Vidi reaches the end of the line - TechCentral

Vidi reaches the end of the line

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South Africa’s highly competitive subscription video-on-demand (VOD) landscape has claimed its first victim.

Less than a month after Netflix announced it was expanding to markets across the world, including South Africa, Times Media Group has shut down Vidi, the first of the current crop of Internet-based VOD services to be launched.

A notice on the Vidi website simply says that the service is not available after 26 January 2016. “Vidi is transforming. Watch this space for coming details.”

Vidi’s closure was expected. Last October, Times Media Group parent Tiso Blackstar warned investors that Vidi was “struggling to gain traction in the market”.

In notes alongside its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, Tiso Blackstar said Vidi management was “working hard at re-engineering the business in light of weak market penetration and the slow pace of meaningful broadband growth in South Africa”.

It did not say how many subscribers it had signed up.

TMG-owned newspaper Business Day quoted Tiso Blackstar CEO Andrew Bonamour at the time as saying that Vidi had not proved successful.

“We will exit over the next 12 months,” he was quoted as having said.

Since Vidi was launched, it has been joined in the market by MTN VU (formerly FrontRow), Naspers’s ShowMax, PCCW Global’s ONTAPtv.com and now Netflix.

Last year, Altron said it would pull the plug on the Altech Node, a set-top box and home automation system that offered VOD content delivered over satellite.  — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media

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