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  • Is a VPN crackdown behind Netflix’s drop in user growth?

    Netflix has seen slower than anticipated user growth in its most recent forecast, but why is this the case? If you ask the streaming service, it's largely due to many subscribers being "ungrandfathered" (moved to the new price plans). However, NordVPN has a slightly different take on the issue... The VPN service cited feedback from its customers, revealing three big trends behind recent Netflix and VPN usage. The first trend was that people are unsubscribing from Netflix rather than from their VPN service, saying the customers chose "privacy over streaming". In a March 2016 blog post, NordVPN explained why people might drop Netflix instead. "Netflix is now in...

  • Netflix sees drop in user growth, a sign of things to come?

    Streaming colossus Netflix has announced its earnings for the second quarter of 2016, revealing user growth below expectations. In a letter to shareholders, the company confirmed that it wasn't growing as fast as it wanted to. "We grew by 1.7 million members in Q2 finishing with over 83 million members. This is below our forecast of 2.5 million net new members and our prior year Q2 net additions of 3.3 million," the company wrote. Netflix largely blamed the loss on moving so-called grandfathered users (subscribers who were still on older, cheaper price plans) to the updated plans. "We think some members perceived the news...

  • Showmax celebrates 10 million views – what about user figures?

    The streaming video landscape has been heating up over the past year, as several services battle it out for supremacy in South Africa. Global king Netflix and SA's own Showmax are atop of the pile though, and now, the Naspers-backed service has revealed some interesting news. In a blog post early today, Showmax announced that it passed the ten million view mark. "Earlier this month, the cumulative number of TV shows and movies watched by ShowMax customers exceeded 10 million. In total, more than five million hours of content have been viewed, the equivalent of more than 500 years if played back-to-back," the...

  • African VOD landscape heats up as TRACE buys Buni.tv

    Local content is a big plus for many video platforms, with pan-African video-on-demand (VOD) service Buni.tv being one of the more notable offerings on the continent. Now, as it prepares for the launch of its own video platform later this year, French broadcaster TRACE TV has announced that it acquired Buni.tv. Buni.tv was launched in 2012 and stands out as one of the three largest VOD platforms in Africa, along with Iroko TV and ShowMax, TRACE claimed in a press statement. "TRACE and Buni.tv share the same strategic vision in that we believe that VOD is the future of television," said TRACE CEO Olivier Laouchez. "We...

  • ShowMax coming to DStv Explora this week, console apps in the works

    ShowMax, Naspers' streaming service, will soon be available on the DStv Explora. The move "extends access to subscription video services to an even wider audience," according to the company, and will allow those with an internet-connected DStv Explora decoders to access content. "In South Africa, interest in internet TV is entering a new phase," explains ShowMax CPO Barrron Ernst. "In addition to early adopters, we’re now seeing a more mainstream customer base wanting to try the service out. For Explora owners this is a risk-free proposition – binge entire box sets from the very beginning without having to buy any new equipment." Using...

  • ShowMax expands to 36 new African countries

    Naspers-owned streaming media service ShowMax is rapidly expanding across the continent, and can now count 36 new sub-Saharan countries to its service list. The expansion comes just 10 months after the service's launch, which now boasts "approximately fifteen thousand TV show episodes and movies, totaling almost ten thousand hours of viewing." "We’ve been busy testing the service in key locations across the continent and optimising our delivery network," company CPO Barron Ernst explains. "Perhaps more importantly, we’ve adapted our apps to address the needs of consumers in Africa, introducing features like downloads for viewing TV shows and movies when not connected." Ernst also notes...

  • Lionsgate adds 100 movies to Steam, not really for South Africa

    Things are heating up in the video on demand space, so much so that it's spilling over into gaming. Entertainment company Lionsgate has added 100 titles to popular digital distribution platform for gaming, Steam. That's exciting news, but if you're in SA, you may want to keep reading this article before throwing money at Steam. The announcement came from a blog post on Steam's website, in which the company was happy to highlight the availability of the Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, and Saw franchises. Lionsgate has significantly more interesting films, but I guess you need to highlight the ones that pump out...