The perceived impact of video-on-demand services adoption on subscription TV services in South Africa

Njomo, Fanna
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Digital disruption in the media and entertainment industry has changed how subscribers acquire, distribute, and consume content. Technological innovation facilitated the evolution of television to the introduction of services that compete for viewership from the same subscriber base. The main aim of this study was to establish the impact of the introduction of video-on-demand services on the subscriber base of traditional subscription TV services that previously had a monopoly in South Africa. Following the study’s objectives, theoretical constructs were derived from literature to understand subscribers’ expectations and competitiveness of both services, the technological innovations driving both services, how satisfied are subscribers with each service as they choose their preferred service. The study used a cross-sectional quantitative method, and primary data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire from 233 subscribers who have an active media and entertainment subscription. The study found that video-on-demand services are adopting disruptive technologies that are changing subscriber content watching behaviour, subscribers are technologically savvy and adapting to digital transformation in the industry and use devices that were not used to consume content and introduced additional screens and not limited by linear scheduling. The study's findings showed that subscribers are cord-cutting and cord-shaving while others are cord-nevers as they never subscribe to traditional subscription services. Therefore, the new video-on-demand (VOD) services negatively impacted the traditional subscription TV service subscriber base. Traditional subscription TV services must implement innovations in broadcasting to be competitive and retain some of their subscribers as they acquire new subscribers.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in the field of Digital Business to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, 2022
Video-on-demand (VOD), Subscription TV, Perceived impact, Adoption, South Africa