Econet Media announces Kwesé Play – the future of VOD in Africa

Africa’s newest pan-African broadcaster Econet Media today announced the launch of its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service Kwesé Play a video streaming service delivered on high speed data networks, in particular fibre-to-the-home (FTTH).

Kwesé has invested in a multi-platform content distribution model which it has expanded to include IPTV, perfectly timed to meet current trends in South Africa which has shown a move towards over-the-top (OTT) services, particularly among viewers looking for diversity and choice. Video-on-demand services and streaming content over the internet utilising fibre networks has grown in popularity in South Africa, however the industry has been plagued by slow download speeds and the high cost of access. The Kwesé Play experience promises to be slicker and faster than anything currently available on the African continent.  The company will leverage Africa’s largest fibre network, available through sister company Liquid Telecom which concluded its acquisition of Neotel last year.  Neotel holds leading-edge 4G and 5G LTE spectrum capability which is being configured to carry video content.

According to Joseph Hundah Econet Media’s President and Chief Executive Officer, “Kwesé Play removes many of the primary hurdles which have stopped some of the leading VOD services from entering the continent. Our platform will deliver an excellent viewing experience over a reliable and super-fast network at a price point which is more affordable than any service currently available in the market.”

Rather than building its own VOD business, Econet Media has taken a different approach and invested in building the best platform to house some of the biggest names in VOD globally. Kwesé is the exclusive African partner for Roku®, the largest OTT[1] and streaming platform in the US[2] .  As part of its Roku Powered™ programme, which includes the likes of Sky for the Now TV Box and Telstra for Telstra TV, the Kwesé Play service will combine the strength of the Roku® streaming platform with the best in global and local VOD entertainment offered by Kwesé.

Kwesé Play brings a unique proposition in a market where there is very little choice available to consumers. Through partnerships with the world’s leading VOD content providers including but not limited to; Netflix, iflix, YouTube, RedBull TV, Revolt, TED, and HappyKids2. Kwesé Play introduces the most diverse VOD content offering with over a 100 VOD services delivered on a single platform. Kwesé Play will not only offer the best in entertainment but some of the best in sports and news content including Kwesé’s own channels and content.

"Our strategy is to provide the best in VOD via a superior network. We’ve partnered with the best in IPTV hardware and content to offer our viewers world-class programming through our fibre network infrastructure,” added Hundah.

[1] Over-the-Top aka video-on-demand. Viewers are able access content as and when they wish to. This usually requires a subscription.

[2] Lella, 2016 Roku leads OTT streaming devices in household marketshare: https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Roku-Leads-OTT-Streaming-Devices-in-Household-Market-Share

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