Cindy Anne Lewis, Regional Director Marketing & Consumer Lab Sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson shares with Appsafrica.com how they are supporting the mobile start-up ecosystem with a number of initiatives including the AHUB and a new video-on- demand (VoD) App called NuVu.
NuVu is the first end-to-end subscription video-on-demand content service, intensifying competition in the VoD space. With this solution, subscribers will have access to around 3,000 local and international TV and film titles for a small monthly fee. They will be able to download content directly to their smartphones or tablets at no additional data cost during off-peak network times, and access the content offline for up to 30 days after downloading.
Connectivity is the main challenge
From Ericsson’s report, TV and Media in Kenya 2015, 80% of respondents across Kenya have smartphones and 60% of them spend their viewing time on mobile devices rather than TVs. However both independent and established video providers agree that the main challenge facing VoD services in Africa is the availability of internet connectivity.
“The biggest challenge facing uptake of video on demand services in South Africa has been the lack of broadband penetration and costs associated with it. We only have a small percentage of viewers who have broadband in the home, and until we have ubiquitous access for a large portion of our viewers, adoption of online VOD services will not be as robust as we would hope for,” MultiChoice tells Appsafrica.com. Netflix reagrdless of size will face the same challenge too.
Free models also growing
The problem is most streaming systems on offer are on-demand (VOD), paid for services (subscription) that only work on broadband connections (3G, LTE, ADSL, FTH etc). However Tuluntulu an Appsafrica Innovation Winner 2015 is a mobile content platform targeting audiences in Africa and globally with African focused content. Tuluntulu’s model is free, and is designed to work on low bandwidth mobile networks including EDGE.
NuVu will use network off-peak times to allow users to download their movies without data charges, bypassing the high costs they would otherwise face. “For the foreseeable future streaming is not a viable option to reach a mass market, you need to utilise the strength of the off-peak download to be able to get proper full length professional content at zero data cost” explains NuVu Managing Director Niclas Ekdahl. Watch this space.