WILL LOCAL TV SUFFER IF NETFLIX (OR A LOCAL ALTERNATIVE) IS INTRODUCED IN SOUTH AFRICA? WHICH NETWORKS/SERVICES WILL BE HIT THE HARDEST?
Ian Risjdijk, a media professor at the University of Cape Town, thinks it is a case of both yes and no: All media adapt to changing audience patterns and in the case of Netflix and other streaming media, there are other factors to consider, particularly in SA. What effect will digital broadcast have on South African viewing patterns and will bandwidth ( i mproving, but still limited compared to Europe and the Far East) limit the effectiveness of streaming media? We run the risk sometimes of anticipating behaviour based on those who have the most access to services and technology where this obviously does not apply to the large majority of users.
The growing complexity of media broadcast does not just mean innovation and wholesale change; there are now more options for viewers than ever before and more content to access, so I think we’re looking at a diversified market. One thing that conventional satellite television consumers do (and which television viewers have always done) is browse through the channels or surf. Television is about viewing behaviour as much as it is about the number of services you have and the content that you access. So my sense is no, but TV networks will definitely change the way they engage with their audiences and, importantly, generate revenue from advertising.