When internet TV first entered the market place, it was all IPTV, involving pay TV operators delivering content over the top of their own set-top-boxes. In many regions, they still have a massive share of the market, proving popular with consumers, and enabling pay TV operators to go direct to consumer.
However, Africa wasn’t ready or able to embrace this new era of TV back then. IPTV is still not feasible across the region. The infrastructure is simply not there yet for broadcasters to go direct to consumer in this way. Whilst it will inevitably come at some point, giving the broadcasters that direct access to consumers and the opportunity to tailor services according to preferences, we won’t see them being developed for quite some time.
Instead we have seen a massive movement and innovation in mobile services. Since those early days things have moved so much that the mobile operators have been able to make the most of leading the charge for providing OTT content to consumers.
This is very unlike every other region in the world, where this has been led by media companies and broadcasters. The mobile industry in Africa is huge and has a massive impact on the everyday lives of people living there, as mobile phones have bridged the gap between rural areas. Because of this, competition is more fierce than in any other market and of course all the operators are looking to differentiate as much as possible, and more important generate revenue from their services.
OTT on the go has changed the face of mobile revenue in Africa. Nowadays, the majority of revenue for these mobile operators comes from delivering TV to the mobile. The mobile operators are very much clued into adapting to this new era of entertainment with partnerships with content providers means that consumers can access all the mainstream services.
For the foreseeable future, the mobile operators will continue to be the best route to market for broadcasters and content providers, and consumers will continue to benefit from the price war brought about by fierce competition.
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