Video on Demand services are beginning to gain traction in Africa
There is a mismatch happening in the African markets.
Users have demonstrated that they want streaming video services and they want them now. However, the majority of operators do not have the networks required to deliver these services. New entrants are coming to market and the pressure to deliver streaming effectively can only intensify.
Video on Demand operator MeTVAfrica.com has been in existence for little over a year: its alpha launch was in December 2011, followed by its beta launch in April 2011. It is currently offering free content but is looking to also include premium content in 6-12 months time.
As a start-up, MeTVAfrica.com went the easy route to start with and used Akamai in the USA but it has plans to set up a local server in South Africa. It is owned by WASP provider iBurst and plans to put the server in its core so that iBurst subscribers and those peering with iBurst should get a low latency service.
There are probably four places where African video on demand sites will succeed: the diaspora; Nigeria; East Africa and South Africa. Nollywood Love has successfully parked its tent on the Nigerian diaspora space but MeTVAfrica.com is looking for a pan-continental audience from the more bandwidth-friendly South Africa.