Video on Demand Poised to Change How Africa Watches (BBC)


On taxis, buses and trains across Africa, people are plugging in and tuning out as they catch up with the latest episode of the XYZ Show from Kenya or reminisce with a movie from their childhood in Zimbabwe.

The Kenyan Buni TV, launched in April last year, has grown to reach more than 500,000 viewers. The Nairobi-based company, headed by media veteran Marie Lora-Mungai, has committed its efforts to grabbing a piece of a potentially massive market.

"Across the continent, there is a very strong demand for content that has so far not been satisfied and this has traditionally been one of the drivers behind piracy," says Ms Lora-Mungai.

"Pay TV is only reaching about 10 million people out of Africa's one billion, whereas Africans are connecting to the internet en masse, mostly through their mobile phones."

Pay TV subscribers across Africa are plugging in and tuning out as they enjoy their favorite content on taxis, buses, and trains. One of the drivers behind piracy in Africa has been the strong demand for VOD content that has not been satisfied. In fact, Pay TV is only reaching 10 million out of Africa’s 1 billion people. With limited bandwidth and lack of Internet access, VOD in Africa faces a few obstacles. However, as the mobile market in Africa continues to grow and the fixed-line Internet access improves, VOD is bound to become one of Africa’s most exciting business opportunities.

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