MTN’s video-on-demand (VOD) strategy in the South African market has not worked as expected and will now be radically overhauled.
That’s the word from MTN South Africa CEO Mteto Nyati, who was speaking to TechCentral on the sidelines of the MTN group’s 2015 financial results presentation in Johannesburg on Thursday.
“We are right now in the process of driving through a new strategy to the group board,” Nyati said.
“That strategy is going to be very different. I cannot share too much at this stage. All I can say is we have learnt some lessons. It’s clearly something that has not worked as intended.”
Nyati’s remarks come just three months after MTN rebranded its VOD platform from FrontRow to VU (pronouncing “view”) and cut the price of the service to match rivals’ fees. MTN launched the service in partnership with Discover Digital.
MTN zero-rates or doesn’t charge for data used accessing its VOD platform, providing users do so through its network.
Nyati didn’t disclose how many subscribers had signed up for MTN VU, but admitted it had not met expectations. “However, this has helped us to shape the new way we are going to go into that space,” he said.
He emphasised that MTN would not back away from the VOD market. “It’s an important space and we will not back off from it. Our approach will be more of an aggregator of content. The approach will be largely about subscribers and driving volumes to increase scale. We are going to be leading with free [offerings],” Nyati said.
He said the partnership with Discover Digital “still stands”, but declined to comment on whether this might change in future.
He said MTN VU subscribers should not be concerned about what the company has planned. He declined to say when forthcoming changes will be announced and rolled out.
MTN VU currently offers subscribers access to streaming content from all six Hollywood studios, along with programming from BBC Worldwide, Endemol and Freemantle.
Customers can subscribe to the service or opt for a pay-as-you-go option. Payment can be done via credit card, billed to an MTN account or deducted from prepaid airtime, provided the airtime balance is sufficient. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media