Africans Are Dumping Their DStv Decoders

MultiChoice DStv has experienced a slow decline in local subscriber growth over the past five years.

We analyzed the changes in DStv’s 90-day active subscribers in South Africa and other African countries from 2019 to 2023. The latest data is from the first half of DStv‘s 2023 financial year, ending in September 2023.

They tracked the growth or decline of subscribers in three main segments: Premium, Mid-market, and Mass market, from the end of September each year. These segments include the following packages:

– Premium: Premium and Compact Plus

– Mid-market: Compact, Family, and Commercial

– Mass market: Extra, Access, EasyView

The Premium segment saw a yearly decline in subscribers, but the drops were relatively small, between 2% and 9%. The Mid-market segment grew from September 2020 to September 2021 but started declining afterward. The biggest drop of 14% occurred between September 2022 and September 2023.

The Mass market segment had good growth from September 2019 to September 2021, which helped keep the overall 90-day active subscriber numbers growing for several years. However, from September 2022 to September 2023, Mid-market subscribers decreased by 1%, and overall subscribers dropped by 5%—a first for the broadcaster using the 90-day active metric.

Over the past few years, MultiChoice has changed how it reports subscriber numbers, making it hard to compare recent data with past growth. In 2019, they stopped listing Premium package subscribers separately and combined them with Compact Plus, calling this new group “Premium.”

This change happened when Premium subscriptions were falling but Compact Plus was growing slightly. They also switched to counting subscribers active in the last 90 days of a financial period, instead of the total number at the end of each half-year or full-year. This includes anyone who had a subscription up to three months before the financial period ended.

In nutshell, Africans are not happy about the content offerings and pricing of the South African Paytv provider MultiChoice Africa, hence dumping it for a better alternative.


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