Avvatta, the brainchild of the former CEO of Cell C’s now-defunct entertainment platform, Black, has been launched, promising more competition in the already-crowded streaming video market in South Africa.
Avvatta — pronounced “avatar” — is the creation of a company called Digital Media 333, or DM333, an on-demand media platform company founded by Surie Ramasary, who left Cell C when it shut down Black in 2019. It is being launched immediately in three markets — South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana — and is the “newest, complete digital and mobile entertainment experience for Africa”, it said in a statement on Friday.
The company said its strategy is not to compete in the same content genres as other streaming platforms. Rather, it plans to focus on licensing “niche, local content and build a content platform that is customised for each African market”. It also hopes to “nurture, promote and showcase African filmmakers and local talent”.
“Local content outperforms on any platform, launched in any market. DM333 will be focusing on offering content verticals through Avvatta to cater to our diverse market communities such as South African, Bollywood, Nollywood, Gollywood, Korean, French, Spanish and Asian.”
DM333 has, meanwhile, reached an agreement with ErosNow to provide Bollywood content as its first niche vertical. ErosNow has India’s largest movie collection, with over 12 000 assets, it said. “This impressive content portfolio will complement Avvatta’s service offering, as our research has shown this to be the fastest-growing content vertical. All our content will have English subtitles, and this aligns to our commitment to an inclusive content experience.”
Other content included on Avvatta includes gaming (targeting customers that enjoy casual gaming), a children’s offering, e-learning and coding. The e-learning offering allows students to learn maths, science, geography, social skills and other subjects.
Avvatta will have a free tier, too, where the content will be curated specifically for each market. Premium content starts at R2/day in South Africa. The service is available on Web and mobile at www.avvatta.com. Android and KaiOS (feature phone) apps are coming soon.
In South Africa, customers can subscribe with their credit card for premium services, whereas free content requires registration (no subscription). Carrier billing will be offered in South Africa, too. Customers in Ghana and Nigeria will be able to subscribe via carrier billing. — © 2021 NewsCentral Media