Thursday, September 17, 2015

ONTAPtv launches in South Africa as the latest video-on-demand service with 2 500 movies and episodes; will add exclusive local content.

ONTAPtv entered South Africa's fast-growing internet streaming video-on-demand (VOD) market with the launch of its new service offering streaming and downloads of shows and movies at the low entry point of R39 per month or R15 per movie.

The new service from Hong Kong's telecom HKT is done through its international operating division PCCW Global.

The launch of ONTAPtv is once again fast-upending the apple cart in South Africa's exploding VOD and SVOD market. It comes less than a month after the launch of Naspers' ShowMax, where it will also compete with Times Media Group's VIDI launched late last year, as well as MTN's FrontRow.

PCCW Global is introducing revolutionary features for the South African market with ONTAPtv in the suddenly, constantly one-upping game of brinkmanship of VOD players in South Africa - before the global giant Netflix has even launched.

The dramatic introduction of ShowMax and now ONTAPtv - both with slick interfaces, easy to use platforms and competitive prices for quality content is set to not just ferociously compete with each other within the VOD space and other competitors like VIDI, but also established satellite pay-TV operators like MultiChoice's DStv, On Digital Media's StarSat and the pay-TV broadcaster M-Net.

Like ShowMax, ONTAPtv has content from the vaults of the SABC archives, as well as from BBC Worldwide - indeed some of the same BBC Worldwide programming like Planet Earth also available on ShowMax.

ONTAPtv also has international content from Warner Bros, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) as well as Chinese and other African content.

PCCW Global is also bringing brand-new and exclusive South African drama content to ONTAPtv soon, according to the company - something that ShowMax at launch also said it would be doing.

ONTAPtv will bring projects of the Maxum Media Accelerator (MMA) to its service later this year.

"This partnership [to produce local content] demonstrates our commitment to the development of exciting local content, whilst helping to grown the South African film and entertainment industry," says Lindsay Servian, the head of

PWWC Global says ONTAPtv has 2 500 movies and episodes of TV shows and is constantly adding more and will be cycling content regularly. Viewers can watch ONTAPtv through streaming, but can also download the content and watch it later.

Users have 48 hours to watch downloaded content before it expires and where content exists in high definition (HD) that content can be downloaded and watched on a big TV set for example with a HDMI cable connected to a smartphone or tablet.

"Customers can even link their devices to TVs for a great viewing experience. This is a major VOD innovation in South Africa and will, we believe, greatly expand the number of customers who will now be able to enjoy the service, and at a highly affordable price," says Lindsay Servian.

PWWC Global says ONTAPtv offers "a revolutionary  offer "à la carte approach" to watching video-on-demand.

ONTAPtv customers can choose from a range of packages specifically tailored to their viewing needs. Users can pay additionally to add more packages within the mega-pack offering.

The ONTAPtv app is free to download through the Google Play and iOS App stores. A free subscription with limited access is also available.

ONTAPtv's packages available at launch include the Family Package (R69 per month) with international TV series and movie content suitable for children under age 16. The content is predominantly in English and some Afrikaans content is included in the package. Additional content will be added regularly.

The TV Series Package (R69 permonth) includes international TV series content suitable for viewers who are 16 and older. Like the Family Package the content is predominantly in English, with some Afrikaans content also included.

The Movie Package (R69 per month) includes international movies for all ages. The content is predominantly in English.

ONTAPtv's Mega Pack (R89 per month) is the flagship product and includes all content available in the Family Package, TV Series Package and the Movie Package.

For R79 per month an ONTAPtv user can get two of the Family Package, TV Series Package and Movie Package together.

"Specials" Packages include the African Package for R39 per month, the Chinese Package for R88 per month and the CSI FightSport Package for R69 per month.

Single movie rentals on ONTAPtv costs R15 permovie for an older blockbuster and R25 per movie for a new blockbuster.

In a partnership with AlwaysOn, ONTAPtv also did a deal for data use with specially priced data packages when ONTAPtv is used at AlwaysOn Wi-Fi locations in South Africa like at airports, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals and other public spaces.

This include a 15GB package for R29, or a 50GB package for R59, both of which are valid for 30 days.