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Last week Naspers, which owns the Multichoice/DStv and GOtv pay-TV brands over Africa, said it was freezing subscription prices for its subscribers.
An analysis of its latest numbers shows the reasons: While DStv in South Africa enjoyed a 6 per cent uptick in subscriber numbers, its Premier tier subs numbers have reduced from 23 per cent of the overall number to 20 per cent. DStv subs in the rest of Africa are down an alarming 11 per cent (on March 31st 2015).
It is clear that in general Multichoice subscribers are churning down to lower-priced tiers. Its ‘Compact’ tier now accounts for 30 per cent of the subs base, up from 27 per cent.
However, there’s good news in the number of homes now taking a PVR service (up 11 per cent to 1.18m), with commensurate benefits in churn. “As churn is more than 50 per cent lower for PVR customers, growth of this base will have a positive financial impact,” said Naspers. “The focus remains on providing the best-quality entertainment while managing costs, improving customer service, driving retention, and growing average revenues per user through value-added services such as BoxOffice.”