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New ‘freemium' content from Pride TV

Aiming for a share of Africa's growing smartphone user base of 300 million subscribers, PrideTV, Africa's only LGBTQ video-on-demand (VOD) channel, has launched a second tier of streaming video content to cater for its growing audience.
© George Tsartsianidis via 123RF
Dubbed “Freemium”, the new viewing option coincides with the channel’s one-year anniversary. “Our Freemium portal offers a no subscription, no commitment promise that simultaneously delivers a high-quality VOD viewing experience,” says Joanne Raphael Katz, PrideTV’s spokesperson.

She adds that the rapid adoption of VOD technologies by the continent’s mobile and desktop internet users has necessitated the adding of the PrideTV Freemium viewing option. “There are now two tiers on the site,” says Raphael Katz, “In Freemium, we have gathered the best of the web content to offer the community more, free of charge. In Premium, we have a subscription-based service at an affordable $5.50 per month with hundreds of titles to enjoy anytime, anywhere and on any device.”

Regarding PrideTV’s uptake during its first year, Raphael Katz says subscriptions are in the thousands and continue to increase month by month. “We are very encouraged by the results. We have hardly touched the rest of the potential African base that is out there so we forecast promising times ahead for PrideTV.”

Prepaid and credit card payment options mean that the service can be cancelled at any time, enabling consumers to budget better, PrideTV viewers receive better value for money because their viewing time is not diluted by commercials and viewers avoid the endless repetitions that are become a feature of satellite Pay TV viewing.

In addition, VOD signals the end of the ‘one size fits all‘ approach to TV viewing by enabling the brand new phenomenon of content cherrypicking. This refers to viewers being finally able to pick, choose and subscribe to the video content that suits them without being forced to watch channels simply because they were included as part of a Pay TV offering.

“PrideTV is Africa's flagship LGBTQ entertainment channel and has a responsibility to innovate in the LGBTQ viewing space. Our Freemium content is the latest example of PrideTV’s commitment to VOD LGBTQ innovation," says Raphael Katz.

On future plans, Raphael Katz explains PrideTV is exploring several technological developments and is busy acquiring new content for the platform in both long and short form. “Short form is best suited to our mobile streamers where we have 11 million smartphone users in South Africa and 300 million in Africa,” she concludes.