On Wednesday, November 1, StarTimes officially commenced its much anticipated daily subscription plan tagged pay per day.
In a brief chat with the media, the Chief Executive of the company, Mr Justin Zhang gave more insight into the birth of daily and weekly subscription in Nigeria.
When was the decision to launch pay per day taken?
We reached a decision to introduce pay per day in Nigeria late 2016. Although at that time, we were still testing the service in other African countries where we operate and in the South-West region in Nigeria.
Some people believe the pay per day service was introduced as a result of competition in the industry?
That is not the case. Nigeria is our biggest market and so it would not be a wise business decision to launch a product or service without proper testing.
The launch of our pay per day service had to be properly done so as not to cause any technical disruption, hence the need to test for months and make corrections where needed before rolling out a hitch free service. Also, as a highly innovative company, we continually seek new ways to improve our customer experience and satisfaction and pay per day is one of such.
How was the service received by subscribers?
Positively, as expected. Many of our subscribers have already started embracing the service. We get calls daily from customers seeking to get more information about pay per day so that they too can subscribe. I would say that this service has been much anticipated by Nigerians so we feel very happy to have pioneered the introduction of daily payments from as low as N60 in the pay TV industry. Our aim is to ensure that we deliver digital entertainment to every Nigerian home at very affordable rates and we will ensure that this is done int he coming years.
Is pay per view to be expected soon?
I think many people misconstrue the pay tv industry for the telecoms industry. Technologically speaking, for the pay tv industry, it is almost impossible to select individual channels based on customer preference and charge for each. While we are not ruling it out completely because things may change in the future, I know this may not be happening anytime soon given the technology on ground.
What has StarTimes done recently to improve content?
A lot. For example, we have upgraded our movie channels list and now have more safe channels for the kids to also enjoy. We also broadcast fairly recent new movies very new series from Hollywood. For our Nollywood fans, there are many channels dedicated to Nollywood movies and series now on StarTimes.
Very worthy of note is that we will be broadcasting the Russia 2018 world cup live on StarTimes and this is in fulfilment of our promise to ensure that digital entertainment is delivered to every home. All our subscribers will be enjoying live matches of the world cup from the comfort of their homes without putting a hole in their pockets come 2018.