The use of video and music streaming services is rising significantly as South African consumers continue to look for ways to be entertained at a fraction of the usual cost. This has emerged from the latest stats revealed on spending on these services via FNB.
The bank has disclosed that, in the 12 months to January 2020, its customers paid close to R500-million in subscription and gift card purchases from Netflix, Showmax and Spotify. Typically, subscription fees to such services can range from approximately R59 to R170 per month. The Bank says it recorded a consistent month-on-month increase in the number of customers who use these services.
“The increasing use of content-on-demand platforms is not surprising as consumers are constantly looking for ways to stretch every Rand and manage their money a lot better,” says Raj Makanjee, chief executive of FNB Retail. “Our Retail transactional activity shows that over 60% of subscriptions are by our Premium* accountholders who earn a minimum monthly gross income of R25,000.
“The flexibility of content-on-demand platforms allows families to customise their own experience and playlists, with the convenience to consume content as and when they want to. In some cases, families can create secondary profiles for various family members. This can be of great convenience and a cost saving for families that have children in varsities or other parts of the country.”
FNB Consumer chief executive Christoph Nieuwoudt says that, beyond flexibility and convenience, access to affordable data and smart technology is a contributing factor to consumer uptake.
“In 2019, we introduced free telco services for customers who use FNB Connect,” he said. “This contributes to helping customers save, not only on telco, but in other areas of their lives which are impacted by access to affordable telco services. In the long run, we will continue to invest in our platform to help customers improve the way they manage their money.”
New measures as video production comes to a halt
MultiChoice has announced a range of measures to safeguard the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives, as well as the sustainability of production houses.
MutliChoice Group has confirmed that production of video entertainment has come to a complete halt in South Africa, as the industry adheres to the national lockdown.
Many sectors across the African continent are adjusting and finding ways to deal with challenges brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic. Among these, MultiChoice Group is one of the best-known brands across Africa, due to its dominance of the video entertainment sector. As a result, it says, it is acutely aware of the challenges its partners in the industry are facing.
“For many years MultiChoice has been a leader in the sector and are a leading investor in local content production,” it said in a statement on Friday. “The group has deep rooted partnerships and long-standing commitments that have grown the industry for the benefit of many, both in front and behind the camera.”
For this reason, says MultiChoice, it has decided to implement several measures aimed at safeguarding the incomes of cast, crew, and creatives as well as the sustainability of production houses.
“With these measures the group can hopefully steer the industry through this tumultuous time.”
MultiChoice announced the following measures:
- “MultiChoice has set aside R80 million to ensure that current productions are able to pay full salaries of cast, crew, and creatives for the months of March and April, by when hopefully we will have the worst of the disruptions behind us. The need to secure salaries of our creatives goes a long way in creating income stability for them and their families. We believe this to be critical for the industry and in our view simply the right thing to do.
- “Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory we will be launching an online learning portal that will support over 40 000 members of the industry to gain access to courses and online master classes, so they can continue to hone their craft whilst adhering to the public health measures of social distancing and isolation.
- “Furthermore, we have committed to guarantee the incomes of freelancers in our SuperSport Productions, who are currently unable to work due to the suspension of sport and the national lockdown. This extends to guaranteeing the income of freelancers in our broadcast technology environment.”
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said: “Our main concern is to ensure as much as possible that we secure the incomes of creatives, cast and crew over this period. We want to ensure that they and their families are not negatively impacted as work has come to a standstill.”
Nintendo South Africa launches online gameathon
Nintendo’s South African distributor has set up live events for virtual participation during lockdown.
Being stuck inside doesn’t mean not being with the game. Players now have the chance to meet up virtually to play Nintendo Switch Online games like Ring Fit Adventure, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pokémon Sword and Shield.
A daily schedule is available for each game. For example, Ring Fit Adventure has a kids challenge at 9am from Monday to Friday, while adults can join in at 2pm. The challenges are co-ordinated by a dedicated Ring Fit coach.
The challenge instructions will be available via the Discord channel. Join the channel via the invite here.
Players of all skill levels are encouraged to join. Plenty tips and tricks will be shared about the games.