by Thinus Ferreira
Telkom is once again trying to start its own video streaming service and plans to launch TelkomONE in November for which it's now looking for Quibi-like local content proposals including lifestyle shows and even a mini-telenovela that it calls a "mobivela".
Following the failure of telecom Cell C's hyped but failed Cell C black subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service as well as several others before that so far, Telkom is again trying to establish its own streaming service that will include local content as well as a collection of streaming TV channels.
In November TelkomONE will re-enter the very small but fast-growing sector of digital streaming services on offer in South Africa where it will have to compete with the likes of MultiChoice's Showmax, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, VIU, Vodacom's Video Play and several smaller services who are battling for consumers' discretionary spending and time.
While Telkom isn't yet saying what the range of content on TelkomONE will be, it is trying to include local content, similar to how MultiChoice is pivoting away from the breadth of international content it used to offer with a bigger focus on local content to try and distinguish it from international streaming services.
TelkomONE will carry "a bouquet" of local content including music, education and series, the telecom says with TelkomONE that will be available to watch through the web, a TelkomONE app and a dedicated streaming box from Telkom.
TelkomONE will launch with daily, weekly and monthly subscription packages and will include a "freemium" model as well with a free promotional section that will be accessible wide range of TV channels.
"TelkomONE is a proudly local and South African service and naturally, we want to host and showcase outstanding content by content producers from our very own shores, including filmmakers, videographers, writers and directors on the platform," says Wanda Mkhize, Telkom executive for its smart home and content division.
TelkomONE now wants content proposals that can be submitted until 30 November 2020 and will award three "prizes" of R100 000 each for the winners to produce those proposals - a mini-telenovela for mobile devices it calls a "mobivela", comedy and lifestyle.
Proposals must be submitted through www.create.telkomone.tv with video clips that must be between 1 and a maximum of 3 short-form clips of between 5 and 10 minutes in duration.