Econet Media, a subsidiary of the company which owns Liquid Telecom, has launched Kwesé Play in South Africa, in partnership with Netflix.
The group announced on Thursday that it has also entered into a partnership with Netflix, to offer a three month subscription to the streaming service with each Kwesé Play sold.
Speaking about the deal, Econet Media president and chief Executive officer Joseph Hundah said: “The number of connected homes in Africa continues to grow at an impressive rate and we expect to see strong uptake of Netflix in our markets.”
“The current number of active subscribers is a fraction of what we (Econet and Netflix) believe the potential to be. We see this as an opportunity to expand Kwesé’s multi-platform offering while bringing the best in original general entertainment to households across the continent.”
Maria Ferreras, Netflix vice president of business development for the EMEA region said that African customers are demonstrating enthusiasm and appetite for internet television.
“We believe they should be able to access the best shows in the world at the same time as everyone else, without the restrictions of a linear schedule,” she said.
Price and availability
According to reports from MyBroadband, Kwesé Play will be sold as a custom-built Roku is priced at R1,599, available from Liquid Telecom, Vox, FNB, Cellucity, and Incredible Connection.
Kwesé Play is a branded Roku streaming device which lets you connect to over 100 online channels at launch, including Netflix, YouTube, and Red Bull TV.
The device and Kwesé Play’s integrated billing services are currently available in South Africa – with plans to expand to other sub-Saharan African countries.
Cellucity also has a contract deal for the device, offering it on a Vodacom contract with 20GB anytime data, 20GB night data, and a Vodafone R216 LTE Wi-Fi router for R379 per month.
The device comes with a 12-month warranty. To return an in-warranty product, you will need to pack the Roku and its accessories into the original packaging.
Each Kwesé Play Roku also includes a 3-month subscription to Netflix’s standard plan – which usually costs $9.99 per month.
The player will allow you to sign in with your existing login details for Netflix and other services if you have an existing account.
Kwesé Play also offers unified billing through its account system, which lets users subscribe to services through a central interface.
As Netflix’s official partner in Africa, Kwesé Play said it can offer payments in local currency through its billing platform.
To use unified billing and local currency payments, existing Netflix subscribers will need to create a new account using a different email address.
Kwesé Play’s prices for a Netflix subscription are between R129.99 (standard definition) to R199.99 (HD and UHD) per month.