Approximately 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.
This is according to GfK’s latest international ViewScape survey, which recently surveyed South Africa and other African countries for the first time.
Showmax is an online subscription video on demand service which launched in South Africa in August 2015, while Netflix launched January 2016. Like DStv is through Multichoice, Showmax is Naspers owned company.
Focusing specifically on South Africa, the study surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with internet access.
It found that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content.
This average user spends around seven hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.
Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such like YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television.
In comparison, people aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.
“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” said Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa.
“Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”
Other interesting findings in the survey include:
- Just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services.
- Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DStv Box Office.
- 10% download pirated content from the Internet.
- 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.
MyBroadband meanwhile reported on Wednesday that DStv is developing a streaming-only version of the service, citing MultiChoice South Africa CEO, Calvo Mawela.
It said that where MultiChoice lost over 100,000 DStv Premium subscribers during the last financial year, Netflix, albeit globally, recently announced it added 7.41 million subscribers during its last quarter – growing to 125 million subscribers. The company does not break down its figures outside of the US.