Netflix is here, what next for Kenyan pay TV market?
By COLLINS NABISWA and EVELYNE MUSAMBI
News of Netflix Inc’s video-streaming service’s entry into the Kenyan market has been received with excitement with many users of the view that the move is set to change the pay TV and home internet services landscape, perhaps forever.
Streaming pioneer Netflix on Wednesday said it had significantly expanded its global footprint to 190 countries, making its Internet TV service available in 130 new markets including Kenya.
At a cost of as low as Sh815 ($7.99) for the Basic subscription and Sh1, 223 ($11.99) for Premium, subscribers will be able to access Netflix TV shows.
This in comparison to charges on pay TV whose minimal charge is Sh1, 050 to access few international channels and all local channels.
Using the hashtag #NetflixinKenya, users took to social media to welcome the service that will need a stable internet service producer in order to enjoy.
Ninah Njeri was skeptical with the available Internet speeds available. “I think Internet suppliers should get clever. Only then will Netflix make sense, otherwise with the current packages on Internet that we have alafu uongeze Netflix its still like paying Premium on DSTV which again is still on the higher side . Let’s wait and see. otherwise huwes ona Netflix na 200kbps,” she posted on Facebook.
Timothy Kasina, a pay TV client and entertainment events organiser told Nairobi News that he expects Netflix to be a hit in Kenya.
“I can guess Netflix will record a huge number of new accounts from Kenya over the next few days because of the frenzy of it being a renowned international brand which is now available locally. However, I doubt most new subscribers will pay the subscription fee after the free month ends,” he said.
“A greater portion of Kenyans have not embraced the idea of paying, however little the cost is, for a service or a product that they can access for free in their own ways – and it being an online service, there are them who do not have reliable internet and them who want to have the media offline in DVDs and Flash drives,” added Kasina.
The minimum required connection speed is 0.5 megabits per second. However subscribers may need a faster connection for improved video quality.
The entry of Netlix is however expected to not only disrupt pay TV but also the local movie vendors who download and sell DVDs.
NTV’s Wallace Kantai tweeted, “You know who should feel deathly afraid of this Netflix entry? Not just DStv. Your local DVD guy.”
Some Kenyans online however downplayed the excitement as @SmilezKelvin tweeted, “Folks excited about #NetflixInKenya and some can’t even stream a 3-minute song via soundcloud.”
Some users also stated that internet speeds and costs in the country may also stand in the way of the new entrant.