Netflix is now available in Kenya which means that finally DSTV now has some serious competition. It has also launched in South Africa, Nigeria and 127 other countries.
The service is available in 3 packages i.e. Basic ($7.99 – Ksh. 817), Standard ($9.99 – Ksh. 1,022) and Premium ($11.99 – Ksh. 1,226). Customers will be able to watch their favourite TV shows and movies from their laptops, phones, tablets or smart TV’s. Payment is via PayPal, debit card or credit card. They are also offering a 30 day trial period. To sign up for the service, one should go to netflix.com/ke
Other than customers, the winner in the Netflix launch is the Fiber to the home companies like Zuku, JTL and Safaricom who are bound to see uptake of their services. This is because Netflix works better on broadband and fiber is also relatively cheaper if one is streaming.
The losers are pay TV companies like DSTV and Startimes. DSTV has come under fire in recent months after they increased prices of their packages with the premium one going for Ksh. 9,400 ($92).
The launch of Netflix in Kenya is fantastic but the service does have its limitations. For instance some titles are not available for this like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. This is because DSTV has the rights to screen that content in this market. There is a workaround to that with the use of a virtual private network (VPN) which masks one’s geographical location. Some Kenyans have used services like Netflix and Hulu via VPN’s for years. Also, one needs Internet to access the service.
It will be interesting to see how the other players in the market react to the Netflix launch. However it plays out, the consumer at least now has choices and things can only get better from here.