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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

DIGITAL MIGRATION: GOTV MARKETING ROLLOUT RATTLES RIVAL STARTIMES

They say imitation is the best form of flattery but GOTV marketers and activators are not feeling too flattered by their rival Startimes, more like irritated.

In the CBD and its environs, you may have seen GOTV selling point tents standing side by side with those of Startimes on nearly every street you turn into.

This is not as a result of the city fathers planning ahead and allocating space for this, it is, according to Multichoice insiders, as a result of copy cat tactics from the Chinese outfit.

"These guys are waiting for us to go through the whole process, secure approvals and pay for the permits, then they go to City Hall and ask them, what did GOTV do to get that spot?"

Multichoice's long understanding of the local market and its level of investment may have played a role but the sheer scale of the marketing operation it unleashed with the deadline for digital migration in the next 10 days appear to have shaken the market with rivals now seeming to be reacting rather than playing to their own script.

Besides sales points, rivals are also being accused of copying GOTV ads on TV and print.

Multichoice however is riding on several advantages.

Besides the fact that it has the longest history in the country amongst current players in the pay TV market, it is a keen follower of evolutions in regulations.

Long before GOTV was launched, the company had converged IT journalists from across the continent to its Jo'Burg headquarters to take them through the meaning of digital terrestrial transmission, South Africa's experience with digital migration and likely plans for DTT on the African continent.

It has also invested in local content with Africa Magic and other content  development shows, sports and so on that it can offer on its platform exclusively.

So the home stretch in this whole process was not a starting point for the company but part of its action plan.

It will be interesting to watch how rivals react over the Christmas period.
 

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