Multichoice has announced to the users of DStv across Africa that it is all set to introduce what is being referred to as a standalone ‘dishless’ streaming product.
According to a statement by the CEO of MultiChoice Group’s Connected Division, Nicolas Ekdahl recently, he said; “MultiChoice has gone a long way to develop the new product, when it becomes available in the market come early 2020 as expected, consumers would simply need their broadband connections instead of a dish.”
Multichoice before now has hoped to launch the streaming service before the end of this year. However, due to certain reasons, this has been delayed. In the meantime, the product has mostly been tested internally in preparation for its eventual release.
“We still want to do proper user testing in a real live environment, but the chances of launching by the end of March are pretty good” Ekdahl said.
The DStv brand is widely used across Africa, including Nigeria, where it is the pay Tv of choice for millions of subscribers. MultiChoice has also done a lot to improve the quality of its products and services over the years. As Ekdahl claimed, much effort has always been put towards improving user experience. But this hasn’t stopped customers from occasionally expressing their dissatisfaction.
As the CEO best put it, “we are now in a favourable position to launch dishless”.
Note that going ‘dishless’ would mean a major paradigm shift for MultiChoice which came into operation some 24 years ago as a satellite direct-to-home pay-tv provider. It would also mean that the company is better positioned to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu which currently dominate the global streaming space.
Speaking further, Ekdahl added: “We can grow in both, there is a dual-growth opportunity. The risk of cannibalisation will always be there, but if that’s going to happen, we’d rather risk doing it to ourselves than someone else doing it to us.”
The CEO however declined to comment on this when he was asked to further clarify, he mentioned that DStv Now will continue to be available for dish owners, as it is unclear whether the new standalone ‘dishless’ product will have a different name and different branding..