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Pay TV: Nigeria to lead Africa in 55m-subscription growth

Having overtaken South Africa in pay TV subscription, Nigeria has been identified to lead the rest of Africa in the expected 55 million subscriber target by 2029. A report by Research and Markets said the number of pay TV subscribers in Africa would climb by 12 million between 2023 and 2029. This means an extra seven million pay satellite TV subscribers and five million more pay DTT homes. The pay total will reach 55 million by 2029, with satellite TV contributing 33 million and DTT 21 million.

From the 43 million pay TV subscribers at end-2023, 26 million were satellite TV and 16 million DTT. The report said four countries would supply nearly half of the pay TV subscriber total by 2029 and eight countries will account for two-thirds of the total. Nigeria will provide 10 million subscribers – having overtaken South Africa in 2022. Simon Murray, Principal Analyst, said: “Despite a recent slowdown in new subscriptions, Africa still has plenty of pay TV potential. Between 2023 and 2029, 27 million TV households to be added – taking the total 130 million.” Recall that in 2021, Digital TV Research had forecast that Nigeria would have 10 million pay TV subscribers by 2025. The analyst firm in a report published recently predicted that Africa would have 47.26 million pay TV subscribers by 2025, up from 30.70 million at the end of 2019. It noted that Nigeria would contribute 10 million subscribers, having overtaken South Africa in 2020.

According to the report, although African subscriber numbers will climb by 54 per cent between 2019 and 2025, pay TV revenues will rise by only 31 per cent, indicating that subscribers will pay less. Murray, said: “Pay TV revenues will reach $7.20bn by 2025, up by $1.72bn on 2019. “Despite the strong subscriber growth, competition is intense. Prices and average revenue per users are falling as rivals fight to gain subscribers.” He stated that StarTimes/ StarSat would enjoy the most impressive growth, from 9.10 million subscribers at the end of 2019 to 16.39 million by 2025.

This would be followed by Multichoice from 14.56 million across satellite TV platform, DStv and Digital Terrestrial Television platform, GOtv, by the end of 2019, to 18.05 million by 2025, with a marked slowdown in satellite TV growth. In an earlier report, the company had also predicted that South Africa and Nigeria would account for 60 per cent of Africa’s Subscription Video On Demand subscribers by 2023, with Nigeria reaching 2.61 million subscribers. The report stated that Africa would reach 9.99 million SVOD subscribers across 35 Sub-Saharan African countries by 2023, up from 1.56 million at the end of 2017. The survey estimated that SVOD revenues would only be $775 million by 2023 despite the massive growth to take place as some platforms were very cheap. “South Africa (3.37 million by 2023) will remain the leader, with Nigeria (2.61 million) in second place.

South Africa and Nigeria will account for 60 per cent of the region’s SVOD subscribers by 2023, down from 74 per cent in 2017,” it said. Digital TV Research stated that Netflix would account for 40 per cent of the 2023 total, at 4.03 million subscribers. Murray noted that market dynamics shifted over the last year with fewer platform launches, especially on a country level. According to him, several multinational players will rein in their ambitions whereas Netflix has consolidated its market leadership. New Telegraph

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