SA VOD players shut up shop


Times Media Group’s (TMG) video on demand service VIDI is closing, a little over a
year since its launch in September 2014. According to a report by Tech Central the internet streaming service reported poor take-
up in the South African market and in June 2015 TMG parent company Tiso
Blackstar noted that VIDI management was “working hard at re-engineering the
business in light of weak market penetration and the slow pace of meaningful
broadband growth in South Africa.’

On 31 October 2015, video-on-demand (VOD) player Altech Node discontinued its
services, stating on its website that: “Increased competition in the video-on-demand
environment and unfavourable market conditions have necessitated Altron having to
make the difficult decision to close the Altech Node business.’

Recently South Africa has experienced a VOD boom, with a number of new service
providers entering the market. FrontRow, which has since been rebranded as VU,
was launched in December 2014 by MTN in partnership with Discover Digital;
ShowMax was launched by Naspers in August 2015; was launched in
September 2015 by PCCW Global, and January 2016 saw US VOD giant Netflix
extend its offering to include South Africa. As competition in this space rises, the
challenge of available and reliable broadband to support such services persists.
What is more, the current number of consumers willing to engage in the market for
local VOD services remains limited.


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