MultiChoice’s efforts to reduce password sharing on its DStv streaming platform have been a major success.
This is according to MultiChoice SA CEO Nyiko Shiburi.
Password sharing has historically been supported to allow people living in the same household to watch different content on the same streaming platform.
However, it has also commonly been used to share the cost of a single account between multiple friends or family members who don’t live together — reducing the revenue that companies like MultiChoice receive.
“This is piracy and hurts the whole industry. When we invest in content, we expect certain returns, and when people share [passwords], we don’t get our money back,” said Shiburi.
To crack down on this practice, from 22 March 2022, DStv restricted the number of devices that can simultaneously stream from a single account to one.
Previously, subscribers could live stream channels to two devices at once.
The change caused several technical problems for DStv customers and resulted in a backlash.
However, Shiburi said that although the change was initially met with an uproar, it has been a great business decision.
“After we limited the number of [concurrent] streams, we have seen an uptick in the take-up of DStv as some of those people who were given passwords [of existing subscribers] came on board,” said Shiburi.
He expects the number of subscribers to continue to grow thanks to MultiChoice’s recent announcement that it has reduced DStv’s online streaming subscription fee.
In recent times, MultiChoice has placed a significant focus on diversifying its business model.
Most recently, it acquired the on-demand emergency response app Namola.
The app dispatches its network of responders to distress signals across South Africa.
DStv subscribers can add the Namola app to their bill from 26 October 2022.
“Namola is part of our strategy to expand our ecosystem beyond entertainment and to offer a suite of consumer services that meet the needs of our customers,” said Shiburi.
MultiChoice also recently announced a partnership with Sky, allowing it to sell the Sky Glass TV range locally from 2023.
These TVs use a QLED panel and offer built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to stream video from several services.
“This syndication partnership highlights our drive to put the needs of customers at the core of what we do, through both the bolstering of the customers viewing experience as well as demand for streaming aggregation,” said MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.
Last year, MultiChoice also launched DStv Internet — a range of LTE data services on the MTN network bundled with DStv Trusted Home.
DStv Trusted Home promises to protect your home network from online security threats and malicious attacks, and keep children safer online with parental control features.
This year MultiChoice is expanding its broadband offerings to uncapped fibre contracts that come with its new Streama media box and a DStv subscription.