Vodacom has 64 million subscribers and runs mobile networks in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg
Naspers Ltd. is in talks with wireless carrier Vodacom Group Ltd. about delivering video content to mobile devices across Africa as the media company seeks to compete with Netflix Inc. in offering movies and TV in the continent of 1 billion people.
An agreement would give Naspers additional distribution for a video-on-demand service, dubbed Showmax, that the company plans to start this week, according to two people familiar with the matter. The product initially will target South Africa’s 1 million fixed-line broadband users, and within three years will be accessed predominantly by smart-device users across Africa, said the people, who asked not to be named as the plans are private.
“These discussions are still ongoing,” Vodacom spokesman Tshepo Ramodibe said in an e-mailed response to questions. “This conversation is in line with our business strategy to add new service offerings, including content.”
Naspers, Africa’s most-valuable stock at 716 billion rand ($56 billion), is investing in mobile applications to deliver TV content more widely in a region where high-speed landline connections are still rare. It’s also producing more African shows as its targets further expansion in Kenya and Nigeria to ward off competition from Netflix.
A spokeswoman for Naspers’ service declined to comment on the plans.
Vodacom has 64 million subscribers and runs mobile networks in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho. Cape Town, South Africa-based Naspers owns 34 percent of Chinese Internet operator Tencent, has online-service interests in about 40 countries and is Africa’s biggest seller of pay TV.
Naspers has partnered with studios including CBS Corp., Time Warner Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and the British Broadcasting Corp. to distribute shows and movies, according to one of the people.
Mybroadband reported Naspers’ plans to start Showmax last week.
Netflix, which has 66 million customers in about 50 countries, plans to expand to about 200 countries, including in Africa, by the end 2016. Press representatives for the company declined to comment further on Netflix plans.
Los Gatos, California-based Netflix is trying to build the first global TV network delivered over the Internet and has encountered strong local competition in several markets, including major broadcasters with their own streaming services in the U.K., Sweden and Germany.
Naspers sees Netflix, Apple Inc., Amazon’s Prime and the U.K.’s Lovefilm service as direct competitors, billionaire Chairman Koos Bekker said in an interview in May.
Naspers will allow Showmax to compete directly with its Multichoice unit, Africa’s largest pay-TV company with 8 million subscribers, according to the people. South Africa’s main video-on-demand services are Times Media Group Ltd.’s Vidi and MTN Group Ltd.’s FrontRow.
Source: Bloomberg Business
- Africa’s biggest media company will fight Netflix for control of the global streaming market
- When Netflix launches in South Africa, it’ll already have stiff competition
- Africa’s most valuable company Naspers worth less than what it owns (Infographics)
- MTN, Samsung and Coca-Cola top list of most admired brands in Africa
- Netflix competitor ShowMax launches in 36 African countries
- South Africa’s Naspers returns to bond market to fund emerging markets internet acquisitions
- Naspers says it can cope with Netflix challenge in South Africa
- ShowMax is stepping up its pan-African battle with Netflix by putting servers in Kenya
- Naspers Plans to Boost Nigeria TV Offering as Naira Weakens
- Why startups, not media giants, lead online video in Africa
- Netflix is coming to South Africa next month, and it’s got an ace up its sleeve
- Africa’s largest company plans to enable download of movies and TV shows like “Game of Thrones” across the continent
- Africa’s largest company to start funding roadshow in the US and UK
- MTN in talks to buy MultiChoice Africa, says report
- Nigerian Media Mogul Mo Abudu Making Most of EbonyLife TV Success
- Africa’s largest company Naspers adds Nigeria to ‘BRIC’
- Media companies finally understand: The future of African TV is mobile
- Spotify in Talks With Vodacom Over Music Deal in Africa
- Nigeria’s ‘Netflix of Africa’ iROKOtv made a 3,000% return for investors
- Meet Nigeria’s Nollywood, the world’s second largest movie industry
- Nollywood is giving the world a taste of true African glamour
- Europeans Selling Mobile Payments Should Ask Africa for Help
- Africa’s Biggest Fund Manager Said to Explore Vodacom Deal
- 21 Nigerian tech CEOs at the top of their game
- Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife TV launches subscription video-on-demand African content platform for Africans in the Diaspora
- MTN South Africa’s CEO Mteto Nyati resigns, to be replaced by Motsa
- The Netflix of Africa Doesn’t Need Hollywood to Win
- Viacom and Turner Targeting Africa’s Millennials With Multi-Platform Offerings
- Online retailer Jumia expanding into new markets: Uganda, Ghana and Cameroon
- iROKOtv: From ‘Netflix of Nigeria’ to ‘Nollywood’ producer
- Sony Music seeks Nigeria streaming growth to build on ringback market
- South Africa’s Naspers rules out $114 billion Tencent stake spin-off
- Africa Offers Big Potential for Streaming Video
- A new Netflix server in Nigeria will deliver faster streaming and content to its African users
- Hong Kong billionaire said to plan South African rival to Netflix
- Goldman Sachs & MTN to invest $245M in Nigerian e-commerce firm Africa Internet Group (AIG)
- South Africa’s Naspers betting on e-commerce growth in emerging & frontier markets
- Liquid Telecom buys Neotel for $466M to form Africa’s largest fiber network
- Safaricom completes migration of M-PESA platform to Kenya and plans to open up M-PESA APIs
- M-Pesa, Safaricom, Kenya regulators and Vodacom could be about to open up mobile money in Africa