Why KweseTv Failed in Africa, and DTSV keeps its market

For many who invested in the business that was KweseTv, they were left in the cold dark when the satellite TV business shutdown in November. As to why it shut down can be a business case study which would need different answers. This article looks at the different reasons from our own Jumasi review as to why KweseTv failed.

Mass Market

Unless if you can get over a 13 million subscribers like DSTV, being able to sustain paying for the premium content that people want, you can quickly find it hard to compete as a business. Think of DSTV and its different channels such as Bollyuwood, Telenovela, USA programs and much more; if you cannot offer the same content then the mass market is out of reach. To survive a company needs millions of subscribers paying in foreign currency such that it can be use the receipts to pay of the content. Kwese was not offering the content to the level required for a significant mass market.

NBA vs Premier League

If one is not offering English Premier League in Africa, and consequently Champion’s League you lose a very significant paying market. KweseTv’s strategy of offering NBA was misplaced, Africa is soccer and not basketball. As much as they are many people that love basketball, there are much much more people that love soccer. Unlike basketball, soccer is easier for people to access as they have been “programmed” to look for it daily and look forward to it every season. In this regard KweseTv had no chance against DSTV for a specific market as that market is dominated by the male side who would never pay unless if there was live soccer and a number of games being offered.

Some countries were a loss

Out of the 12 countries or 11 countries that KweseTv was now in, a few countries had the local currency value to support the subscriptions. Think of a country like Zimbabwe where subscriptions were paid in the local or not so local currency,the bond. The number of subscribers were therefore not enough and the currency and the value of subscriptions were never good enough to support payments for content. For compact on DSTV one pays USD25 in hard currency in Zimbabwe, if therefore KweseTv was not receiving the same then competing with DSTV was a far cry.

Africa loves Hollywood

As much as there is a cry for local content, Africa loves its NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones etc, hence if you are not programming for people who daily follow the American main stream entertainment, then your chances of survival are slim to nil. The failure to understand what programming people were in preference for killed KweseTv.

Why Switch?

The answer that KweseTv never fully answered was, Why switch? Relying on price is an old marketing game that no longer works, value is perceived in different forms. People want the value of programming but at an affordable cost, this is true but they want to understand the vision of value. KweseTv for all its advertising, it never really answered the question, “If DSTV promises entertainment, what would Kwese offer?” The theme of KweseTv unfortunately was not clear. Eighteen months into the business and people were still wondering why they should switch besides the cost. People maintained their allegiance to DSTV even though it can cost between 72-82 USD depending on which country you are in.

DSTV is an imprinted Brand

You cannot dislodge Coca Cola from a market they dominate in a two year period, it has to be a very calculated marketing effort which touches on so many different themes from value, to identity. Many people have had DSTV for over two decades and for them it is the coca cola of their lives, a brand that is tried and proven and hence come rain or thunder everyone else is treated with suspicion. This suspicion is the reason why people would hold out in switching because they are still wondering what the new brand stands for.

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