Telkom takes on SA’s streaming players with new service

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Telkom is preparing to launch its TelkomONE video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service in SA.

The new service, according to the telco, will offer a combination of free and priced subscription video services consisting of a bouquet of local content, including music, education, drama series and comedies.

TelkomONE will be made available via the Web, mobile app and the telco’s streaming box, and it comes in daily, weekly and monthly subscription packages, with a range of TV channels available to customers of SA’s major networks.

Telkom's new service takes on a list of local VOD players, including Netflix, Showmax, Video Play from Vodacom, Prime Video from Amazon, and Apple TV, which made its local debut in October last year.

SA has also seen some failed VOD services: Cell C terminated its VOD service, Black, in November due to low subscriber numbers. In 2017, MTN pulled the plug on its streaming service, MTN VU, after failing to entice customers.

Telkom is hoping to capitalise on offering relevant local content, by partnering with content creators across the country, to bring the service to its customers.

The telco is inviting local content creators to produce fresh and interesting content and have it featured on the new video service.

“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, smart home and content.

“To this end, we have created a competition under the hashtag #OpenUpTheIndustry, where such content producers wishing to be noticed can enter for an amazing opportunity to not only win cash prizes to assist them with their content production, but to also have their final body of work featured on our platform for viewing by our audience.”

#OpenUpTheIndustry is open to both amateur and professional content producers.

There are three main genres that content producers may enter their work for consideration to walk away with a R100 000 cash injection to assist in the production of their project: mobivelas, comedy and lifestyle.

Mobivela is a telenovela for mobile, and the entrants will be judged on their ability to capture and tell a real and original short-story.

In the comedy category, the judges will be looking for an individual with the talent to make viewers laugh through great story-telling leveraging relatable moments. The type of comedy may include stand-up performance, parody, spoof or satire.

For lifestyle submissions, the panel will scrutinise concepts such as a magazine show, cooking, travel, exercise or edutainment content. The deciding factor will be the content producer’s ability to provide good escapism to viewers looking to be inspired and entertained.

The competition closes on 30 November. Entrants are required to shoot and submit a minimum of one and a maximum of three short-form (five- to 10-minute) clips as entry into one of the three genres via

Entrants will be required to supply the following information relating to their content: content title/name, description, entry category, video upload, supporting documents and contact details.

The submissions will be available on TelkomONE after curation, for South Africans to view.

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