Pay-TV vs Streaming: Who will win the eyes of Nigerians?
Pay-TV vs Streaming. Source: Stears Business

When you’re in the mood to relax and consume some screen time, what’s your go-to platform? Netflix? DSTV?  

For me, it varies. Depending on the circumstance or if I’m trying to squeeze in a quick re-run of a Modern Family episode, my laptop where I stream most content (Netflix, etc.) works. Other times the TV mounted on my bedroom wall where I’m guaranteed an episode of Come Dine With Me through DSTV’s broadcast satellite does the job too. But like I mentioned, this is a personal preference. My viewing options or ability to switch between these platforms with ease are not daily realities for the everyday Nigerian consumer. Why? 


Some takeaways


  • TV broadcasting players within Africa have an extensive reach, especially within urban areas. Nigeria, has the largest pay-TV market on the continent, with an estimated 4 million pay-TV subscribers accounting for 76% of the total TV market revenue.

  • As consumers shift towards digital-driven media, the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) model has dominated the debate about how best to make money from video entertainment. The top players in Nigeria, Showmax and Netflix, dominate the SVOD market with 31.6% and 29.7% of subscribers, respectively.

  • Both players stand a higher chance of gaining more profitable eyes through partnerships that can promote an all-inclusive viewing experience suitable for the everyday Nigerian.


Consumers’ resources are always limited. That is, you have a finite amount of time, money, and expertise, so you can’t take advantage of every opportunity that comes along. If you choose one, you may have to give up on others, and the value of those others is your opportunity cost.  

As technological advancements continue to pick up, consumers find themselves faced with even more options. The Nigerian creative sector report conducted by Jobberman shows that the entertainment & media industry boasts of about 700 TV and radio stations countrywide, excluding cable offerings and internet radio.  


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Anne-Marie Amadi-Emina

Anne-Marie Amadi-Emina

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