DStv Stream now allows viewers to restart live events

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo
Johannesburg, 24 May 2024
DStv’s ‘watch from start’ feature is now available in SA and the rest of Africa.
DStv’s ‘watch from start’ feature is now available in SA and the rest of Africa.

Video entertainment group MultiChoice has updated its DStv Stream app, as it looks to attract more viewers to the platform.

DStv has steadily been losing Premium subscribers over the years, as it contends with growing competition from global streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

However, it is driving subscriptions on its streaming service. MultiChoice’s financial results for the first half of 2024 show that over 90% of DStv Stream subscribers added in the period were new subscribers to DStv, who find the connected product without hardware installation more appealing.

The company is also pinning its hopes on its Showmax streaming platform, which was relaunched earlier this year, and introduced a new technical platform from streaming service Peacock, which is active in more than 70 countries.

With competition in South Africa’s streaming market becoming fierce, this week British TV subscription-based streaming service BritBox announced it is exiting SA’s video-on-demand streaming market to “refocus on its more established markets and the areas of the business that will have the highest opportunities for growth”.

DStv says the upgrades to DStv Stream are designed to provide subscribers with greater control and flexibility over their streaming experience. It notes the new ‘watch from start’ feature allows users to restart any live event.

According to the company, this is a first step in bringing full cloud PVR functionality (recording live events from any device, to watch later) to stream customers, who could previously only access this if they were a PVR decoder viewer.

“We fine-tuned our internal video infrastructure to allow us to buffer our live streaming channels so that customers can watch current live event from the start,” Rochani Steenkamp, executive head of DStv Stream Product, tells ITWeb via e-mail.

“To bring the full cloud PVR functionality (the ability to record and go back to past TV shows on the live channel in the last 24 hours) to our customers later in the year, we have partnered with Ateme, a media infrastructure company.”

The ‘watch from start’ feature is currently available in SA and the rest of Africa on iOS, Android mobile, web, Hisense, tvOS and most Samsung TVs. According to DStv, the other platforms will rollout soon.

Along with this is an improved version of the smart TV user interface, including enhancements that have made the app simpler to use and navigate, says the firm.

It notes these updates have been rolled out on LG, Samsung and Hisense, and will extend to DStv’s connected Streama device soon.

The navigation for mobile has also been reworked, which lifts content and improves content discovery in the main section of the app, it adds.

“These are just the first in a list of innovative improvements on our roadmap for the year,” says Daniel Courtenay, executive head of DStv Stream.

“Our strategy is focused on a number of pillars, including ongoing product enhancements, lifting our sports and entertainment content through marketing, strategic partnerships, etc,” Steenkamp concludes.