A subsidiary of French telecommunications company Orange plans to launch its own video-on-demand (VOD) offering in South Africa next year.
Orange Horizons currently operates a retail business in South Africa where it sells smartphones and devices via its local online store. Orange Horizons also has a physical shop presence in Cape Town.
However, the company intends branching out in 2016 as an Internet service provider (ISP), a move that will further include the launch of its own streaming service.
“Orange Horizons plans to launch an ISP. Usually, when we are an ISP, we offer a complete range of services: Internet access, Voice over IP services, distributing, free TV channels, and a VoD offer,” said CEO Sébastien Crozier.
“This is what we plan to do step by step next year. Our VOD offer could be in partnership with an existing player under the name Orange VOD,” Crozier said.
Orange Horizons has not disclosed which company it plans to partner with on VOD in South Africa.
But content distribution service Globecast, which has a South African presence and already services local video streaming clients, forms part of the Orange group.
Globecast, at the time of writing, has not responded to questions about whether it will launch a VOD service for Orange Horizons in South Africa.
However, a Globecast representative did say that the South African VOD space is set to open up.
“Firstly, we don’t see this as a winner take all industry or market and it would be presumptuous at this stage to say who will succeed and who won’t,” said Globecast Africa MD Alan Hird.
“There are some who see VOD as a product while others view it as an enabler. It is going to be an interesting space over the next few years,” Hird said.
The VOD market is heating up in South Africa. In August, Naspers launched ShowMax, a service that competes with Times Media Group’s Vidi and MTN’s FrontRow offerings.
Meanwhile, US-based Netflix is also on a global expansion drive and the company has set its sights on South Africa for a 2016 launch. — Fin24
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