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YouTube rules free video in SA

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YouTube dominates the free online video segment in South Africa, with nearly nine out of 10 connected, urban consumers regularly accessing free video on YouTube and just under half watching YouTube videos every day.

That’s according to RACHEL THOMPSON, insights director at GfK South Africa, who was speaking at Google’s recent YouTube Ad Break event in Johannesburg (on April 3). She says that faster, cheaper connectivity is transforming the viewing ecosystem by giving consumers new options such as video streaming and paid video downloads.

Drawing on data from GfK ViewScape – a panel study collecting data from a representative sample of South Africa’s connected population – Thompson said that 86% of the country’s online population are accessing free digital video and 45% are accessing paid digital video services.

“Consumers are no longer limited to linear TV, but have a wide range of free and paid online and offline services available to them,” said Thompson. “They are willing to spend significant portions of their disposable income on mobile data because of the value they perceive in online video. Falling data costs could catalyse exponential growth in this market.”

Thompson said that digital video has not replaced linear television because it addresses a range of new, emerging needs among consumers. Many people are turning to online video because it is available wherever they have an Internet connection, because of its personalisation features, and because it gives them access to wider choice of ‘hometainment’ and information options.

Some 99% of the GfK ViewScape panel members are still consuming linear television, with 70% accessing paid options and 86% accessing free-to-air content. However, some 18% of subscription video-on-demand users are ‘cable cutters’; in other words, substituting paid linear services with paid digital video services. Sport and local content are the major reason for remaining loyal to linear pay television.

The GfK data shows that some 18% of viewers, mainly younger people, rate free online video as their preferred form of video content, even from a TV.

YouTube viewers’ behaviour is active and deliberate—in other words, they are using an app or the YouTube website to watch content rather than having it auto-play in their web browsers as they are interacting with other content.

Thirty-eight percent of YouTube videos are viewed on a smartphone, 39% on a PC, 16% on a tablet and the remaining 6% on a television. Nearly half (47%) of the free YouTube content viewers watch clips shorter than 10 minutes, but the average viewing session is 87 minutes. However, YouTube viewing is also moving into traditional TV territory with 21% of videos viewed comprising movie or TV programme content.

“Daily YouTube viewers are more likely to live in higher income households, have access to a wider range of digital devices and know what to do with them,” said Thompson. “They claim to be influential since others often ask them for their opinions, and they often discuss what they watch on social media, messaging platforms or blogs.”

She concluded: “Over the past five years, we have shifted to a multi-layered viewing ecosystem, made up of a mixture of free and paid, and linear and digital services. Consumers have more choice than ever before – and the result is that they are engaging with more video content than they did in the past. Wherever they go, they now have access to video, a trend which is a gamechanger for the broadcast industry.”

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Gaming gets rad at Rand Show

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With the opening of the 125th Rand Show at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, today, gamers and cosplayers have a new destination to strut their stuff.

A new addition to the show, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion, is offering anything from gaming and cosplay to dance-offs and  science displays.

The organisers provided the following information (although several million exclamation marks and exaggerations have been removed!):

Fortnite Tournament

There was a time when Gaming was a considered a solitary pastime, confined to single player consoles; but that truly is a thing of the past with a fully immersive Fortnite Tournament open to all Fortnite afficionados and even those just starting out. Players can battle it out over both show weekends, including a final on each weekend. Family fan clubs can also get in on the action with live broadcasts of the game as it happens across screens – a full-on Fortnite family affair. Sponsored by PlayStation, gamers are truly going to be spoiled and should get in on the action as fast as they can because R 100 000 in cash prizes is up for grabs.

Smart Technology Centre will deliver a super-fast FibreMAX 500Mbps fibre link, wholly dedicated to the gaming pavilion to ensure that absolutely nothing ruins the thrill of the National Fortnite Tournament. 

“As the exclusive connectivity provider, we have gone all out to ensure an amazing experience for gamers,” says Dillynn Els of Smart Technology Centre (STC), an internet service provider (ISP) and IT technology partner. “When it comes to gaming and the best experience possible, it’s all about ensuring we provide a dedicated, uncapped, unshaped connection that makes every second count.”

Keen players can come along and enter on the day, but don’t delay because space is limited.

Fortnite Inspired Dance Off

Visitors can come along and be entertained by the finalists in the Fortnite inspired dance-off. There will be daily dances to enjoy for the entire duration of the show.

Come and play – Cosplay, to be exact.

The stage is set for a celebration of creativity and imagination that is going to be literally out of this world. Super hero heavy weights and masters of the mysterious will be letting their creative vision loose and take part in various Cosplay Tournaments and a visually stunning Cosplay Masquerade. Come see what all the fuss is about and get lost in this world costumes, colour and creative talent.

Games, Games and Science

For those wanting to get their gaming on, there will be three free play areas sponsored by Xbox with a host of games available to play. Xbox will be giving away 3 Xbox 1’s and an awesome Xbox 1X, but you truly have to be in it to win it, so make sure you don’t miss out.

The Kalahari Scientist will be onstage delighting visitors with his explosive displays that are guaranteed to up the ooh and aah factor with audiences young and old.

But wait, there’s more

Along with the larger-than-life gaming entertainment offering, visitors will also get to be the first gamers on SA soil to get a sneak peak of PlayStation’s brand new Mortal Kombat 11. Don’t miss your chance to experience the continuation of this epic saga through a new cinematic story that is more than 25 years in the making. The iconic showcasing brutal battles like never before, along with a host of customisable fighters with enhanced graphics and animations.

Other activities at the Pavilion include VR Experiences, a full-on NAG Nerf Arena, Gaming vendors with awesome gaming content, retailers selling gaming related products and software, and tutorials and workshops on how to improve your gaming skills, Celebrity Fortnite match off for charity.

With huge sponsors such as PlayStation, Xbox, MMS, NAG, SABC 2 and Smart Technology, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion is geared up to become a hot zone of entertainment.

Win big

In case the entertainment offering just doesn’t get the heart beats racing fast enough, an all-expenses paid trip to TwitchCon USA, sponsored by PlayStation, in conjunction with 94.7 Highveld Stereo, is waiting for one lucky visitor to grab it. Every ticket purchased into the Entertainment Gaming Pavilion qualifies as an entry, so bring the whole family along for the ride.

Tickets to the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion can be purchased at the show for R 20 which gives the ticket holder access for  two hours.

The pavilion will be open from 14h00 to 19h00 weekdays and 10h00 to 19h00 on weekends from 19 to 28 April 2019.

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Riaad Moosa show debuts on Vodacom Video Play

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Riaad Moosa’s comedy special, Life Begins, will be the first major local title to be released on Vodacom’s video-on-demand service, Video Play.

As an award-winning comedian, actor, writer and presenter, Riaad Moosa is one of South Africa’s most renowned funny men. His one-man show is available for download on the platform from today, 26 April 2019. Life Begins is rated PG-16L

Vodacom’s says its affordable video-on-demand service, Video Play, has had an incredible uptake since its launch in August 2018, with over 2-million subscribers. 

“But with a proliferation of affordable video-on-demand platforms available to the South African market, what is it that gives Video Play the competitive edge?” it asked in a release this week. “Recognising the consumer’s need for flexibility and freedom of choice, Vodacom has ingeniously developed an adaptable subscription model that puts the power in consumers’ hands. Forget being tied down to a monthly subscription. Video Play gives consumers the liberty of choosing a daily, weekend or even monthly package. 

“Blockbuster movies can even be viewed for a once off cost, without subscription. Furthermore, these bundles can be purchased according to niche categories and genres, from Bollywood movies to gospel music.”

Consumers are able to pay for movies and series by using their airtime or adding it to their bill, eliminating the need for a credit card. Subscribers are also able to purchase video-specific data at a fraction of the regular price to consume constant content without overspending. Daily subscriptions start from R5 a day.

Zunaid Mahomed, Group Digital and Fixed Services Officer, says: “Video Play has enabled the company to provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience. With the addition of Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins, we’re excited to offer consumers even more quality content and a wider variety of entertainment on demand than ever before. We’re putting quality entertainment, into the hands of anyone with a mobile device and an internet connection.”

Riaad Moosa describes his show as “very philosophical and existential”.

“It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I’m supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head.  It’s about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude. Through my comedic lens, I hope to put a different spin on that and hopefully I can enter my next 40 years with renewed vigour and excitement.”

To access Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins comedy special, register for Video via the Video Play website (www.videoplay.co.za).

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