Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice

Victor Amadala, Kenya

In a statement to media houses, the firm revealed that the unfolding of the COVID-19 situation has significantly impacted viewing behaviour, with the number of active users up 50 per cent and play events more than doubling from pre-crisis peaks.

One of the key video-on-demand indicators measured is the number of unique active users, or in other words, the number of people who use a service on a given day. 

For Showmax, this number typically follows a weekly pattern with lulls on Wednesday and Thursday, and viewing then building from Friday to a peak on Sunday.

February and early March followed this pattern with no surprises, but then there was a significant divergence from March 15.

‘’On that day, instead of the number of active customers dropping off it stayed almost at the Sunday peak and then started rising for six days straight. There was then a big jump on March 27Friday 27 and the upward trend has continued from there,’’ Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice said.  

He added that that usage, as measured by play events, is even more interesting. 

A play event is where someone clicks play on a TV show, movie or live channel, and that follows the same pattern of a mid-week trough growing to a Sunday peak. 

According to the company, the Sunday peaks had already started getting higher in late February and by 15 March the number of play events was more than 20 per cent higher than a month earlier 

‘’From that point onwards, we saw really rapid growth, with the peak this past weekend more than double the peak in viewing events in mid-February,’’ Showmax said. 

It has now added live news and education channels to Showmax using the streaming functionality originally set up for sport to benefit students after schools were shut. 

It has also created edutainment content rows to help parents, and will be adding yoga and other exercise programming.

At the same time, we’re managing our traffic load on mobile networks to make sure internet access isn’t interrupted, and we’ll keep looking for other opportunities to make a difference,’’ the firm said.

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