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African OTT market set for rapid expansion

The African OTT market is set to reach US$1.7 billion by 2026.

According to Digital TV Research, the market is set for an explosion of growth over the coming years, with revenues increasing by well over US$1 billion from 2020. The continent’s collective OTT revenues were only US$392 million at the end of 2020, indicating that there is significant room for growth in the coming years.

Unsurprisingly, SVOD services will continue to make up the bulk of the market. Revenues from services like Netflix and Disney+ will grow from US$299 million in 2020 to US$1.5 billion in 2026.

Netflix, which is the market leader, will see its share of subscribers drop from 57% at the end of 2020 to 44% by 2026, with more players entering the region. The streamer ended last year with 1.99 million subs, and this is expected to increase by more than triple to 6.26 million in 2026.

Disney+ meanwhile is only expected to enter Africa in 2022, but the report predicts that it will finish 2026 with an impressive 3.13 million paying subscribers.

In terms of nations dominating the market, South Africa will contribute a third of the region’s revenues by 2026, with Nigeria bringing in a further fifth.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Regional players Showmax and MyCanal have upped their game in face of this added competition. Both of these platforms have sister pay TV companies. However, the SVOD platforms are emerging in their own right.”