by Akim Benamara

MwareTV, IPTV OTT in Africa, and how to democratize content on the continent

From connectivity, through devices, banking and TV, there are many efforts to better the lives of people in Africa and close the digital gap that exists on the continent. From a TV and content perspective, IPTV OTT in Africa can democratize content delivery by providing more affordable and accessible content to Africans. MwareTV is leading the way in this regard, partnering with content specialists to provide a service that is affordable and accessible. By doing so, help to close the digital divide in Africa and provide more people with access to quality content.

MwareTV, via their partner, has recently secured the rights for the FIFA World Cup 2022 for the sub-Sahara French-speaking countries. We spoke with Frans Blommestein, Chief Commercial Officer at MwareTV and discussed the latest developments from the African market. 

Many of the OTT platforms on the market in Africa are mainly focusing on local sports content as it’s quite hard to secure international sports rights, especially for big sports events like the World Cup. Therefore, more and more of the MwareTV customers are looking for support for their content licenses. To fulfill these needs MwareTV partners with content specialists in the market. Last year they announced a low-cost offer for African markets that got attention from other content owners as well. 

Several countries have debates about broad access to sports content for their total population. Content owners search for opportunities to democratize access to content and reach a larger audience on the continent. 

MwareTV enables telco operators and ISPs in Africa to effortlessly add TV to their portfolios and deliver content to their subscribers. A successful OTT service depends on appealing content and the technology used to facilitate that service. MwareTV’s low-cost and unlimited scalable platform with apps on all devices, a TV Management System, and a streaming solution makes it an interesting solution for content owners. For telecommunication companies, it is equally interesting to work with a one-stop shop to start an OTT service. The  Fast time market is the result and no worries about the multiple technical aspects. They can focus on their key business and generate more data traffic on their networks.

Together with our content partner for Africa we were able to convince New World TV, the content rights holder for the FIFA WorldCup 2022 to partner with both of us. Besides the world cup football, more sports content will be broadcasted on the 4 channels of New World TV like the Olympic Games 2024, EURO 2024 football, Nation Leagues, and various European Leagues.

Frans Blommestein, Chief Commercial Officer, MwareTV

MwareTV platform supports daily and weekly subscriptions, apart from the monthly ones, giving a lot of flexibility to the operators to create packages and make content more accessible in Africa. Do you see this subscription flexibility to democratize content in Africa? What is the way to do that apart from the subscription fees?

Frans Blommstein: Indeed, flexibility in subscriptions is an important aspect. From an Operators point of view, the subscription fee itself is more important to give larger audience access to content. The mass market is also attractive for content owners. Maybe a lower ARPU, but a much higher volume. In the end better results and being connected with a large audience that offers opportunities to offer more content.

The foundation for a successful IPTV OTT service for the operators is the combination of good content and the technology to enable that content and deliver it to the subscribers. MwareTV is already witnessing the subscriber growth their partners have after they start to offer IPTV OTT services. This growth and success are a result as well, of good marketing efforts – a continuous marketing plan to get new subscribers and keep the existing ones engaged is differentiating the successful companies from the rest. 

You offer both cloud-based solutions, as well as on-premises, but how quick is it to implement the MwareTV OTT platform for the Operators?

Frans Blommstein: Our TV management system, the middleware that manages content, products, and subscriptions, lets you create your own apps and is cloud-based to keep it low cost, and scalable with a 100% uptime. The streaming infrastructure (reception of content, transcoding, streaming) can be on-premises, cloud-based, or a combination of both. A typical deployment will take 4-6 weeks.

With huge market potential and the need for content democratization, Africa is on an IPTV OTT journey that promises growth for everyone involved and quality content for the subscribers on the continent. 

Akim Benamara

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