Who wins Africa’s subscription video on-demand (svod)? I think it could come down to this equation:
Platform + Satellite Broadband = Disruption of SVOD in Africa.
Yes, I think the path may be satellite broadband (like SpaceX Starlink), not terrestrial (as in MTN, Glo, Airtel) due to coverage. If Netflix does what it does in America – pay internet service providers (ISPs) to make its videos “run faster” than other contents to customers – you can have a scenario where Netflix + Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband may be a bundle.
Then, the question would be: would the high voltage animosity on DStv move to Netflix when that happens? I am looking at the data, and it is increasingly looking like a US player will come and dominate SVOD in Africa despite our “first mover advantages”. After all, they just hired a man who promised he could do it, only to fail on that mission.
Netflix has appointed Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to its board. This is a clear evidence that Netflix sees Africa as part of its future. Besides buying movie rights and signing producers to produce more, having Strive on its board takes the playbook to a new level. Across all domains, this is epochal when it comes to regional SVOD (streaming video on demand) strategy. Yes, Strive knows Africa and has the networks and connections to everybody he needs in the continent.
Why must U.S. companies win these games even when we started well ahead of them? Do not be surprised if Netflix becomes absolute, by 2025, in Africa’s SVOD!
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