Cape Town – Altron is done with its expensive decoder failure, the Altech Node, and is ready to dump the video-on-demand (VOD) flop it launched last year in South Africa which failed to take off after tepid consumer uptake.
Altron's Altech Node was launched in September 2014, but the expensive black set-top box (STB) which was also a home automation system sold for R3 499 and required a monthly subscription fee of R299 failed to gain traction with consumers.
Altron is now ready to off-load the expensive white elephant consumer product which cut into its financial performance since it was launched.
In a trading statement Altron says it is getting rid of the Altech Node because of "poor uptake by retail customers" and is looking to sell the under-performing business venture soon.
"Altron TMT has identified a third party, with whom it is at an advanced stage of negotiations, to acquire this business. It is anticipated that Altech Node will be disposed of in the short-term," says the company.
While the Node launched in 2014 with 200 hours of TV series, 140 movies, 150 hours of kids programming, 150 hours of documentaries, and 30 hours of current affairs programming Altech failed to tell consumers, TV critics, the press and potential subscribers about the content ever again.
Altron mistakenly thought South African consumers would buy a box, forgetting that consumers now buy and keep decoders, smartphones and other internet linked devices not for the actual device but for the content it has access to.
The publicity for the Node was basically non-existent and where there was anything, it focused only on the actual decoder, not telling consumer about the programming.
Big marketing billboards only touted the mysterious black box, while a TV ad focused on the Altech Node's technology features.
Unlike other South African pay-TV and VOD players who issue regular programming publicity alerts, Altron after launch of the Altech Node never told potential buyers and new or existing subscribers about the actual TV content they could get access to and specifically what it was, or the new content as additional programming was acquired and cycled through.
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