By Gugu Lourie
TURN YOUR SIM INTO A CINEMA – “We’ve got fantastic news: all MTN FrontRow subscribers will now pay only R119 a month, making it more affordable than ever,” says Ashley Ramroop from MTN FronRow.
Want to be one of the few people to use video-on-demand (VOD) on your smart device? MTN has reduced price of its VOD services MTN FrontRow to R119/month down from R179/month.
MTN is targeting a niche market with its VOD services.
The move may be MTN’s strategy to attempt to attract and retain customers in a tough market that has seen tech firm Altech, which is owned by Altron, letting go of its VOD platform Altech Node that is poorly performing in the market. Altech Node was launched in 2014. Altech has informed the market that it “is in the advanced stages of discussions with an unnamed third party to dispose of the product (Altech Node)”.
Furthermore, Vidi, an online streaming service owned by Times Media Group, is providing subscription-based SVoD services at R149 a month without extra costs for data. Times Media Group owns the Sunday Times newspaper.
Vidi has gone quite.
MTN FrontRow was available at the launch price of R179 or R399 a month inclusive of a 10GB data bundle for streaming and viewing.
“We’ve got fantastic news: all MTN FrontRow subscribers will now pay only R119 a month, making it more affordable than ever to watch our huge selection of movies and TV series – including the brilliant Australian drama series Rake and The Slap. And there’s more: on MTN FrontRow Premiere, you can now rent The Avengers and other Marvel superhero movies, including all three Iron Man films!,” Ashley Ramroop from MTN FronRow, said in an email to its customers on Friday.
MTN FrontRow allows subscribers access to thousands of movies and television series on up to five different devices – one device at a time.
Mobile phone operators may have an advantage in delivering subscription-based VoD because they control the cellular handset, which provides customers with the opportunity to stream and consume content whenever and wherever they are,
unrestricted by broadcast schedules.
Customers who have subscribed to MTN FrontRow Club can view content via their browser on the MTN website, or through their iOS or Android mobile devices.
To stay ahead of its rivals, MTN’s new-generation network has been going through transformation phases in the last few months. MTN has made sure that the SVoD service is in sync with the network expansion, Larry Annetts, chief marketing officer: MTN South Africa, said in March.
The country’s biggest pay-TV operator MultiChoice also provides the same services to its premium clients through DStv BoxOffice. While Altech Node, owned by JSE-listed Altron, provides subscription at R299 a month for access to older movies and TV shows, and newer movies are available for rental at between R15 and R25.
Earlier this year Naspers, the owner of MultiChoice, revealed that its DStv BoxOffice rentals have reached a massive
600 000 movies a month, which could be delivering millions in revenues similar to those earned by US-based Netflix – a global provider of on-demand internet streaming media.