MultiChoice said on Friday that it has expanded its Internet television service, DStv Now, to the Google Chromecast, allowing users to “cast” streaming DStv channels, Catch Up videos and movies to their TVs.
“The option to share content from mobile devices to TVs is something our customers have been asking for, for a while,” said DStv Digital Media head Graeme Cumming in a statement. “We’re currently working on securing the rights to perform similar functions using Apple AirPlay.”
At the same time, the Naspers-owned pay-TV broadcaster has announced it is expanding DStv Now to subscribers of its Extra and Compact bouquets — previously, it had been available only to those on Premium, its most expensive bouquet.
“These features will become available to DStv Compact and Extra customers at no extra cost during the first quarter of our new financial year (April to June 2017),” Cumming said.
Live TV and Catch Up content on DStv Now will now be determined based on the package someone subscribes to.
DStv Extra customers will have access to 47 channels on the go, while DStv Compact customers will get 37 channels (DStv Premium customers have access to 64 channels).
Users can register up to four different devices for DStv Now on the same account. Before accessing the service, they must register for a “Connect ID” through the DStv Now website or Android or iOS app.
Though the broadcaster didn’t provide user numbers, it said on Friday that DStv Now has grown by 90% in the past 12 months.
“During the the past year, more than 4m titles were played across live TV, Catch Up and downloads. These titles were split across the online platform (38%), Android (33%) and iOS (30%) apps,” it said.
“In addition to the 90% growth in DStv Now users, we also saw an increase in engagement, with almost four times as many movies and series being viewed in December 2016 compared to December 2015,” said Cumming.
“The number of video plays on our Web platform grew by more than 500%, with app plays up by nearly 300%.”
Usage of DStv Now peaked in 2016 with live sporting events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, Super Rugby, the Olympics and the Springboks’ end-of-year tour to Europe and the UK, Cumming said.
“Viewing clearly follows linear TV patterns, with peak usage between 7pm and 9pm, which just goes to show how the service is an important additional viewing environment at home.”
While Android customers dominate the DStv Now live TV viewership figures, iOS customers watch Catch Up content almost three times as often as their Android counterparts. Web viewers split their time nearly 50/50 between live TV and Catch Up services, MultiChoice said. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media