Broadcasting in the digital age requires content providers to broaden the quality and scope of their content offering, intensify accessibility and offer audiences value for their time and money. The SABC is therefore duty bound to serve as a public service media with maximum interactivity and cross platform strategies. In the last few years, the SABC’s daily operations have been mainly driven and motivated by extending the Corporation’s content beyond television and radio platforms as well as demonstrating its relevance in the digital era.
In an unrelenting and sustained tough operating environment, the SABC made a bold move in launching its first OTT platform, SABC+ on 17 November 2022. In its infancy stage, SABC+ made great strides in the market, as it was recognised at the fourth edition of Tech Africa Awards in May 2023.
SABC + has been navigating the digital wave for a year now and this is an opportune time to reflect on the strides it has made in enabling the public broadcaster to fulfil its mandate in the digital age. The platform provides access to the best programming the SABC has to offer, comprising of 19 radio stations, three television channels, as well as the SABC’s 24-hour news channel and Sport channel. From breaking news, riveting dramas, educational and entertaining features, to the highly contested sporting matches that force viewers to the edge of their seats, SABC+ offers a diverse range of programming that ensures everyone finds their perfect match in the dynamic realm of digital content.
Through the SABC+ platform, the SABC has demonstrated its commitment to innovation and accessibility in a rapidly evolving broadcasting landscape and has opened up new opportunities to meet its audience at the point of their convenience. SABC+ has not just met the demands of the digital age; it has exceeded expectations. Recording over half a million users in just a year, this digital venture has become a beacon of success and has made it possible for SABC audiences to stay informed, educated and entertained, at the tips of their fingers.
SABC+ exemplifies the transformative power of technology in enhancing connections and fostering closer relationships between the public broadcaster and its audience. This platform demonstrates how the SABC as a brand utilises innovative technological solutions to facilitate meaningful engagement with viewers, creating deeper levels of connection and trust.
An important unique aspect of SABC+ is its commitment to inclusivity. Through this platform, the SABC offers free access to a wide range of content, ensuring that quality programming reaches South African citizens in all corners of the country. This aligns seamlessly with the public broadcaster’s brand promise of SABC Everywhere for Everyone. Most importantly, the SABC’s commitment to accessibility and affordability positions it strategically to realise its overarching goal of ensuring universal access.
In a media landscape that is increasingly focused on commercialisation and profit, SABC+ stands out as a refreshing alternative, as subscription fees often serve as a hindrance for ordinary citizens to access quality programming. The decision to make the platform accessible free of charge reflects the SABC’s dedication to its public service role, placing the needs of its audiences at the forefront. The platform is also geared towards providing limitless opportunities for clients and advertisers who envisage to locate and access audiences anywhere, anytime and on various devices.
The platform’s popularity bears testament to its user-friendly interface, offering a seamless experience for both the tech-savvy and those new to the digital landscape. SABC+ has not only embraced the future of broadcasting but has also ensured that no one is left behind in this incredible digital journey.
According to Statista, South Africa’s Video Streaming (SVoD) market is poised for remarkable growth, with a projected revenue of $220.20 million in 2023. The market is anticipated to exhibit a robust annual growth rate between 2023 and 2027 of 9.29%, foreseeing a market volume of $314.10 million by 2027. While the United States is expected to lead globally with a staggering revenue of $39,250.00 million, South Africa demonstrates a noteworthy average revenue per user of $28.93 in 2023. Looking ahead, the Video Streaming market is set to expand its user base significantly, reaching 9.8 million users by 2027. The user penetration rate is projected to rise from 12.4% in 2023 to a promising 15.3% by 2027, emphasising the relevance and popularity of streaming services in the dynamic digital landscape.
The SABC encourages citizens to be part of the digital revolution and download SABC+ now. By doing so, they contribute to the continued success of a public service broadcaster that is committed to evolve and expand its programming offering to the millions of South Africans it has been mandated to serve.
The introduction of OTT platforms has posed increased competition in the market and for the SABC to stand firm against competition it must continue to explore winning strategies that will allow it to compete within the ever-changing environment, whilst ensuring that the core public service mandate of the SABC does not wither. In the next few weeks, the SABC will be hard at work to enhance the App for a better user experience.
The platform can be accessed on the following platforms:
Twitter: @SABCPlus https://twitter.com/SABCPlus
Facebook: @SABCPlus https://www.facebook.com/SABCPlus
Instagram: @SABCPlus https://www.instagram.com/sabcplus/
By: Lebohang Sekete (Manager: Internal Communications) and Mmoni Seapolelo (Acting GE: Corporate Affairs and Marketing)