A new video streaming service has been launched in South Africa. Named TV2GO, the service is free and does not require users to subscribe.
Unlike its competition iSouth Africa, namely Netflix and Showmax, all a viewer needs to access TV2Go's 100 plus channels is an Internet connection, there is no need to sign-up, register or pay a subscription fee.
“Our goal is to bring free TV to the people," said Jomo Sono, President of Infinivy South Africa (the company behind TV2GO).
How the video streaming service works
Firstly, the video streaming service features a variety of content like movies, documentaries, fashion shows, martial arts, gaming and kids channels. Added to that there is also live streaming news channels such as Euronews and Africanews as well as numerous independent thematic channels and live streaming of local radio stations.
The service free to view and all users have to do currently is visit the TV2GO website and select the channels they want to watch. You still have to pay for your data (Internet connection) costs the same way you would when streaming videos on YouTube or Vimeo. How TV2GO makes money is through advertising, viewers will be subjected to a mximum of 8 advertisements during every thre hour viewing period.
Furthermore, the company is involved in exploratory talks with South African telecommunications company, Vodacom, to explore ways it can offer the content through the Vodacom app. This will also include specific vouchers for TV2GO viewing on the Vodacom network, similar to what MTN is doing with Jay-Z's music streaming service, TIDAL, across Afrika.
As mentioned, the business model is nothing new but the age old ad-supported business model of many Internet media companies. Infinivy cites the IAB/PWC Report of 2017 which states that digital ad spending in South Africa grew by 36% over the last 12 months to R3,4 Billion with mobile driving this growth, posting a 60% year-on-year increase in online ad spending, and a 22% increase in search spending, as one of the main reasons they are launching the service.
"Infinivy believes in embracing the Free Advertising Generated Income business model for its maximum monetization and scalability capacity, while offering Freemium TV, an unnumbered quality of free diverse linear and non-linear channels to the users. Combined with its aggressive Revenue Sharing plan with its telcos partners, this model guarantees a Win-Win formula all parties."
Will it succeed?
That's a difficult question to answer. Ultimately an ad-supported media business survives mainly on its ability to generate content that attracts enough people to receive enough advertising revenue to cover costs and make profit to grow.
Time will tell if TV2GO will be a real challenger to Netflix and Showmax in South Africa or if it will go the way of a once promising South African video streaming service called Wabona.
Cover image credit: Jomo Sono, President of Infinivy South Africa.