Can Video Streaming Apps Threaten the Future of Cable TV in Nigeria?

You may have already heard of iRoko TV and Netflix, streaming applications that are gradually threatening the monopoly of Cable TV networks like DSTV and StarTimes in Nigeria.

DSTV and StarTimes have successfully held on to their customer base over the years despite their consistently skyrocketing prices. They even matched that with warding off competition from new births like HiTV and TSTV most recently.

However, it appears the new video streaming apps from tech companies like Netflix is going to spell demise for them. Or is that even possible?  Outside the shores of Africa, online streaming companies are already threatening the existence of Cable TV – again, Netflix is at the forefront of that movement with the likes of Amazon and Sony following suit.

Companies like Cable One are already focusing more on their internet broadband services which cater more to online streamers than cable TV subscribers.

Is Cable TV really threatened in Nigeria?

Considering that the Chief Executive Officer of MultiChoice, Calvo Mawela, blamed Netflix for the loss suffered by the company in the 2017 financial year, the answer to the question is already obvious.

As if the growth of Netflix and iRoko TV was not threatening enough, there is the birth of not-so-popular streaming platforms like Mobdro, Cyberflix and Showbox

These new streaming platforms offer much more than movies and TV series which is the niche of Netflix and iROKO TV. Mobdro hosts channels such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Sky Sports, Fox, and a number of others that are not even available to DStv subscribers. Where Pay TV still holds the trump card is with internet access. Tech streaming companies still have to deal with spotty internet connection within the country for subscribers to enjoy their content.

Netflix has already attempted to curb this challenge by partnering with the data provider, Spectranet, to provide a more secure connection for its subscribers. But the real challenge is that internet data plans are just as expensive as DSTV bills, something that Nigerians don’t find palatable.

The fact that MultiChoice, owners of DSTV, has launched standalone streaming services, ShowMax and DStvNow, is proof that they have been shaken by the entrance of Netflix and other streaming apps.DSTV and other Cable networks still have a long lifespan in the Nigerian market, but there is a certainty of improved technological innovations by all competitors and new streaming apps to increase variety for customers.

At the end of the day, the competition that will ensue between DSTV, StarTimes, Netflix, iROKO TV and other streaming platforms is only a win-win situation for the Nigerian audience – and we are all up for it.

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