Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Yet another video-on-demand (VOD) service for South Africa, VuClip, launching as early as next week from China's PCCW.

Yet another video-on-demand (VOD) service will be launching soon in South Africa - very likely the orange VuClip this one from China's PCCW.

Bloomberg reports today that a new VOD service is likely to launch as early as next week as a rival to Naspers' ShowMax.

It's highly likely that its called VuClip.

The news comes a day after Viacom announced that its Viacom Play Plex video-on-demand app service will launch globally in the 4th quarter of this year and will also be available in South Africa with content from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET and Comedy Central.

With Viacom Play Plex, ShowMax, the Times Media Group's VIDI, MTN's FrontRow and PCCW's as yet unnamed service, it means that the VOD market in South Africa is quickly hotting up and getting crowded.

It's not clear what content PCCW's unnamed VOD service will launch with but it won't be as extensive or carry the large range of recent and premium titles as ShowMax which has shown up the rights to hot content like Game of Thrones and a lot other premium television for months.

PCCW, owned by the Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, will roll out the new VOD service as early as next week, Bloomberg reports.

PCCW has a majority stake in the mobile VOD service Vuclip and has aggressive plans to grow and take Vuclip into new markets, including Africa.

PCCW's VOD service has a vast catalogue of mostly Asian centric content - primarily Bollywood movies, but also Bollywood movies, shows and music videos.

The service has content in 25 languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Indonesian Bahasa, Arabic, Malay and Thai which wouldn't be applicable for African and South African audiences.

Weber Shandwick's South African office is the PR company for PCCW Global in South Africa and last week send out an invitation - but only to some journalists covering the TV and IT industry and ignoring several - for the launch event next week of a new video-on-demand service.

It's already leaving journalists wondering where's the communication and who is supposed to talk about PCCW's new product - and why details are already leaking, just like what happened with ShowMax last month - way ahead of the media event and service launch that Weber Shandwick is supposedly organising.