DStv Premium is struggling in South Africa

DStv Premium is struggling in South Africa

MultiChoice Group has published its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2019, showing that its DStv Premium product remains under pressure.

The company did not publish the exact number of Premium subscribers it had at the end of March 2019, but did admit that the segment was suffering due to competition and a difficult economy.

MultiChoice’s overall subscriber base continues to grow, but this due to a growing number of low-end subscribers and not uptake of its Premium product.

“The South African business delivered subscriber growth of 8% YoY or 0.5m subscribers and generated revenues of R33.7bn, up 3% (4% organic) from the prior year,” MultiChoice said.

“The Premium segment remained under pressure as consumers were impacted by rising fuel and other costs and we competed for share of wallet.”

Last year, DStv outlined its Premium subscriber decline and showed that it had lost 41,000 subscribers in the space of the previous financial year.

MultiChoice added that its average revenue per user continued to decline as it grew its low-end subscriber base.

“ARPU declined from R335 to R322 due to the ongoing change in subscriber mix towards the mass market,” the company said.

MultiChoice’s results presentation showed that the company’s Premium subscriber mix decreased from 22% to 20%, with its Premium subscriber growth decreasing by 7%.

DStv 2019 subscriber growth
DStv 2019 subscriber growth 1

Online and Rest of Africa

Despite continuing to lose DStv Premium subscribers, MultiChoice has seen strong growth across its Showmax and DStv Now platforms.

“Sustained efforts to grow the digital offering through Connected Video and position the business for the future, saw good uptake of both the Showmax and DStv Now services,” MultiChoice said.

As a result of this drive, MultiChoice doubled the number of its online subscribers compared to last year.

The company performed better in the rest of Africa, adding 1.1 million subscribers across its services.

This marks the first time that MultiChoice has more subscribers in its “Rest of Africa” segment than in South Africa.

Jamie McKane – My Broadband