MTN is developing a new platform for online media services, Manny Teixeira – group head of digital media and services at MTN – told MyBroadband.
The upcoming platform will replace MTN’s defunct video-on-demand offering VU, which was shut down in May. VU launched on 30 December 2014 – called MTN FrontRow at the time – and charged a subscription fee of R179 ($13.32) per month.
It also offered a movie rental service. It then rebranded as VU and dropped its subscription fee to R99 ($7.37) to better compete with Showmax and Netflix.
MTN shuttered VU on 3 May 2017, days before the company which operated the service on its behalf, Discover Digital, launched its own video streaming platform – DEOD. Taking on Netflix VU was the second video streaming service in South Africa to shut down after the launch of Netflix in January 2016, not counting Altech’s push VOD service, Node. Vidi was first to fall, with Times Media Group shutting the service before handing control of the domain to STS – a wireless application service provider.
Before VU was shut down, MTN told MyBroadband it had plans to become a quadruple-play online media company which offered connectivity and entertainment. Teixeira confirmed that the plan is still on track and said the company’s new media platform will be about more than streaming video. He said they expect to announce the details of the platform before the end of 2017.