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New VoD service launches as Altech exits

By Staff Writer
A new video on demand (VoD) service has launched in South Africa, just as Altech Node exits the market. ONTAPtv.com offers subscribers up to 2 408 episodes, 426 titles and 1 809 hours of local and international content.
 
ONTAPtv.com is run by PCCW Global, the international division of HKT, a Hong Kong integrated telecommunications operator.
 
“We are excited about the growth in demand for anytime, anywhere VoD services. We first invested in South Africa in 2012 through the acquisition of Gateway, and this has been extremely successful for us. We are today delighted to demonstrate our further commitment to South Africa through the launch of ONTAPtv.com,” said Marc Halbfinger, chief executive officer of PCCW Global.
 
What is it?
ONTAPtv.com is an internet-based VoD service that allows subscribers to stream or download content onto their computer, smartphone or tablet. However, once the content is downloaded it is only available for viewing for 48 hours. It can be viewed on the device it was downloaded onto, or on your TV if your device can link to it.
 
There are a number of packages that people can choose from, ranging from R39 per month to R89 per month, making it cheaper than Naspers’ ShowMax. In addition to these packages, ONTAPtv.com also allows subscribers to rent movies from R15 per movie for a 48-hour rental.
 
“There is something for everyone in ONTAPtv.com. Our comprehensive content line-up includes local SABC series, as well as leading international content from studios such as Warner Bros, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and BBC Worldwide, and we are also delighted to announce our sponsorship of projects of the Maxum Media Accelerator (the MMA) to produce local dramas which will be available later this year,” revealed Lindsay Servian, head of ONTAPtv.com.
 
“In order to ensure that customers only pay for the content they want to watch, ONTAPtv.com has introduced a revolutionary à la carte approach to watching VoD. ONTAPtv.com customers can choose from a range of packages specifically tailored to their viewing needs, with only a small incremental payment required for additional packages within the flagship mega-pack offering,” explained ONTAPtv.com.
 
How does it compare to other services?
 
There are a number of VoD services available in South Africa, with ShowMax launching recently, and Netflix set to enter the country next year.
 
However while some claim to be enjoying success in this space Altech Node blamed the economic environment for its failure to stay on board. “Unfavourable conditions such as the current economic environment which is putting pressure on the consumer and increased competition in the video-on-demand (VOD) environment have necessitated us to make the difficult decision to close the Altech Node business,” revealed Robert Venter, chief executive officer of Altron.
 
There could be many reasons behind Altech’s inability to gain enough market share and one could be attributed to the amount it wanted to charge customers for its services. When Justmoney last compared the prices of the services available in South Africa, Altech Node’s price package was the most expensive at R299 per month, while ShowMax was the cheapest at R99 per month. However, that seems to have changed with the introduction of ONTAPtv.com. Here’s how the price of VoD services now:
 
Cost comparison of the different streaming services
 
Streaming service Monthly fee*
ONTAPtv.com R89
ShowMax R99
FrontRow R119
VIDI R149
*Prices accurate at time of publication, 18 September 2015.

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