Hard times: DStv Premium increasingly loses subscribers


MultiChoice released its interim results for the period ended 30 September 2019, which showed a continued decline in DStv Premium subscribers.

While MultiChoice has stopped reporting on exactly how many DStv Premium customers it is losing, its results showed that it lost 3% of its premium subscribers over the last year. The company’s “mid-market” subscribers stayed constant while its mass-market subscribers increased by 7%.

Thanks to this mass-market growth, the total number of DStv subscribers in South Africa increased from 7.6 million to 8.2 million over the last year. The average revenue per user, however, declined from R308 to R292 because of the higher percentage of DStv subscribers choosing cheaper packages.

DStv Premium now accounts for 19% of all DStv subscribers, down from 21% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, numbers have been declining since 2015. This decline was so significant that MultiChoice launched various initiatives to try to stem the tide. This included a DStv Premium price freeze in 2019.

None of these measures stopped the exodus of Premium users, and the decline continued this year. The company previously blamed competition from Netflix as the main reason for this decline, but has now added tough economic conditions and affordability into the mix.

MultiChoice CFO Tim Jacobs previously said that the affordability of DStv Premium is a problem, especially when South African consumers are under pressure.

The simple truth is that many DStv Premium subscribers are tired of paying R809 per month for the service, and on top of that being charged another R95 per month to use PVR functionality.


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