Perhaps unsurprisingly, South Africans — forced to stay at home during a 21-day national lockdown aimed at fighting the spread of Covid019 — are turning to video-on-demand services in droves.
MultiChoice Group-owned video-streaming service Showmax said on Wednesday that “play events” have more than doubled compared to pre-crisis peaks, while daily unique users have grown by more than 50%.
Presumably, rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have seen similar spikes, though those companies haven’t released lockdown-related viewing data for the South African market.
“One of the key video-on-demand indicators measured is the number of unique active users, or the number of people who use a service on a given day. For Showmax, this number typically follows a weekly pattern with lulls on Wednesday and Thursday, and viewing then building from Friday to a peak on Sunday,” Showmax said.
“February and early March followed this pattern with no surprises, but then there was a significant divergence from Monday, 15 March. On that day, instead of the number of active customers dropping off, it stayed almost at the Sunday peak and then started rising for six days straight,” it said.
“There was then a big jump on Friday, 27 March (the first day of the lockdown) and the upward trend has continued from there.”
Usage, as measured by play events, has more than doubled. A play event, Showmax said, is where someone clicks play on a TV show, movie or live channel, and that follows the same pattern of a mid-week trough growing to a Sunday peak.
“But, in this instance, the Sunday peaks had already started getting higher in late February and by 15 March, the number of play events was more than 20% higher than a month earlier (this is measuring peak to peak). From that point onward, we saw really rapid growth, with the peak this past weekend more than double the peak in viewing events in mid-February.”
Showmax does not disclose subscriber numbers. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media