No money in video-on-demand yet: Multichoice

Multichoice says that if it were to launch a video-on-demand service, it would not see a return on investment for some time.

The group, however, said that it would look into launching a stand-alone online subscription video streaming service – but it’s a case of timing.

CEO at DStv Digital Media, John Kotsaftis, told BusinessTech: “We are not waiting for the market to open up in terms of broadband. We have launched VOD (video-on-demand) products over the top five years ago. We have been playing in this space for some time. Catch-up has been online for five years, Supersport has been online for six years.”

“We are working a little bit ahead of the curve, maybe quite a lot ahead of the curve, and if we launched an SVOD product, we wouldn’t look at ROI for a long time. You aren’t going to make the money back,” Kotsaftis said.

CEO for DStv Mobile at Multichoice, Mark Rayner added that the big question for Multichoice is a round timing: “What we obsess about, is when to launch new products.”

He said that a lot of things get built in the background, but are then kept on the shelf because the market simply isn’t ready.

“We invest a lot in content, so if you decide to pull the trigger, you need to be able to pay that back quickly,” he said, adding that there was always a melting pot of options.

Kotsaftis said that Multichoice already had a video-on-demand service in the market place, called African Magic GO, providing original African film and television content.

He said that this product was built two years ago and services the international market, where the group can afford to make mistakes due to the abundant broadband.

“A lot of that learning we have already had, and that product is operational. If we had to launch something (in SA), it would help us do it much faster,” Kotsaftis said.

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No money in video-on-demand yet: Multichoice