Demand for DStv BoxOffice is 'massive'
Cape Town - "It's a dream come true for us," says John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Online in an interview with Channel24, just over a month after MultiChoice launched its new new video-on-demand (VOD) service, DStv BoxOffice, commercially on July 22.
"One thing that surprised us was exactly how popular this service has been," he said about BoxOffice which now allows DStv Premium subscribers to choose from a constantly updated selection of 15 movies.
"We expected that subscribers who try DStv BoxOffice might have a standard kind of usage of renting one or two movies per user per week – but it's much higher than that. It surprised us that it has become so popular so fast," he said.
Despite the initial challenges when DStv BoxOffice suffered a core failure on launch day, Kotsaftis says "we've resolves all issues".
"It actually didn't have any impact on demand. We're getting massive demand. People are discovering that DStv BoxOffice is very convenient. It's a dream come true for us."
Kotsaftis didn't want to say what movie title has been the most watched, most popular and most rented over the past month, but said "we can tell you we've seen the trends we expected to see. Over weekends thrillers do particularly well."
People check constantly
"We see funny things happening," said Kotsaftis. "What happens is that demand starts to pick up from the evening and sales start to increase towards that time and towards Saturday sales in the morning. Clearly parents are renting movies for the kids to watch. It again shoots up on Saturdays just before lunch time. The standard peak happens towards the evening generally. When a new movie is put up and becomes available it does better than the others. It's clear that people go back and check constantly to see what is available.
"We've had very good feedback on DStv BoxOffice - particularly through social media," he said.
"The big thing that people want to know is why only 15 movies. That's a constraint of course of hard drive space on the decoder's hard drive. We can have more movies, but not on the hard drive. Also, we're not using the space that's used for DStv On Demand. That's the only complaint really and we will be launching our online product before the end of the year," he said.
"For the rest there is a lot of people who have now said they want to buy a PVR decoder to try DStv BoxOffice. It's clear that people love the product."
Everybody wants to watch movies
"You would think that it would be the more tech-savvy people and the early adopters who would try DStv BoxOffice. The interesting thing is that the awareness of DStv BoxOffice is across the entire spectrum," said Kotsaftis.
"That first weekend I was at a braai and over 50 people were already talking about it and I thought that was interesting. Everyone wanted to be able to use it.
"There is no specific demographic here. You can afford something or not. You have money and want to watch a movie or not. What is very clear is that everybody wants to watch movies - irrespective of your age or colour or where you live. And if you have some money, you want to watch a movie. DStv BoxOffice makes that a bit easier.
"In my anecdotal discussions with people from all different walks of life - they all know about DStv BoxOffice and the product or have asked someone about it. Word of mouth about it has worked exceptionally well," he said.