in most countries have lowered subscription fees and/or subsidised/given away equipment as competition intensifies. By no means are all of the existing pay TV platforms expected to survive in the long run. Having said that, several pay TV operators are booming.”

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Africa tipped for SVoD boom

The number of SVoD customers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will increase from 1.56 million at the end of 2017 to nearly 10 million in 2023, according to a report from UK-based Digital TV Research.

Simon Murray

Titled Sub-Saharan Africa OTT TV & Video Forecasts, the report estimates that across the 35 countries in SSA, there will be 9.99 million SVoD customers five years from now.

South Africa will account for 3.37 million of these and Nigeria will have 2.61 million, the report claims. The two countries are tipped to account for 60% of SSA’s SVoD customers by 2023 – down from 74% in 2017, suggesting the rest of the region is growing faster than the two main countries.

However, the report also predicts SVoD revenues will not increase massively due to the fact some of the new platforms driving subscriber growth are very cheap. SVoD revenue across SSA in 2023 is estimated to be at US$775m.

The recently launched Kwesé Play is tipped to hit 333,000 subscribers in 2023. Meanwhile, iRoko TV is expected to see its customer count rise from 308,000 to 1.54 million over the same period, while iflix is predicted to grow from 17,000 to 741,000 subscribers. DStv Showmax numbers will increase from 334,000 to 1.73 million, the report claims.

Source: Digital TV Research

SSA’s six most popular platforms – Showmax, iRoko, Kwesé Play, iflix, Amazon and Netflix – accounted for 90% of the region’s SVoD subscribers by the end of 2017, with this proportion predicted to be retained across the next five. Despite being relatively expensive, Netflix is still expected to account for 40% of the 2023 total, with an estimated 4.03 million subscribers.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Market dynamics have shifted over the last year. There have been fewer platform launches, especially on a country level. We believe iRoko will concentrate mostly on West Africa.

“A significant stake in iflix was sold to Econet, which we believe will mean more focus on Eastern and Southern Africa. MultiChoice announced that Showmax will be given free to premium DStv subscribers across Africa, with Compact subscribers offered Showmax for half price.”

Digital TV Research is a London-based research and analytical company. It publishes more than 20 reports, covering over 130 countries, annually.

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African pay TV subs set to hit 46m

The number of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow to 45.63 million by 2024, according to the newly published Sub-Saharan Africa Pay TV Forecasts report.

This suggests Sub-Saharan Africa will add 16 million subscribers in the next six years, marking an increase of 61%. Pay TV revenues were forecast to reach US$7.72bn by 2024, up by US$2.3bn on 2018.

Three big operators – MultiChoice, Vivendi/Canal+ and StarTimes – dominate the Sub-Saharan Africa pay TV market, with a combined 93% market share.

At the end of 2018, pay TV operator MultiChoice had over 14.34 million subscribers on its DStv and GOtv platforms and this figure is estimated to increase by five million by 2024.

France’s Vivendi had 4.01 million subs to its Canal+ satellite TV platform and Easy TV by the end of 2018, which will climb to 6.21 million by 2024, said the report. StarTimes had 7.75 million pay TV subscribers by the end of 2018 and it is estimated to reach 14.85 million by 2024.

According to Simon Murray, principal analyst at the report’s publisher, Digital TV Research: “Subscriber numbers will climb by 61% over this period, but pay TV revenues will rise by only 42% – indicating lower ARPUs. Pay TV revenues will reach US$7.72bn by 2024, up by US$2.3bn on 2018.”

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