TV viewing these days is quite revealing, and by this I mean not from the entertainment aspect or lack thereof.
First off, to the casual observer, the most prolific advertiser appears to be DStv. This can mean a plethora of things. First, it might suggest that regular advertisers are pulling back because of costs. Such a downswing needs to be addressed by cost restructuring.
It could also mean that DStv itself is hitting hard times and trying to excite some interest to boost a flagging market. Of course, it could mean that DStv is doing incredibly well, and is simply driving home its advantage aggressively. In this day and age, methinks the former is more likely.
Where is DStv fundamentally wanting in its efforts to improve market penetration? Well, the foundation stone is fear. Fear of total collapse in a crumbling economy. This fear is well-founded as one doesn’t have to look too far to see that luxury items are taking second place, and, no doubt, DStv is a self- created “super” luxury entertainment commodity.
Take for example the bouquet choice. If you are a perceived moneyed person (old-style thinking) you are expected to want sports programmes beyond soccer, as well as Sky, CNN and BBC programmes, etc. To do that, you have to have the full bouquet at an exorbitant rate, despite the fact that you don’t watch 80% of that bouquet.
If you are a low-income earner, a bouquet is set up for you. If you are a low, low money earner, there is nothing for you. The middle, by far the most growing of all the classes where “money spend” is concerned, are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Many are switching to Netflix and watching sport on their computers. Who needs DStv?
What’s the answer? Easy peasy. Sell channels on a channel by channel basis and, critically, at a reasonable rate. The customer chooses what he or she wants and pays for it.
Don’t fear a loss of revenue. Rather look forward to a tsunami of increased interest which will culminate in more decoders being bought, and a whole bunch of new viewers who will be exposed to the advertising that will be provided.
Think of the very low-income earners who will be happy to buy one football channel and be entertained. They spend money too.