by Thinus Ferreira
Unlike other African nations that earlier this year saw a decoder and subscription fee price reduction, MultiChoice in South Africa will again increase its prices for 2021 for South Africa's DStv subscribers, with the annual price hike that will in effect from April and with consumers of all 5 of the biggest DStv packages who will all be paying more and with DStv BoxOffice movie rentals going up from R35 to R40.
DStv Premium will increase from R819 to R829, DStv Compact Plus will increase from R529 to R539, DStv Compact will go from R399 to R409, DStv Family subscribers who paid R279 will pay R295, and DStv Access subscription fees will increase from R110 to R115 per month from April.
The DStv Access fee will increase to R105 per month, while DStv BoxOffice rentals will go up by R5 per movie to R40. The pricing of Showmax and the recently launched "Add Movies" add-on package will remain unchanged for 2021.
This means that the DStv Premium subscription fee is increasing by 1.22%, DStv Compact Plus is increasing by 1.89%, DStv Compact is rising by 2.51%, DStv Access is increasing by 4.55% and that DStv Family is increasing by 5.73%.
While the percentage of DStv Premium subscribers as part of the total base continues to decline since those customers no longer see the top-tier product as offering enough value, MultiChoice is facing ever greater competition from video streaming services like Netflix SA, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, VIU, Vodacom Video Play and TelkomONE with several other international streamers who are still set to launch in South Africa.
MultiChoice South Africa's price hike comes as MultiChoice Africa recently lowered subscription fees and DStv decoder prices in other African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda and said that because of countries' struggling economies and Covid-19 that it considered "a price reduction in a bid to ease our customers' burden and cushion them against financial distress".
In response to a media enquiry on Thursday about its 2021 price increase for South Africa, MultiChoice said that "DStv has once again absorbed much of the increase in costings from content providers and bolstered the value and rewards for customers".
"Although annual price adjustments are a less-than-favourable feature of any consumer landscape, DStv believes that South Africans continue to require education, information, and entertainment at the best possible price."
Nyiko Shiburi, MultiChoice SA CEO, says "Given the resurgence of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the considerable impact this has had on consumers, we appreciate that our subscribers remain under pressure".
"For this reason, we have endeavoured to keep prices adjustments to the minimum and bolster value and rewards to ensure our customers continue to enjoy unrivalled access to entertainment, anywhere, anytime, and at the most affordable price."
MultiChoice made a graph to reflect the annual DStv Premium and DStv Compact price adjustments over the past few years, compared with inflation:
ALSO READ: MultiChoice drops the DStv Explora Ultra decoder price, as well as decoder prices and subscription fees elsewhere in Africa, as 2021’s annual subscription hike looms for South African subscribers.